New midfielder must be near top of list

PUBLISHED: 16:10 28 January 2006 | UPDATED: 09:10 14 September 2010

OK, so this week saw a certain female of Canary persuasion hurriedly searching recipe books for the instructions to make egg fried rice, egg noodles, egg foo yung, soufflé and even bread and butter pudding…in fact anything that would mean she wouldn't have to wear solidified fried eggs on her face come the next home game, all due to the sale of Dean Ashton, as discussed during last week's column.

OK, so this week saw a certain female of Canary persuasion hurriedly searching recipe books for the instructions to make egg fried rice, egg noodles, egg foo yung, soufflé and even bread and butter pudding…in fact anything that would mean she wouldn't have to wear solidified fried eggs on her face come the next home game, all due to the sale of Dean Ashton, as discussed during last week's column.

She even contemplated contacting Delia for some advice I believe, but chickened out due to an inbuilt inferiority complex in the cookery department and a distinct lack of credit on her phone.

The slightly unreadable expression on my boss' face earlier on this week (the Hammer if you remember) resulted in an e-mail from me which ended with the words: “I had promised not to talk to you after selling Ashton to your lot, but I suppose I had better make an exception in this instance”.

Let me assure you it was born out of the need to find a new room for a lesson that I teach every week and had nothing to do with me 'selling out to the enemy', as was suggested by others in my office who frequently refer to my City worship as “a yellow disease rivalling jaundice”.

So then, he will be pulling on the claret and blue, only a week later than had been predicted (injury permitting), and the fury rages on about how much he was allowed to profit from his transfer to the East End club. I could join the debate here and now but, in honesty, I feel that he has gone and we must look to the future, to getting behind those players that remain, and to watching with interest as the profits from our most lucrative sale ever are slowly but surely spent.

And so to where the money needs spending? Which areas of the pitch do we still seem light in and what I needs to be our prime consideration?

Yes we're a striker down now and that will be a priority I'm sure. However, I still feel we lack real creativity in the midfield, especially on the right side. I would have loved us to sign West Brom's Jason Koumas on a season-long loan months ago not least because of his versatility in that vital part of the pitch, but Cardiff had the foresight to snap him up.

Despite appearing to have a wealth of bodies in the midfield engine room it is still glaringly obvious that in the absence of the Moroccan maestro we are missing someone to put their foot on the ball, calm things down, consistently find players wearing the same shirt, place the ball on a sixpence more than 20 metres away and turn defence into attack by passing to feet rather than hoofing it upfield more in hope than belief.

Certainly there were more glimpses against Watford of what Messrs Jarrett and Etuhu (henceforth known as Desmond as so many fans around me continue to call him 'E-tutu') can do and may be given time to really gel, but if the play-offs are to remain a target for this season, however remote, then this may well be another area that needs some attention. Defensively I'm not so sure.

For the most part Messrs Fleming and Doherty have done well when backed up by solid full backs but the loss of Adam Drury was noticeable during the Hornets' recent visit, and despite criticism from some quarters about his apparent inability to get forward, I think Jurgen Colin's attacking play has been somewhat limited anyway by the afore-mentioned lack of anyone creative out on the right.

Certainly plenty of food for thought in the City boardroom and the canteen at Colney over a welcome cuppa, and I'm sure there will be as many different opinions to mine as there are egg recipes in my cookery books.

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