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Stuart

Football vs Business Strategy

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Just watched the second episode of “Sunderland til I Die” (I’m a bit behind - sorry @Bigdoggsteel) and it’s quite fascinating.

It included an interesting exchange between Chief Exec, Martin Bain, and the Youth Academy Manager, Jimmy Sinclair.

The discussion was around the value of players on and off the field and came in the wake of huge net losses on player transfers.

Sinclair is making a proposal:

“....the club’s last 40 signings only three have yielded a profit for the club.

So what I’m suggesting or advocating is that - and this might sound fanciful - 75% of the first-team pool should be under 25. That would leave a manager with the potential to play six players in his starting 11 who are older than 25.

So any manager can’t say you’re asking me to win the league with kids. They become assets; we are testing our best young talents rather than playing with players that will get us better results but no end product for the club

I think the only question marks you would have would be if they can make the challenge without embarrassing us too much. I think it would be healthier for the club, healthier for the young players and cheaper.”

This is an interesting peek into the pressures of delivering player value, something which the Ben Brereton thread is nudging as a theme but I feel deserves seperate discussion. It’s hardly a stretch to think that similar discussions have been, and continue to be, had at Rovers and that much of our problems are down to the need to manage the return on investment of players vs buying players who can make an impact now. I think it is a very dangerous game to bring in too many youngsters and Sinclair’s suggestion of 75% is too many. 25% would be better. However, looking at Rovers current squad, 13 out of 22 are under 25, or 60%. Is this a big reason for our lack of prospects and is Mowbray going to struggle for a couple of seasons - assuming we aren’t relegated first? Secondly, if we are to realise the value of buying and developing young players then they need to be sold around 25 or 26 years old or earlier if necessary. Dack would likely be a player who will go first (stating the bleeding obvious).

Here is our squad / ages:

893FBA9D-A184-432B-B310-24E7E1CC3F0A.jpeg

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I dont think there is a magic number in regards to % of experience v youth, but I do totally empathise with a model of signing predominantly younger players to develop.

I do think however that its not as black and white as that, in that each signing or "investment" has to be judged on the merits of that individual player, something which at times many of those defending Brereton have failed to do. Yes I understand signing younger players to develop, thats not the issue I have with him.

Dack is very much a perfect example of such a policy. Signed for less than a million with a promising reputation, now his value has multiplied many times over. Also with a nod to the experience left in the side, he is tangibly benifitting from having Graham alongside him.

I sadly do think that he is the only one thus far that shows strong signs of potentially reaping a profit. Mowbray could argue that Dack alone would cover the cost of the rest of his "projects" but I still would argue that the recruitment has been poor on that front. 

In terms of any of his other signings under the idea of a project, how many of them have shown that we can profit from them? From last season, he signed Bell who has not developed and I would suggest we would be lucky to recoup the fee we paid for him. Samuel like Bell had raw phsyciality on his side but last season at a lower level he failed to justify his 500k price tag and I suspect we wouldnt have recouped that even prior to his injury. Nuttall would be a maybe having been picked up for free but any fee would be nominal.

Moving on to this season and Davenport and Rothwell had all the hallmarks of potentially profitable assets, Davenports passing range and Rothwells ability to beat players, coupled with fees of below half a million suggested that they were low risk and high reward signings. Davenports not kicked a ball yet and Rothwell has been for some reason totally ignored really. You then look at Armstrong, and he seems to be having a bit of an identity crisis and there arent signs that hes developed since we bought him outright.

Brereton in terms of cost is a massive, massive investment, regardless of how much @Biz tries to downplay the finances. All of the other deals I have mentioned have been at a fraction of the Brereton fee. The low risk element of all of the other deals is eliminated when you spend 7m. And most worryingly, I saw something in all of the other players that made me think, "I understand what he is, I can see an obvious strength to his game that could be nurtured" even if it hasnt worked out like that. Bell, Armstrong and Samuel have pace, Rothwell an ability to run at players, Nuttall an ability to score goals, Davenport a passing range. Dont see anything from Brereton as of yet.

I do think signing younger players in the main is a healthy philosophy to have but we need to be more successful in terms of both finding and then developing those players once they sign. 

I do think that bar Dack, the 3 players that have developed the most under Mowbray have been Nyambe, Raya and Lenihan. All 3 make their share of mistakes but all 3 have an obvious talent. All whose time at the club precedes Mowbrays time here.

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Great post @roversfan99!

