I must confess to not quite seeing the brilliant side of this deal.
Is Kovac to be considered a multipurpose cover for the Upson, Collins, Parker and Noble? That I wouldn’t have a big problem with, even though it does not feel like a deal in line with the famous “Football Project”.
Is he a Mullins stand-in? With Hayden gone we don’t have a player that we can use to “close down the game” (if Hayden was ever any good at that, I’m not sure), but is this function a priority?
Or are we preparing ourselves for a life without Parker next season?

If he is to get significant time on the pitch, who has to make way?
One of the most important parts in developing our team and to take it to the next level is to make sure that Noble fulfills his potential. Even though Noble put on a very decent performance against Hull one could argue that he does not always shine against better sides, but are we about to field defensive and offensive lineups? Certainly there are situations that calls for changes in what players are fielded depending on what opposition we are facing, but if the manager brings in a 30 year old player to take away any significant part of Nobles time on the pitch I’m confused.

However, I have a major objection to my own reasoning in this post - Zola and Clarke have gained my full confidence, so I guess I should just shut up and enjoy the ride – but then I wouldn’t be a blogger would I?


Farbror the Guru said...

for your Right
to Blog!
(to be singed to a familiar tone)

Prince H said...

I guess we actually do have a case to discuss here. And I think it is Clarke who has been the most eager man here. As he seems to be a genius in defensive play I don't mind he won the discussion with Zola. Cause Zola let Mullins go, but Clarke wants someone who really can close games. A player who in games where the opposition will put a lot of pressure on us (read top four) can - with experience and toughness - do the job. He can see that the midfield in those moments has to be more reliable than for instance Noble/Collison are. How well they do play they can't make it in all games. So by having a much more recognized player than Mullins here, it will give Zola some chance to mix the team a bit, depending on the opposition. I for instance wouldn't mind even an another midfielder. The one who can deliver the magic creative passes from the middle of the field. That's not because I don't trust the four who have started lately and done a very good job. But shouldn't a team have som different possibilites?
Allright Kovac is 29, but let's see the facts. Zola builds a team with a lot of younger players, but he do not rush them into the first eleven, don't put TOO much pressure on them. If he is not certain they can cope with it (read Savio), He relys on Di Michele more than Sears. But I guess he has a lot give to Sears in training. When rthe youngster is ready he will be. Until then, Zola may be well aware that a good Czech, soon 30, is there to play it safe. And Clarke will smile a bit undercover.

Joppe - said...

I'm no big fan of changing lineups between games, and I think I have statistics that prove that most teams performs better with few alterations.
However, I understand your reasoning and I do agree with you on the problems you point out. But maybe we dissagre on how that should be solved.
Zola has transformed this team by working with it. I feel Noble need to play regularly under Zolas/Clarkes guidance, as did Cole, to fulfil his potential. Noble has been in the fist squad since 2004 and even though he is still only a 21 year old kid he should be more and more involved.

But as long as you agree that Kovac should be used as a player for special occations and not take away our youngsters opportunities I'm with you.

But how is that in line with squad reduction?

Joppe - said...

Oh I forgot to say that my argument in the comment above is based on the assumption that he is to be used in the midfield. I aso forgot emphasize that I trust Zola/Clarke on this one as well, I just dont quite understand it.

Farbror the Guru said...

On Loan it is!

Joppe - said...


Prince H said...

Outs (some on loan): Etherington, Bowyer, Reid, Bellamy, Quashie, Walker, Widdowson, Mullins.

Probably outs: Faubert, Davenport.

Sum: 10 (8) players.

Ins: Savio, Kovac.

I think that is reducing the squad, but I may count wrong ;-D.

Well, I also like a continual plan, and players that plays continuously. And I do also feel that's best fot the team. But to think that we can reduce a team to just eleven men, is to think that nothing can happen, that noone will be red-carded or suspended, that noone will get crooked. A bit naive I would say, We can't and will not play Collison-Parker-Noble-Behrami all year. (It's just Cole that have a body that never get's hurt!) And when Bowyer, Mullins and is Quashie gone we do not have any cover in this position at all. And I guess it's a position that Clarke (and Zola) think is of high value. So I don't agree on this matter either!

Joppe - said...

This post was written since I am somewhat concerned that this 29 year old recruit will take away playing opportunities for our youngsters, youngsters that are doing a great job at the moment, and that is something I wouldn't like.
Fuelling my fears, the talk about him has been in the line of "we have a great player comming in".

My second sentence in the post was:
Is Kovac to be considered a multipurpose cover for the Upson, Collins, Parker and Noble? That I wouldn’t have a big problem with, even though it does not feel like a deal in line with the famous “Football Project”.

So either he is a great player that will play a significant part of this campaign, maybe in a attempt to push for Europe, and that I think is contradictory to the "Fottball Project" or he is "Kover Kovacs" - something I can live with.