Tales from not-the Top Flight

Aston Villa have been at it again this week in the transfer market and it seem Steve Bruce seems to be shopping exclusively for experience going by his latest signings. Glenn Whelan joined Villa after a very solid nine years at Stoke where he became a bit of a cult hero for the Potters. Whelan is a very good signing for Steve Bruce’s boys as he brings a wealth of experience and more importantly knows the division very well and has been playing regularly last season. Whelan may be 33 but I reckon he still has a lot to offer on the pitch and will be well liked by the Villa faithful.

A slightly more bizarre signing for Villa is 33 year old Chris Samba. Yes I’d forgotten he was a thing as well but apparently he is and Samba will be gracing the Championship next season. This signing makes no sense to me. Samba was last seen in England playing poorly for QPR four years ago. Since then he’s been spending time sitting on the bench in Russia and Greece so what exactly possessed Steve Bruce to go out and buy him is unclear. A centre back partnership of John Terry and Chris Samba certainly boasts a lot of experience, but it also boasts the speed of a large glacier.

Ahmed Elmohamady has also signed for Aston Villa, which by my calculations makes this the 112th time Steve Bruce has signed the Egyptian international, who can of course be deployed at both right back and right midfield. At 29 he’s a relative rookie compared to his teammates but his versatility and experience will come in very handy for Steve Bruce and if Villa do preform well this season I’m sure Elmo will have chipped in. Bruce has also re-signed Sam Johnstone on loan. The Man United keeper is just 24, which makes him pretty much an embryo compared to 36 year old teammate John Terry.

In other news Hull City are doing their best to make sure they have no senior players on the books at all as they sold Andrew Robertson last week. Middlesbrough have continued to strengthen their ranks as they signed Irish international goalkeeper Darren Randolph. Nottingham Forest signed Daryl Murphy, which is actually quite surprising. At 34 years old you would’ve thought that Steve Bruce would have snapped him up.

The Championship starts in just under a fortnight and next week I will be trying to predict the whole table, which usually goes very well so look forward to that.