I think, like most things that it is a balance between youth and experience. But also getting the right players into the team that will perform and deliver for BRFC. Only by doing that do they return their investment in terms of a transfer fee profit.

Right now we have very few players who we can turn a profit on. As you say Dack is the holy grail of signings: cheap/slightly soiled, low risk, successful as an individual and delivering success for Rovers, and has a huge sell-on potential. Brereton is the wooden spoon of signings: huge outlay, high risk, has to become a superstar to return on the investment and isn’t delivering for self or team on the pitch.

Nyambe looks the next most likely to return a sale. Probably/hopefully a similar move to Martin Olsson when the time is right.

Bell could improve but has a long way to go. Nuttall I could see being let go or going cheaply tona League One side with a sell on fee being agreed.

This strategy relies on the incumbent manager developing and playing these players. It could be argued that Johnson is putting player into the shop window but isn’t getting any takers, meanwhile Mowbray prefers to look at other clubs’ players than his own but then doesn’t play them.

Where we do need to improve soon is in the area of bringing in experience (30+) to replace the likes of Mulgrew and Graham - ready-made quality and experience with no sell-on but to be able to help the young lads to develop and to ensure that the team is as successful as its budget will allow - which is the whole raison d’être of a football club.

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A really interesting thread you've started Stuart and is a key to any club surviving without a mega rich investor. I suspect the players on loan may have to play a certain % of games whilst here to avoid penalty clauses being activated which gives priority over our own players. The fact that they are not good enough is why they are on the bench rather than in the first eleven.

Secondly for every good 30 plus player I suspect you've to be careful to avoid a Danny Murphy or Wes Brown after one more payout.

Even in the days of Kenny buy young with the aim to sell for profit was the mantra. The experienced pros brought in that era where all little expenditure.  

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Loan players really add nothing to the business side unless they are a try before you buy. Sadly, in our case we got the deals for Brereton and Reed badly mixed up, with us stuck with an unpolished rock and handing back a diamond. That £7m should have taken away the need for us to invest heavily in a player’s development - otherwise we may as well have persevered with our own players. This one signing has undermined any business strategy because we now need to make a lot more money on other players to offset the cost and/or write off the potential value that we created in Dack.

Such a transfer also gives a false impression of the club’s ambitions or reflects badly on Mowbray’s judgement and as a result puts future owner ‘investment’ at risk.

Under Kenny we brought in mainly finished articles who just needed to be turned into a team. I’d say Souness was far better at developing youngsters but even he went into the market and bought quality.

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@roversfan99

Theres nothing to downplay, it’s merely perspective; Say we’ve agreed to pay 7m over 4 years. 650k a year salary (8/10k per week + tax).

How much does that cost the club this year?

Is that more or less than paying 2m upfront for someone on 30k a week for the year? Remember high earners 40% tax + NI

I see it as trying to find a player that fits into the figure we’ve allowed for that budget period, who has;

A. The ability to make an impact

B. The personality to suit the group.

C. Is there potential for a return on the cost?

Finance/commercial will prefer the prospect he could be worth double or treble after a couple of years with 40/50 appearances in this league. Hence this discussion and the more weighting on C (one of the main “necessary” problems in football)

They’ll also see less risk in a younger and lower wage - time to take step back if necessary, not a continuous weekly drain of that wage budget.

For a team in so much debt to the owners. It almost seems silly to take things slow when the only real debt leveller is the premier league. The obvious problem with that though, we signed “established” players in this division and ended up paying them off because they bombed and ended up costing us a fortune. That burn won’t be forgotten.

 

One of the alternatives that people have mentioned; Pukki is a Finnish international, played for 3 champions league teams before Norwich - Schalke, Celtic and Brøndby - He is an example of what you can do in this league with good scouting and a large budget for wages. It also helped having Farke - his knowledge of that league has helped them so far. That doesn’t take away the risk though - and Norwich are in a position to have another 2m a season striker on the bench in Rhodes, should Pukki not work.

Thus Roversfan, it’s not defence of the club, or downplaying a mistake, it’s a response to a scenario. I can take criticism of my views, but nobody has yet come close to changing my mind that this Brereton deal is a “clanger” or confusing. He’s not working out right now, but he has lots more time to turn it round.

 

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1 hour ago, Biz said:

He is an example of what you can do in this league with good scouting and a large budget for wages.

How much is he on? You knowing that is central to your whole argument. 

Bear in mind Pukki went to Norwich on a free. So no fee just wages. So lets take the MINIMUM that BB will cost which is £10m over four years. Pukki would have to be on 50k pw for four years to cost the same. 

