Not as much to report this week because much of the stuff that would have appeared has already been covered in my reaction piece to the Celtic game. What has happened though is that Filip Kiss’ season long loan move from Slovan Bratislava has been confirmed with Malky Mackay stating that the club would look to make it a permanent deal if things went well here for the Slovakian Under 21 player who has been described as a box to box player who tends to be more defensive than attacking in his outlook. Despite my earlier misgivings about personal terms being agreed, the Kenny Miller transfer has been all but completed. Miller has passed a medical, taken part in some training sessions with us and agreement has been reached on the aforementioned terms, but we have been waiting for international clearance to come through from the Turkish end since Friday – this seems odd, given that Bursaspor were talking about needing the money from selling Miller sooner rather later about ten days ago as it was required to help them pay for the replacement striker they had lined up.
It has been reported that Miller will be presented to the press tomorrow when the signing has been completed and he may well have Rudi Gestede there with him. The former Metz striker who impressed while scoring the only goal of the match with Charlton in Seville last week flew into Cardiff on Friday to complete his move following his earlier trial period and has already had a medical – Malky Mackay was talking yesterday as if it was already a done deal. The arrival of three more players would take the number of new signings this summer up to nine, but Malky is still talking about the need for more new players and, on that score, some usually reliable “in the know” messageboard posters are saying that, contrary to what I had speculated in the post Celtic piece, the club are still pursuing Craig Bellamy as well as David Goodwillie. Our manager has spoken about us needing to stay patient about some of our targets and it may take until the end of August or even the opening of the loan transfer window in September before anything is confirmed, and, with Goodwillie’s assault case being continued into “next month” following the court hearing on Thursday, it certainly looks like it will be a while yet before his future is sorted out.
Before leaving the transfer speculation, it was reported a few days ago that City had made a bid for Nottingham Forest’s Player of the Year Luke Chambers. The centreback, who can also play at right back, has a year left on his Forest deal and had, apparently, recently been critical of the lack of new signings at the club. Certainly, Chambers would give us more pace in central defence, but he would not come cheap and so you get the impression that there may still be a fair bit left in Malky’ s transfer kitty yet even when the deal for Miller (which has been reported as costing us anything between £650,000 and £1 million) has been completed. It needs to be said though that when questioned about Chambers yesterday, our manager was keen to emphasise that the club had only made an initial enquiry about the player – if there was any more to the matter than that, then our manager wasn’t willing to talk about it. What it does tend to confirm though is that when Malky Mackay talks about us still needing defenders as well as midfield players and strikers, he means it – although some would argue we don’t need any more defenders, it looks like our manager thinks differently.
Filip Kiss was able to get some game time in when he appeared as a second half sub in yesterday lunchtime’s 2-1 friendly defeat at AFC Bournemouth. City used the same starting line up as they had done against Celtic, but, within a minute had lost Anthony Gerrard to a head injury which saw him being replaced by Dekel Keinan. Whether this disruption was responsible for the team’s slow start I don’t know, but they were already grateful to David Marshall for not being behind when a terrific left footed strike by Scott Malone from twenty five yards put the home side ahead after just eight minutes. City created little of note for the next fifty minutes or so, but, strangely, going 2-0 down after Stuart Lovell took advantage of some hesitant defending seemed to galvanise the team and they soon reduced the arrears when Martin Taylor finished off a fluent right to left move with a low shot from fifteen yards. Peter Whittingham also hit the post with a long range effort shortly after that and there were one or two other close shaves for the home defence, but the disruption caused by the stream of substitutions made in the last half an hour meant that City’s momentum was soon lost.
While no one wants to lose matches, doing so in pre season games is hardly the end of the world. However, it was disappointing to hear how often we gave the ball away in the first half in particular and, as this happened more and more as the Celtic match went on, I think it’s fair to say that our new look midfield, which looks an improvement on last season on paper to me, have yet to start proving that this is the case out on the pitch. With players still getting to know each other and the hope that the availability of more mobile strikers (Miller and Earnie may play some part at Yeovil on Tuesday, while Gestede is likely to feature prominently) will give them better options, there are genuine grounds to believe that things will start to improve soon – Craig Conway may be ready to have a bit of a run out at Yeovil as well.
Finally, just a quick mention about the EGM to be held on Thursday which should ratify the conversion of some of our debt into shares and give us more of an idea as to how healthy, or otherwise, the club’s finances are looking – more on that next week (I’ll not be able to make much sense of what’s going on, but, hopefully, I’ll be able to find a link to someone who can!).