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The Mail Bag

Moyes' “Reserve” signings

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In light of reading one contributor's comment about Antony Gardner, it made me realise about the signings Moyes seems to make every season in order to just play in the reserves.

Now I'm not having a go at Moyes, it's just that I can't seem to figure out why he has signed players with clearly no intention of playing them.

Anyhow, here is a list of the players (of what I can remember anyway):

Li Weifeng — I think he came as part of that awful Kejian deal, however I'm sure he had an interest in him anyway. I can recall him playing one game against Southampton away — apart from that, a few bench appearances.

Ibrahim Said — he was an Egyptian international who never even played a game; just a few bench appearances to note.

Eddie Bosnar — same as above but only this time an Australian international.

Guillerme Plessis — a French youngster who, like the above two players, just about got on the bench a few times.

Antony Gardner — in my opinion a bit of a yard dog every time I've seen him play. Was bought as cover for defence.

Now the issue here with me — apart from money spend on fees and wages obviously being pissed up the wall — is that why even contemplate signing a player when there is absolutely no intention of playing them? All of these players — and even higher profile players like Gravesen and Van Der Meyde — fall into this bracket, as there has been times over the years where we have been lacking in numbers in these departments, yet these have never been called upon. True, it might be because they are shite — which adds to the point even further of why even sign them in the first place?

I think Moyes is a brilliant manager and we are going places with him, and I would never put that in doubt. However he does need to detract from signing worthless players, because more and more questions will continue to be put in front of him.
John Nelson, Liverpool     Posted 30/04/2008 at 13:06:08

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Lyndon Lloyd
With the possible exceptions of Andy van der Meyde and Thomas Gravesen, those are all players acquired on loan to act either as squad cover or for Moyes to run the rule over them over an extended period of time (e.g. Said, Bosnar).

Taking Anthony Gardner as a case to illustrate the point, he was brought in as cover for the departed Alan Stubbs. Imagine that the injury crisis that decimated the forward line had happened in defence instead — assuming Gardner was fit, of course, he would have needed to step in had two of Yobo, Lescott and Jagielka been injured at the same time. Can you imagine the slaughtering Moyes would have received had he not signed back-up?

Gravesen was an emergency acquisition when the Fernandes deal collapsed last August — he wouldn't have been signed otherwise. Li Weifeng was the result of an embarrassing case of mistaken identity and wasn't supposed to join us at all. No surprise that he only ever played in the Reserves.

Ste Lewis
1   Posted 30/04/2008 at 22:30:58

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It?s called a squad.
Richard Murray
2   Posted 30/04/2008 at 23:17:33

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Okay Gardner is a bit different, but..
hmmm.. no, I think this is fair point.

Let?s not forget Anderson de Silva and several youngsters too.
What about the Brazilian boy who got injured?

James Davies
3   Posted 30/04/2008 at 23:29:53

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Yeah I understand the concept of signing back-up in case the majority of first-teamers get injured. Surely signing injured cover is stupid though. Gardner had been injured for ages and as far as I know is still injured so job done on the cover front? A swing and a miss.
Peter Corcoran
4   Posted 01/05/2008 at 06:08:48

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Apart from their wages the cost was minimal (VDM Excepted).

I call that sensible management to have a look at a player before paying a transfer fee.

What exactly do you want of Moyes?

Some people really do take the biscuit - if it?s not gung ho football its gung ho transfers.

Gardner was a good bit of work by Spurs to get some of his wages of their books for a while. No doubt they and possibly doctors said that Gardner?s injury was monir and he would be up and running in no time, but this was obviously not the case.
Joe McMahon
5   Posted 01/05/2008 at 08:49:43

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What he failed with was selling McFadden without getting any cover. Surely he knows deep down that AJ & Vic ain?t gonna score enough goals, and Vaughan and indeed Cahill are often injured.
Peter Roberts
6   Posted 01/05/2008 at 12:55:11

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Richard Murray

Using Rodrigo as an example is a bit unfair, he was supposed to be here on a one-year loan as a try-before-you-buy, in the same vein as Li Tie, Joseph Yobo, Mikel Arteta and Steven Pienaar.

And if you go back and re-watch the Season Review that season, Rodrigo did actually play the first three games before he got injured - and it looked like he was doing enough to warrant a possible permanent signature. Then did his knee in and it all went pear-shaped.

I?d much rather we pick up little gems like that for peanuts as squad cover firstly and be prudent with our money then spend over-inflated prices on complete trash and have them rot in the reserves (not looking at anyone in red in particular!).
John Nelson
7   Posted 01/05/2008 at 13:03:31

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Fair point by Lyndon and some others, but yet again some people decide to blow things out of proportion...

I am not having a go at Moyes. I am just perusing the notion of buying players who aren’t even going to bbe used as back up. Again, I shall reiterate to some people who find reading a difficult task - why buy players for no apparant reason whatsoever?
John Murphy
8   Posted 02/05/2008 at 23:49:44

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I remember us signing Plessis in January on a short-term deal, and the pink Sports section in the Echo writing an article saying that he is the real deal and expect him to be in the first team before the end of the season. I never made nothing of it, but then he started to be on the bench, and I thought, we may have a gem on our hands. Come the end of the season, he had not made an appearance and was released.

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