Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Smertin on his way

Alexei Smertin is on the verge of signing a deal with Russian club Dinamo Moscow and hopes to play in the Russian Cup on March 13th. There is nothing that Charlton can do about this as he is a Chelsea player on loan to us who could be recalled at any time. Russia is a not a member of the European Union and is not bound by the deal on transfer windows that was struck to bring football into compliance with EU competition policy.

There have been broadly two reactions from the Addickted. One is that we started the season with the best midfield partnership we have ever had (Smertin and Spurphy) and what has gone wrong that has led to the departure of both of them?

The other view is that, as soon as Rommedahl is fully fit, this allows Curbs to place Thomas and Rommedahl on the wing and put Ambrose and Kish back in the centre where they belong. It might also provide an opportunity to use other players such as Lloyd Sam, once he is match fit.

I was full of admiration for Smertin earlier in the season, but felt that his performances had deteriorated, perhaps because he was 'unsettled'. He was great at keeping the ball, but poor at shooting. This does, of course, underline the need for strengthening the midfield in the summer and my view is that the odds on Lee Bowyer returning to the club have shortened.


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