The Oxford English Dictionary may have elected to give ‘austerity’ an extended sabbatical after seven years of hard graft, but it seems the hard-working word has been moonlighting as director of football at Aston Villa and West Brom.
After struggling against relegation in 2013/14, both sides have set about signing a raft of players with more combined miles of misery and mediocrity on the clock than Keith Chegwin’s agent.
Five points above the drop when the curtain came down last term, with star striker Christian Benteke coming back from an Achilles injury, Villa are 7/2 for demotion.
The signings of Joe Cole and Philippe Senderos are certainly unlikely to have the Holt End doing the Poznan any time soon.
Senderos was relegated in a Fulham shirt last term; while Cole was afforded a mere six starts in a struggling West Ham side crying out for the creativity he’ll supposedly bring to Villa Park.
Now the Daily Mail have revealed the Villans are in talks to fortify their ranks further with eminently average former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner.
“Meh”, as the youngsters would say, “Meh”…
Yet the road into the Villa car park may as well be laid with red carpet, so Hollywood are they in comparison to the acquisitions of West Brom.
Admittedly the Baggies, 5/2 for the drop in 2014/15, may have added the capable Joleon Lescott but Chris Baird and Craig Gardner have also clambered aboard.
Baird was binned off by top-flight new boys Burnley recently, while Gardner made just seven starts for Sunderland after Gus Poyet took over in mid-October last term.
While the Throstles’ business may not yet be concluded, rumours linking them to Australian international left-back Jason Davidson, released by Eredivise relegation battlers Heracles Almelo this summer, are little more exiciting.