As you say Pukki is a Champions League level player and one of the top scorers in the league. BB isn't but he will cost Rovers more than Pukki will cost Norwich.

We've got ourselves a bargain 😂

 

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28 minutes ago, blueboy3333 said:

How much is he on? You knowing that is central to your whole argument. 

Bear in mind Pukki went to Norwich on a free. So no fee just wages. So lets take the MINIMUM that BB will cost which is £10m over four years. Pukki would have to be on 50k pw for four years to cost the same. 

As you say Pukki is a Champions League level player and one of the top scorers in the league. BB isn't but he will cost Rovers more than Pukki will cost Norwich.

We've got ourselves a bargain 😂

 

I never said he was a champions league level player, I said said he came with that and international pedigree. Therefore his wages would represent that.. is it that confusing to you? 

Ill simplify;

A wage is a continuous running cost.

A fee is a one off or paid in instalments.

I still think that this signing has potential to come good, and isn’t as expensive (or a reason to ramp up expectation) as some say - so you’ll have to try harder mate. Sarcastic, flippant replies to one sentence in a post isn’t going to change my mind.

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51 minutes ago, Mattyblue said:

 I didn’t say that at all, I said he’d played in the champions league.

He also played for Schalke the year they won the Bundesliga, won titles with Celtic and has played international football..I noticed you didn’t include those aspects when laboring one point, one tiny aspect of a post with many different aspects.

So, *Wrong answer klaxon from family fortunes* try again, you’ve not even come close to budging me from the view;

I don’t think Brereton can be fully judged yet, and I’m not convinced he cost as much as reported or earns a “commensurate” wage.

 

 

 

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18 minutes ago, Biz said:

I never said he was a champions league level player, I said said he came with that and international pedigree. Therefore his wages would represent that.. is it that confusing to you? 

Ill simplify;

A wage is a continuous running cost.

A fee is a one off or paid in instalments.

I still think that this signing has potential to come good, and isn’t as expensive (or a reason to ramp up expectation) as some say - so you’ll have to try harder mate. Sarcastic, flippant replies to one sentence in a post isn’t going to change my mind.

But you accept BB will cost more than Pukki over the length of a 4 year contract? 

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They brought him in from Brondby. A league where they pay a pittance in comparison to the Championship. We signed Mulgrew who had been playing for a Champions League club for years.

So Rovers should be in the market for such players. I.e free transfers from Denmark and Scotland.

Edited by Mattyblue

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9 minutes ago, Mattyblue said:

They brought him in from Brondby. A league where they pay a pittance in comparison to the Championship. We signed Mulgrew who had been playing for a Champions League club for years.

So Rovers should be in the market for such players. I.e free transfers from Denmark and Scotland.

I think everyone gets it. Well, nearly everyone. 

It's fine getting the likes of Rothwell, Davenport, Bell, Dack (and perhaps Chapman and Bauer in Jan) on cheap fees for less than a £1 million when they are near the end of their contracts. They are low risk financially with the potential to be worth a lot more.  It's lunacy paying £7m for someone who is clearly no better than those players and probably no better than Nuttall.  

That money would have been better spent on the likes of Pukki or a similar free transfer/low fee player (e.g. Mulgrew Graham etc ) who could walk into the 1st team and contribute straight away. 

 

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8 minutes ago, blueboy3333 said:

But you accept BB will cost more than Pukki over the length of a 4 year contract? 

That’s impossible to answer as it depends on what happens in the four years. On paper now? Is Pukki even on 4 years? I’d say similar or Brereton slightly more but after that time, one is 23, the other 32.

It’s easier to just look at this season in

terms of outlay; who do you think cost more for this season alone? 

Even if Brereton is a complete dud, after that time - there will be some potential value for another club to take a punt on because of age.

17 minutes ago, Mattyblue said:

They brought him in from Brondby. A league where they pay a pittance in comparison to the Championship. We signed Mulgrew who had been playing for a Champions League club for years.

So Rovers should be in the market for such players.

I’d imagine that’s why he refused to sign a new contract then. Also I wouldn’t use the league average to assume the champions, the biggest team in the country pays a certain wage.

I’m not arguing that Pukki wouldn’t have been a great signing, but in hindsight transfer business is easy. 

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Just now, Biz said:

That’s impossible to answer as it depends on what happens in the four years. On paper now? Is Pukki even on 4 years? I’d say similar or Brereton slightly more but after that time, one is 23, the other 32.

