Sadly, I think we should look to move Gardner on.

I’ve hinted at this a couple of times in the last few weeks, but it seems the media have suddenly caught up and they’re all over it.
It’s with much reluctance that I think Gary Garner has to go in the summer.

Well, quite simply, I don’t think he’s shown enough for us.
The odd goal apart (and who can forget that one against our local rivals?), I don’t see what he adds to the top eleven.
He doesn’t offer enough in attack and I can’t see how he stiffens our defence either.
So basically, he’s at best, a squad player. Who, given that he’s recently been awarded a new 4 year plus contract, is probably expensive too.
Which leaves a bit of a dilemma, as you have to ask who might be able to afford/want to buy him?
I forget who made that decision, but it’s yet another shocker that I thought the Villa were getting away from.

Still, it’s done and we have another expensive player, for what he is, who isn’t going to get in above Bruce’s choices.
Actually, that’s not strictly true, as he has been given starts, which I suspect have been requested from higher authorities than the manager.
And he’s produced nothing whatsoever.
It’s not like he’s a kid anymore either.
He’s 24 and should be approaching his peak.

In which case, I’d suggest that Bruce would be well justified in saying he wants him replaced with better.
I’d even suggest Tshibola is a better bet, but I don’t choose.

It’s always difficult to say one of our own isn’t good enough and the club’s apparent seeming to want to prove that they can turn young players out is admirable.
But the fact is, we don’t.
And Gardner is yet another who doesn’t make the top level.

A loan back to Forest would seem favourite, at yet no doubt another loss, financially.


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  1. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 April 12, 2017 at 7:53 am . Reply

    ‘We’re not a Prem club’ is the key point Badger but even Prem clubs have squads with varying levels of ability – not every player is going to be top class or regularly get on the team sheet. Football is a squad game and the question for me is whether we keep Gardner or Tshibola – not both – although if SB intends to move Jedi to CB next season then there might be an argument for keeping both as they can fill that role or will he buy a new holding midfield player?

    I’m not convinced SB would be prepared to keep or sign players against his better judgement but then nothing reallly surprises me in football.

    SB has intimated there will be a clear out of the loan players and that he will look to sign two/three to improve us. Assuming he keeps Johnstone where would you prioritise in the summer?

    1. TexasJohnny
      TexasJohnny April 12, 2017 at 5:16 pm . Reply

      I think the wings have got to be priority. Adomah is a decent player at this level, but I think we missed out on Brady for the left. Add that bit of flair on the left who actually contributes assists/goals and then the balance of the team is looking good. Andre is a good prospect there, but possibly too much to expect regular contributions yet.

      Personally I see a LM, another CB since I don’t think Elphick will stay and possibly a holding CM. Depending on what happens with McCormack and Kodija, we may go in for another striker.

      Of our loanees, I’d have liked to see Veretout in the middle again – I think he’s better than Lasbury but is maybe more similar to Hourihane at present. Bjarnason remains a mystery too. He was actually the player I was most excited about signing but most disappointed in so far.

      I think we should ditch Gil, Gabby, McCormack, Elpick then we’ve got Sanchez, Gollini and Cissokho who we’ll never see at Villa again and that’s a decent amount of wage money freed up to consolidate for the coming season.

      1. Hitchens 60
        Hitchens 60 April 12, 2017 at 6:05 pm . Reply

        Pretty good calls all round TJ. Definitely agree we should look for a specialist left wing attacker which would allow Grealish to play the No10 role to which (in my humble opinion) he is best suited.

        Don’t think the Amavi experiment is working (disappointing) so wouldn’t be surprised to see him depart in the summer.

        Mail suggested that Thor could play the mid field holding role with Jedi moving to a CB role.

        Who’d be a manager 🙂

  2. Dave67
    Dave67 April 12, 2017 at 1:52 pm . Reply

    I am just back from a weeks holiday in Italy in a place called Lucca need another week to recover.
    Gardner, I was expecting more of him this season. There was plenty of talk about him at Forest on loan. There is always a risk selling a player at 24 then 2 years later he is a wanted man. To me at this moment he is not cutting the grade. Squad player at best.

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