This was one of Mowbray's best interview. He was honest and progressive. He really sounded like the guy to take the club forward. For those who don't want to watch, the stand out bit for me was
" Defenders? I've got no defence. We lost 65 goals, 67 goals. It is ridiculous. New defenders are coming and the players who have done the job in the team this year know they are coming. Why? Because they have shown that they can't do the job. In this league they haven't been able to do it." A frank but correct assessment of a struggling defence made up of Williams, Bell, Bennett, Lenihan, Mulgrew and co.
Soon after though Mowbray was talking a different tune. In June, https://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/sport/17738118.rovers-boss-tony-mowbray-wants-strengthen-across-board/ , he said, "I did talk about the defenders towards the end of the season and when you look back we did concede too many goals. But there are reasons for that but I’m not sitting here worrying about that any more than other positions." What caused the change of heart? Hard to say, maybe some of the senior players didn't like his frank assessment?
Reviewing the 2019 summer transfer window, the defence was changed in the following way.
In : Walton (Loan) , Cunnningham (Loan) , Tosin (Loan)
Out : Raya (3 mill Brentford) , Mulgrew (Loan to Wigan) , Hart (Loan to Shrewsbury) , Downing (Free to Porstmouth) , Wharton (Loan) , Rodwell (Released)
A lot of departures, including academy product David Raya and fan favourite, but aging, Charile Mulgrew (behind the scenes trouble). However, no permanent transfer was made. The loan signings were a mixed bunch. Tosin was brilliant, Cunningham suffered a long term injury and Walton being poor. Bottom line the defence did improve, conceding 6 fewer goals. However, the loan signings were a short term solution to a long term problem.
Now so far in the, albeit COVID-19 affected, 2020 transfer window we have seen the following transfers
In : Kaminski (500 k)
Out : Tosin ( End of Loan), Walton (End of Loan) , Hart (Released) , Leutwiler (Released)
With the departures of the loanees and the release of Leutwiler, the club had no senior goalkeepers on the book. Quite rightly Kaminski, showing the first signs of our fledgling European network, was brought in and looked tidy in his first game.
However, the defence is threadbare. A ramshackle combination of academy products not ready for full game time and the same players that two seasons ago Mowbray said "Because they have shown that they can't do the job. In this league they haven't been able to do it." He was right then and right now. Williams, Bell, Bennett and co are not good enough. It is a massive failure of senior management to be playing the same fucking defence that two years ago they deemed to be not up for the job. There is no excuse for it.