Supposedly been looking to do it for a few years. Not been allowed to due to ruling that they must provide equivalent new land to replace it. So now it has been included in the housing plan maybe it means that they've shown some proof they've got some headway in a new stadium/training/academy base? Not holding my breath and half expect once deal for housing goes through a deal for the replacement will suddenly fall apart but I can but hope.
Team sounds awful - especially up front. I think TM has never been completely taken with the wingback system but doesn't have the players for anything else and knows the youngsters, despite showing promise, are too raw and aren't ready. If selling Vincelot was his decision (which I'm still unsure of) it seems even more of an error now than it did when it happened, and it looked poor then. Also the lack of depth in defence is making the decision to get rid of Martin and Phillips also seem a bit poor, even though neither were top class.
I was always worried pre-season as time went on and the signings that were always a few days away never materialised. With the 'emergency' loan window being got rid off we couldn't take a punt on a kid on loan for a month and extend it if they work out or send them back and try someone else if they didn't, as we've done in the past.
Although people have complained about TM not being given resources, he has signed 5 strikers in the summer, either permanently or on loan, and re-signed Tudgay - not many managers get the chance to sign that many. For none of them to work at all has to be laid largely on the scouting, coaching and management. To be fair, it seems that they really weren't the signings TM wanted and the deadline day signing of Wright smacked of a bit of desperation to get someone in the building. Wasn't sure about the early signing of Kwame Thomas either given TM has used the excuse of having not got players in because he didn't want to waste his budget early on in case other options became available. I just can't imagine him being one of his main targets he felt he had to snap up quickly.
Though Harries looks promising, Willis has been decent without getting injured and Turnbull is looking decent, I'm really disappointed at the number of basic errors Ricketts has made. I thought he may struggle against pace, but just the number of bread and butter stuff he's messed up is terrible. As the senior leader at the back it can't do much for the youngsters confidence.
Not sure what Page offers ahead of Haynes TBH. Obviously when Stokes gets back neither would get in the side, but as Haynes is more experienced, is a contracted City player rather than a loan and they by and large offer the same (a bit ropey in defence, OK getting forward but need to improve crossing) but Haynes to me has more pace I can't see why Mowbray seems to favour Page.
Gadzhev just isn't having the effect I'd hoped he would - I thought he'd be an adequate replacement for Fleck but just hasn't got going.
Wasn't overwhelmed by Bigi's returned but he's done OK. But that's the trouble - he's been one of our better performers but he's not a game winner. He isn't going to split defences with killer passes, neither is he going to break up play with big, robust challenges. He's like Sideways' Sammy and Stephen (Hughes). Always around, not really doing that much wrong, but not affecting games enough in either direction to warrant any plaudits IMO. Might be a bit harsh to call him Backwards Bigi though.
I didn't really see the huge fuss over Jones last season and I can't get it this. He's only a kid (he's younger than most of our academy prospects who Mowbray says aren't ready) but while it might be exciting to see him run with the ball, most of the time he's dispossessed. Even when he isn't his crossing is nowhere near good enough and he wants far too much time when trying to shoot. After all, we did sign him for the team bottom of L2 last year, so it's hardly like he was showing superkid status and the ability to prop up a team. People expected far too much from him and are bestowing him with ability I'm afraid he just doesn't have.
Defensively we look reasonably solid apart from the odd mistake which we, as always seems to be case, get punished for and look OK in possession, we have nearly no creativity and what chances we do make no-one looks even remotely capable of putting away. At this rate I can't see the entire team matching Armstrong's goal tally from last year.
It's still reasonably early and maybe one day it will just click and we'll be fine, but at the moment I have a very, very poor feeling about this season.