….and one contributes to the 1st team by scoring goals and one doesn't. Pukki is on a three year deal at a reported 18k PW. He is being linked with Champions League clubs. BB is being linked with our U23's. 

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Just now, blueboy3333 said:

….and one contributes to the 1st team by scoring goals and one doesn't. Pukki is on a three year deal at a reported 18k PW. He is being linked with Champions League clubs. BB is being linked with our U23's. 

Which would cost more for this season then? 

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2 minutes ago, Biz said:

Which would cost more for this season then? 

BB. Obviously. We are paying a transfer fee plus not dissimilar wages. One is also contributing to the first team. The cheaper one. Gerrit?

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3 minutes ago, blueboy3333 said:

BB. Obviously. We are paying a transfer fee plus not dissimilar wages. One is also contributing to the first team. The cheaper one. Gerrit?

No. I don’t think their wages will be anywhere near the same. If you’re saying he’s on 18k pw - what are you suggesting Ben is on? 

Considering our highest paid player last season was Mulgrew on about 15k - I don’t think even our club are stupid enough to put a 19 year old on a leading figure, in front of Raya, Nyambe, Lenihan etc.

How much of that fee is upfront? For a team that had a turnover around 10m all in all last season (and made the biggest losses ever recorded in league 1), what convinces you we’ve decided to wax another 10m up the wall on potential?

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7 minutes ago, Biz said:

No. I don’t think their wages will be anywhere near the same. If you’re saying he’s on 18k pw - what are you suggesting Ben is on? 

Considering our highest paid player last season was Mulgrew on about 15k - I don’t think even our club are stupid enough to put a 19 year old on a leading figure, in front of Raya, Nyambe, Lenihan etc.

How much of that fee is upfront? For a team that had a turnover around 10m all in all last season (and made the biggest losses ever recorded in league 1), what convinces you we’ve decided to wax another 10m up the wall on potential?

He cost £7m. It's very odd that you think we wouldn't put him on a top wage but that we would pay £7m for potential. Even Mowbray is saying he isn't good enough. 

Anyway if you think BB's agent has allowed BB to be put on a low wage when he cost the club 4 times more than anyone else then I don't think you understand how these things work. He'll be on a minimum of £10k pw. 

Back to the question you asked. Who would cost more this season? Quite clearly BB. If he is going to cost £7m then the VERY LEAST we will have to pay in Jan upfront is £1.75m (quarter of the fee over a 4 year deal) which is £33k PW - more than Pukki's weekly wage. That is before we've even added in BB's wage. The upfront fee for BB will in all likelihood be more than £1.75m.

I have no idea what your last sentence means. It will cost a MINIMUM of £10m over 4 years for a player Mowbray doesn't think is yet good enough for the first team. That is the very definition of waxing £10m up the wall on potential. 

I have no idea what your point is anymore?

 

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3 hours ago, Biz said:

@roversfan99

Theres nothing to downplay, it’s merely perspective; Say we’ve agreed to pay 7m over 4 years. 650k a year salary (8/10k per week + tax).

How much does that cost the club this year?

Is that more or less than paying 2m upfront for someone on 30k a week for the year? Remember high earners 40% tax + NI

I see it as trying to find a player that fits into the figure we’ve allowed for that budget period, who has;

A. The ability to make an impact

B. The personality to suit the group.

C. Is there potential for a return on the cost?

Finance/commercial will prefer the prospect he could be worth double or treble after a couple of years with 40/50 appearances in this league. Hence this discussion and the more weighting on C (one of the main “necessary” problems in football)

They’ll also see less risk in a younger and lower wage - time to take step back if necessary, not a continuous weekly drain of that wage budget.

For a team in so much debt to the owners. It almost seems silly to take things slow when the only real debt leveller is the premier league. The obvious problem with that though, we signed “established” players in this division and ended up paying them off because they bombed and ended up costing us a fortune. That burn won’t be forgotten.

 

One of the alternatives that people have mentioned; Pukki is a Finnish international, played for 3 champions league teams before Norwich - Schalke, Celtic and Brøndby - He is an example of what you can do in this league with good scouting and a large budget for wages. It also helped having Farke - his knowledge of that league has helped them so far. That doesn’t take away the risk though - and Norwich are in a position to have another 2m a season striker on the bench in Rhodes, should Pukki not work.

Thus Roversfan, it’s not defence of the club, or downplaying a mistake, it’s a response to a scenario. I can take criticism of my views, but nobody has yet come close to changing my mind that this Brereton deal is a “clanger” or confusing. He’s not working out right now, but he has lots more time to turn it round.

