|Loan Rangers - Short-Term Fixes Versus Real Solutions|
written by SheffieldBlue1 Monday, 8th Jul 2013 12:06
Wonga. The very word wonga has undergone amelioration in recent years. It used to represent light-hearted cockney slang for money, uttered only by the most hardened of eastenders in London.
Now, it is the flagship enterprise for the short-term loan companies, whose proliferation shows an inherent rise in short-term fixes to the most intrinsic, fundamental problems.
On a daily basis we are yelled at from the TV in our front rooms about the 'sensible choice' that short-term loans represent. This is then made to look easy and amenable through a jolly man shouting catchphrases, on-screen money sliders and a woman looking suddenly thrilled that she can pay the gas bill.
All of this is, of course, to cover-up the innate financial drawbacks of such a deal, through their super high rates of interest and APR of up to 4,214%. Once again, these loans provide short-term fixes to problems that are much more deep lying, and can provide more problems than they solve.
This, as any Ipswich fan who remembers last season's transfer dealings, is comparable to how the loan system in the Championship can be conceptualised. Ipswich last year had 15 loan signings, each one brought in to patch up a hole in the squad. I defy anyone who claims they can name every one of the aforementioned loan signings from last year. Tyrone Barnett anyone? No? Me neither.
I am not claiming that all loan signings are fundamentally flawed, as Ipswich has had some success in this market in recent years. Just look at Jack Colback, DJ Campbell and of course, that behemoth of men, Gio.
It's reported today that our glorious leader Mick McCarthy is planning to loan some "top, young, Premier League talent" next season [McCarthy stated his intention to use the loan market in April - TWTD Ed]. The point I am trying to stress is that these loans should only be made if they are to supplement an already stable squad, rather than to paper over the cracks in certain positions, or to just fill out the squad.
For instance, it is well known that Ipswich need another right-back. But the players claimed today to be those that Mick is targeting for this position seem to be the wrong type of player. The two players being mooted are John Flanagan from Liverpool and Adam Smith from Spurs. Both players do have their obvious merits, Flanagan is an England U21 international, whilst Smith has a lot of experience from being loaned out to other Football League clubs.
But, both players are only 20. Surely a loan for a young right-back is counter-productive, as Elliott Hewitt as shown how competent he is at that position, and needs an older player to learn from. Stearman last season is a perfect example of this.
Another player who has been suggested is Harry Kane, also from Tottenham. He is a striker with a proven pedigree at this level, having impressed for Millwall during a loan spell there. But, once again, this would appear to me to be an unnecessary loan. Town, for the first time in a while, have a plethora of strikers, who even have various different strengths. For pace and trickery, we have David McGoldrick and Paul Taylor. For strength and work-rate, we have Frank Nouble and Daryl Murphy. For whining on Twitter, we have Chopra. A loan in this area makes no logistical sense.
The only areas I personally think a young Premier League loan would be appropriate is for cover at centre-back, on the wings and perhaps in the attacking central midfield berth. Loans in these areas wouldn't be a player coming in to fill a gap, but to supplement an already talented squad.
To conclude, I am fully confident that Mick McCarthy is not going to revert back to the short term loans that proved so infuriating and unstable last season. The loans he does bring however, I hope are brought in to complement an already stable squad. If this system of sensible loans is adhered to, I believe Ipswich can have their most competitive season in years.
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