Bumping this because there seems to be a lot of Brands talk creeping it's way into loads of threads, so maybe it's time to have a more focussed reflection on his time here?
I'll set my stall out; I don't think he's doing anywhere near as bad a job as some are making out, and it was always going to be a much longer process than many on here had envisaged.
My thoughts on his buys where they're at:
- Richarlison - Great buy, probably our best player, big future.
- Digne - Another excellent acquisition, been quality since day one.
- Mina - Again, a solid acquisition. Endured an injury hit first season which gives a false impression of him I think.
- Zouma (L) - Was solid during his time here, would have been a solid acquisition, Chelsea obviously didn't want to sell.
- Sidibe (L) - A mixed bag, probably not good enough but if it was only a season cover to get Kenny up to speed then understandable.
- Lossl - Hard to make an assessment when he never really got a look in. Provided cover, nothing more.
- Virginia - Young up and coming GK that is/was worth a punt? As above really.
- Bernard - Copping a lot of flack recently but has shown that he is capable of performing at this level, form has been patchy but a good manager should get the best out of him.
- Gomes - Despite recent opinions everyone was in agreement (well, mostly) that we should sign him after a successful loan. Foot falling off can't have helped!
- Gbamin - mightily unlucky on this one, that's all there is to say really. Hopefully he gets to prove himself.
- Kean - Young and raw, needs game time and we can all see it. When an opportunity to sign one of the hottest prospects in European football presents itself you don't turn it down though. Not one to be assessed now, patience is needed.
- Iwobi - This one for me is the one that stands out at the moment. Looks really lost and despite a couple of decent cameos has been the case for much of the season. I'm not one to give up on a player but this is testing. Hard to see what he was brought in for as doesn't seem to have a particular role.
- Delph - Hmmm, a very unpopular signing that really hasn't done much to endear himself to the fans.
So, that's 13 major incomings with only 2 real black marks against them. I think you're being extremely harsh to suggest otherwise, but this is an opinions game after all.
To add context to his role I think we should also take into account the absolute shit show he inherited and the work needed in 'clearing the decks'...
- Funes Mori
17 players shifted as actual transfers, another 26 outgoing loans of mostly unwanted players and 4 released players. So that's 47 outgoing deals by my calculations.
I think the enormity of the task he's faced / is facing is sometimes lost on us, and that for the most part, bar one or two blips his dealings have been good. There are still deficiencies in the squad of course, but we are in a far healthier position to build on than when he arrived, as hard as that is to accept when we're watching dross like tonight and against Spurs.
Anyway, that's my 2 cents on Brands
I think this is the very generous side of the spectrum. Richarlison wasnít his signing for example.
No doubt weíll see the other side of the spectrum from some people in this thread.
For me itís somewhere in between.
He had a massive job and has slowly reduced the wage bill, the average age of the squad and improved its overall quality.
But, he left silva with a thankless task this season and has left the squad extremely unbalanced.
He has to take responsibility for the state the midfield is in.
The warning signs were there with Gomes. A smarter director of football avoids making that signing permanent.
Delph was a horrible piece of business and the type of signing I thought brands would stop when he came in.
Gbamin has been very unlucky but even if he stayed fit, whatís around him isnít good enough.
Last summer the priority was a midfield overhaul and itís not better than it was.
Gomes, Delph and gbamin was that midfield overhaul, whilst £60m was spent on iwobi and kean, two players who donít fit into this squad.
Maybe we will see both of them come good over the years, and itís they are the type of signings we should make, but I feel like they were signed for the sake of it with no thought process on how they would fit into the squad.
I thought he would be a lot smarter in the market tbh. Iíve been disappointed in him and itís a long process but Iím not sure I have faith in him to sort out this mess of a squad.
Iím at the stage of giving Carlo free run in the market and letting brands sort out other sides of the club.