Nick Shorey and Nigel Reo-Coker are apparently off in January according to Dave Armitage at the Daily Star. Now, there are no quotes and you could say that Dave is only really writing what we all suspect, but it is worth a mention, because January comes in just over six weeks.
In six weeks time we would have played Burnley, Spurs, Hull, Manchester United, Sunderland, Stoke, Arsenal and Liverpool. We will also know if we are in the semi-finals of the League Cup. Come January 1st we will be over half way through the season.
My point is, the last two seasons, when we have been in the position where some proper strengthening could really have helped us, we didn't. If, come January 1st, we are within touching distance, we have to bring in something new to strengthen the squad and maybe not in terms of numbers, but mentally.
Yes, Liverpool are weaker and you could argue they have been replaced by Manchester City, but look at the league table and look at their players. One wants to leave in January, one is talking about retiring from the game. They have mere mercenaries, not interested in the game of football and a manager who has blown it (look at the money he spent on Roque Santa Cruz for a great example of a manager that doesn't really know what he is doing).
My point is, forget Manchester City for this season. They will come good, but not this one. Liverpool are in a real mess and it really wouldn't surprise me if it all went wrong for them this season and unless it is fixed quickly, you have to wonder what could happen to them as a club.
My point is. If Reo-Coker and Shorey go and we get £6mn for them, we should be able to get another £6mn for Heskey and Harewood. Our owner has to put in £6mn and that money has to be spent on a marquee player or two. I know it sounds strange me writing this, but sometimes just having that player can make the difference. We could reduce in numbers but become stronger and numbers are actually not that important to O'Neill.
But things like this need to be arranged now. All the ducks need to be lined up and ready to go from January 1st so everything can get done quickly and effectively and not dragged out to January 31st when we would have played four league games (or to put it another way, over 20% of the games remaining or the difference between finishing where we did last season and fourth).
But, these are just rumours. I actually quite fancy that we are going to see a player join us that might not be considered the marquee player, but could turn into it. I fancy that Steven Defour might finally be coming now that a more reasonable fee can be agreed, but that is just a hunch.
Did you see the game last night? If you didn't you will know what happened because it is everywhere today. Thierry Henry cheated for the French goal and I don't think you can call it anything else. Maybe the first handball was an accident, but the way he used his hand to keep the ball in play wasn't.
Then you've got the diving. Most will forget about this and the only reason I bring up the French today is because I'm actually a little surprised that there is all this media coverage over something that happens every single week in the Premier League. Yes, it is hard for the Irish but this happens all the time.
I only really bring this up because all it has done is show the French as cheats and you've got to wonder why so much seemed to go for them last night. Could it be that someone wanted the French to succeed over the Irish - I mean, would they really lose that much money if the French didn't make the trip to South Africa.
The thing is, while the French will be called cheats for a few weeks and it will be remembered by the Irish for years to come. If it was the Irish that did it or let's say it was the English that did it in the final against Germany next year - how would we react then?