McNally - Hughton Has a 'Full Squad'
In the recent Q&A on the official site, CEO David McNally offered an insight into his thoughts on the squad and perhaps demonstrates his level of knowledge about the playing side of the club.
McNally was getting a few questions about the failure to add a striker in the transfer window and went on to explain how the process of building the squad in preseason actually worked..."Following Chris's arrival, we sat down with him and agreed the areas in which we planned to strengthen the squad. We agreed eight positions that needed strengthening and discussed names for each position. You may be interested to know that Paul Lambert had planned to strengthen in five or six areas."
I'm not actually sure of the point of the Lambert reference here, other than to perhaps show the unmitigated backing for the new manager.
McNally continued, "I'm delighted to say that we were able to sign the eight players. Additionally, and once Chris had had time to work with the squad during pre-season, we decided to bring in another striker and we were really pleased that we were able to secure the services of the highly-regarded Harry Kane from Tottenham on deadline day."
There is no mention of Vaughan here, but reading between the lines it would seem Hughton decided we needed more power following preseason, and the board duly obliged."It is worth pointing out that we've signed nine players this summer, two last January and eight last summer. In little over a year this means that we've strengthened the first team squad with 19 new players.
"Clearly the plan was to bolster our defence given the number of goals that we conceded last year and it should also be pointed out that we have lost just one goal from last year (scored by Aaron Wilbraham) from last year's strike force."
This I believe, is a direct reference to the fact that however good Vaughan might be one day, he did not add anything to the squad last year in McNally's view.
McNally continued with his musings about the squad, demonstrating his level and depth of knowledge about the playing side, reeling off names like the hardest of hardcore fans..."We now have two senior players for every position. This includes five midfield positions which will allow for a number of different formations. For example in wide areas we have Bennett and Snodgrass on the one side and Pilkington and Surman on the other flank. For the two central midfield positions, we have Howson and Fox and Johnson and Tettey. If Chris decides to play with a player 'in the hole' or with a five-man midfield and a player in just behind the striker, we have two players in Hoolahan and Butterfield for this area. Up front we have Holt and Morison as a number 9 and Jackson and Kane as the other striker."
McNally ended with the typically sharp conclusion, "Clearly, we have a full squad."
McNally is perhaps offended to think some fans considered the fact that Hughton was not fully backed in the transfer window, and has provided strong evidence showing that the manager got exactly what the manager asked for.
McNally continues to come across as a shrewd operator - an excellent communicator, and commercially astute. However, some fans may consider that he perhaps knows a bit too much about the football side of things for a numbers man. One thing is clear - McNally is a 'hands on' CEO.