The news today that the loan deal for Abildgaard might soon be cut short, at the same time as the club is looking for options regarding Ideguchi, is telling. Ange is making it clear that he intends to be relentless in pursuit of success. Ruthless, even.
Transfer business is often ruthless, but it takes someone with real steel in their soul to have made decisions on a small number of key players who have been at the club less than a year.
Abildgaard was brought here in the summer. Ideguchi has been here a bit longer, but the manager has already seen enough. Or rather, he’s not seen enough to convince him.
And that’s why the axe is going to fall on some of these guys. That’s why the club is going to move them along as quickly as it can, and bring in the new guys who can do the job we need. That is a manager who will not allow the standards to fall.
He needs players who will contribute. He needs footballers in the team who will offer us something over the course. Unfortunately, Ideguchi is not going to succeed here. When McGregor was injured that was Abildgaard’s chance to shine, but he barely featured. The manager moved Matt O’Riley and played him in McGregor’s position instead.
Would that have happened had these guys been doing it in training? Would it have happened if the boss was convinced that they could cut it?
Having made up his mind that they can’t he isn’t indulging in fantasies that they will somehow grow into the roles or find talents that he hasn’t thus far seen – you only have to look across town to see how pervasive that delusion is – he’s decided to act.
So in comes another player from Japan, because crucially the boss is going with the guys he knows – not thinks, but knows – can come in and do a certain job. There is no guesswork involved, no “stick a pin a name and hope for the best.” This isn’t filling a squad with warm bodies in the vague belief that you’re playing percentages.
That’s how clubs go broke. It’s how they wind up with squads full of filler and dreck.
Managers make mistakes. All of them. Even this guy. The thing is, you need to realise early that you have and amend it. Ange is moving to do just that, with the right level of backing from the club. Neither Abildgaard nor Ideguchi has been an expensive mistake; that helps a lot. When this guy spends real money he tends to get it right.
Even the situations with Juranovic and perhaps Giakoumakis will be handed in the right way; with the club coming first, the integrity of the dressing room being protected and the squad being strengthened. This has been one hell of a run-up to the window … and that’s the truly amazing thing here. Three signings, done already and it’s not open yet.
That’s a triumph of planning .. and the boss’s desire to make this the best squad it can be.