 

Your wage figures are total guesses. I am willing to agree that he will be on a less wage than the likes of Bamford and Grabban. But I find it baffling that a player who cost an initial fee of probably close to the combined fees paid for various players since the summer we signed Rhodes and Best is not a risk in your eyes. It IS a big transfer fee.

The main point that I have been making is that thus far, I have not seen any potential that has made me think there is a player there to be had if he develops over time. He does have time but from what I have seen, there is no element of his game that strikes me as having potential. To be fair youve even acknowledged that it hasnt worked out on the pitch thus far.

As I said above I totally appreciate the notion of signing players to profit on. Bar Dack, I believe that the other signings he has made under that criteria would either incur a loss or at best breaking even but you arent appreciating that all of them deals combined didnt cost as much as Brereton.

To answer your questions, A is a no and C at the moment looks like a no. 

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2 hours ago, Biz said:

I never said he was a champions league level player, I said said he came with that and international pedigree. Therefore his wages would represent that.. is it that confusing to you? 

Ill simplify;

A wage is a continuous running cost.

A fee is a one off or paid in instalments.

I still think that this signing has potential to come good, and isn’t as expensive (or a reason to ramp up expectation) as some say - so you’ll have to try harder mate. Sarcastic, flippant replies to one sentence in a post isn’t going to change my mind.

We get this. To support your argument you are underestimating the wage that Brereton is likely to be on compared to players who cost half of his transfer fee.

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A few thoughts related to the accounting/FFP angle on this:

Transfer fees are amortised over the course of a player's contract. So, if Brereton cost is £7m and he signs a 4-year deal (?), the accounting cost is £1.75m per year. For argument's sake, say Brereton is sold for £15m in year 3 of his contract. For that accounting year, that would work out to a £13.25m player trading profit (which is versus the remaining value of his transfer fee). That kind of one-year windfall would go some way to making up our revenue deficit versus some of the bigger budget clubs in this division (particularly those receiving parachute payments) and it can almost serve as a 'safety valve' if we're at risk of non-compliance with FFP. You see that with a lot of clubs now, gambling with significant losses for a few years but then having throw in the towel with a couple major sales to balance the books if promotion doesn't happen. You thus spread the financial hit of a transfer over many years and then can profit from it all at once, potentially in a time of 'need'.

Now, Brereton's certainly been a disappointment so far (although I think some of the criticism has been over the top: he's shown some flashes, should have one goal, and was doing something right at Forest...) and my £15m sale example is wishful thinking at this point in time, but it's pretty clear to me that the Armstrong, Brereton, Davenport, and Rothwell signings from this past transfer window (and Dack and Samuel last year) are all part of a general strategy where transfer money is set aside to identify young players with appreciating value. A 'young player transfer kitty', if you will.

There will be some misses (Samuels probably, Armstrong blows hot and cold - mostly cold of late, Davenport's been unfortunate with injuries), but the year-on-year accounting cost is relatively low and you only need an occasional big hit to recoup it all (Dack). It may be why they're rethinking the academy, which is costing £2m/year but maybe it's better to spend that £2m on more proven young talent developed elsewhere than to hope something comes up through the academy.

I don't think this has necessarily been at the expense of experienced players. New contracts for Mulgrew, Bennett, Evans, and Dack wouldn't have come cheap. Whittingham was a flop, but that was a similar idea of paying good wages for 'proven' experience, but not necessarily transfer fees. Conway's legs are fading, but he's obviously been kept around for his experience/leadership.

Now, Brereton's obviously a much bigger swing than the others and there's certainly a legitimate debate about whether that money could have been better spent on some experience this year, but it still strikes me as part of a coherent financial strategy. His transfer reflects that we do have a major financial backer that is willing to flex its financial muscle, but we want to stay within FFP and have relatively low turnover in this league, so we need to focus our investment on so-called 'intangible assets'.

While Rothwell's opportunities have been limited, and I agree he should be given more of a look, I don't think it's right to say he's been ignored. He's made appearances in 18 of our 26 games this year. The actual minutes are low, but that doesn't suggest to me that Mowbray doesn't like him or sees no role for him at all. As some of his past comments have suggested, Mowbray thinks he needs to work on his defensive duties first before trusting him over 90 minutes. That's debatable, but it suggests he's a player Mowbray wants to develop over time rather than a player's given up on.

Edited by RoverCanada

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1 hour ago, blueboy3333 said:

He cost £7m. It's very odd that you think we wouldn't put him on a top wage but that we would pay £7m for potential. Even Mowbray is saying he isn't good enough. 

