My friend’s sister ‘s cousin ‘s boyfriend ‘s auntie cuts Gareth Southgate’s nasal hair and she’s heard that Bruce knew that he was leaving Latics in January which was why he tried to scupper the Palacios deal with talk of Man City so he could buy him for his new club.
He tapped Cattermole up then and also decided not to bring Hendry Thomas in so that he could get used to the premier league and start this season flying. He also decided to arrange hardly any pre-season games for Latics so they wouldn ‘t be ready for this season.
Ok, so it ‘s a completely mad suggestion but there is a serious point in there. There are two things that are really costing Latics in terms of performance right now and that is a lack of experience in midfield and the players ‘still learning’ their way into the formation/style of play.
It ‘s obvious that Latics would be in a better position if Cattermole had stayed, but there ‘s more. If Thomas had come in during the last transfer window then he’d be six months further on in his learning curve. Six months is pretty much the time where Palacios and Figueroa started to show their real abilities and became real Premier League players.
Also, a team in our situation needs time on the pitch together in ‘proper’ matches. I ‘ve always thought that Latics ‘ pre-seasons have been light on real games but this season ‘s seemed lighter than ever. The Villa game suggested that Latics weren ‘t undercooked going into the real stuff, but events since more than counter that. Even just a couple more games would mean the team were that bit more used to each other and the Martinez game plan.
The common theme in all of these is that Martinez was pretty much powerless to do anything, Cattermole excepted; everything needed doing whilst Bruce was manager of the club.
Imagine if Bruce had decided that he was going to leave Latics in January, imagine he knew that he was going to another Premier League side. Imagine he could do something to scupper the chances of a rival, without anyone realising.
Paranoid? I think so. Seen too many episodes of “Dream Team”? Definitely. Wrong? You decide…
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