Anyway if you think BB's agent has allowed BB to be put on a low wage when he cost the club 4 times more than anyone else then I don't think you understand how these things work. He'll be on a minimum of £10k pw. 

Back to the question you asked. Who would cost more this season? Quite clearly BB. If he is going to cost £7m then the VERY LEAST we will have to pay in Jan upfront is £1.75m (quarter of the fee over a 4 year deal) which is £33k PW - more than Pukki's weekly wage. That is before we've even added in BB's wage. The upfront fee for BB will in all likelihood be more than £1.75m.

I have no idea what your last sentence means. It will cost a MINIMUM of £10m over 4 years for a player Mowbray doesn't think is yet good enough for the first team. That is the very definition of waxing £10m up the wall on potential. 

I have no idea what your point is anymore?

 

Reportedly cost 7m. Does that include add ons, percentages, his wages?

As others said all wages and costs are estimates because it’s often not fully published. The 7m could easily be 3.5m before 20/30 starts, or include 2m for promotion.

Your entire argument is based on the assumption of 1 journo

You can talk about agents forcing our hand with wages all you want, but if we had a budget that couldn’t stretch to Bamford (as Tony said in LET in August, couldn’t find quote) why would we then find a similar yearly outlay for Brereton?

Just to reiterate my point, since you can’t remember it.

I don’t think Brereton is as expensive as he is being discussed, therefore don’t think the expectation should be ramped the way it is. I don’t think he can be judged yet either.

If you need that even simpler, drop me a PM.

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45 minutes ago, RoverCanada said:

Now, Brereton's certainly been a disappointment so far (although I think some of the criticism has been over the top: he's shown some flashes, should have one goal, and was doing something right at Forest...) and my £15m sale example is wishful thinking at this point in time, but it's pretty clear to me that the Armstrong, Brereton, Davenport, and Rothwell signings from this past transfer window (and Dack and Samuel last year) are all part of a general strategy where transfer money is set aside to identify young players with appreciating value. A 'young player transfer kitty', if you will.

A young player kitty for players to appreciate in value only works if you buy low and sell high and those players contribute. Brereton is going to have to make an amazing transformation for his £7m to be seen as low. It also assumes that we are going to become another Crewe, farming out players to leave at their prime and deliver for other clubs. Unfortunately that kind of approach isn’t going to pay our bills and we will continue to have our huge debts until we are promoted. With a strategy of selling players for profit that’s unlikely to happen.

46 minutes ago, RoverCanada said:

There will be some misses (Samuels probably, Armstrong blows hot and cold - mostly cold of late, Davenport's been unfortunate with injuries), but the year-on-year accounting cost is relatively low and you only need an occasional big hit to recoup it all (Dack). It may be why they're rethinking the academy, which is costing £2m/year but maybe it's better to spend that £2m on more proven young talent developed elsewhere than to hope something comes up through the academy.

For me, with one exception (Dack) possibly two (Bell), every player Mowbray has brought in permanently has been a miss. That one signing is looking more and more like a fluke. His loanees have a slightly better return.

Signings

Leutweiler - miss

Caddis - miss

Dack - big hit

Hart - miss

Samuel - miss

Gladwin - miss

Bell - hit

Downing - neither

Rothwell - hit

Armstrong - hit

Davenport - n/a

Loanees

Chapman - big hit until injury

Payne - hit

Antonsson - miss

Reed - big hit

Palmer - miss (subjective)

Harper - miss

48 minutes ago, RoverCanada said:

While Rothwell's opportunities have been limited, and I agree he should be given more of a look, I don't think it's right to say he's been ignored. He's made appearances in 18 of our 26 games this year. The actual minutes are low, but that doesn't suggest to me that Mowbray doesn't like him or sees no role for him at all. As some of his past comments have suggested, Mowbray thinks he needs to work on his defensive duties first before trusting him over 90 minutes. That's debatable, but it suggests he's a player Mowbray wants to develop over time rather than a player's given up on.

Rothwell is an enigma where Mowbray is concerned. He looks a class above, certainly an artist but Mowbray wants a team of XI soldiers - maybe he wants his soldiers to get 50 points and he’ll look to let certain players of the leash but Mowbray’s record here is once the job is done don’t aim any higher - as we saw at the end of last season when he threw in the towel as soon as second was achieved, despite the title being up for grabs. To my mind, we will be trying to dig out results all season. 

“Labore et Labore”

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