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Delfouneso Will Figure This Season

Martin O'Neill has confirmed that as late night attempts to bolster attack failed, youngster Nathan Delfouneso will become a fixture in the squad to one degree or another.

I can hear the mix of cheers and boos already.

Speaking generally about the transfer window on the official site, O'Neill is pleased with the signings he has made this window and believes he now has a 'talented group or players' at his disposal as we head further into the latest Premiership campaign.

'We didn't renew Thomas Sorensen's contract, Scott Carson returned to Liverpool and I felt we needed a goalkeeper of great experience.

'We got that in Brad Friedel but not only is he experienced, he is also a top class player.

'We have also taken on young Brad Guzan, who I think will develop into a quality 'keeper.

'We played all of last season with no recognised right-back so it was obviously an area we had to look at.

'On the left, we had no cover for Freddy and then Freddy picked up a serious injury against Odense so that forced us to bolster there.

'For all of Martin Laursen's fantastic performances and his superb attitude, he might not play every game so we needed players to fill in there too.

'Saying that, let me make it clear, it's not just about players filling in. It's about players coming in, taking their opportunity and staying in the side. It's about building a squad.

'We now have a number of central midfielders too but that's not a problem because everyone in the squad will be used.'

O'Neill obviously wanted to shore up attack, he knew that, he knew we knew that and surprisingly we knew he knew we knew that. Are you still following?

There were a number of long and short term links mentioned over the last few weeks. Kevin Doyle, Emule Heskey, Henrik Larsson, Michael Owen was my favourite if the truth be told. That said under O'Neill again I wouldn't have put money on Heskey not getting back to his best either but I digress.

At 12am nothing had happened but O'Neill stresses it wasn't for lack of trying. I know some fans were waiting for that but there isn't a conspiracy everywhere.

'It was quiet on deadline night. In an ideal world, it would have been great to sign another forward with the amount of games we have to play, but it's easier said than done.

'But have an up-and-coming striker in Nathan Delfouneso who will play some games for us and we've got Gabby, John and Marlon.'

To be honest we are still growing, we have a good chance this season already with our additions if they can continue to gel and with other clubs falling away slightly. I know attack is a problem area, we lack that player that can come off the bench regularly and change a game - Harewood is hit and miss - but I'm looking forward to seeing more of Delfouneso. In his brief appearances so far he's looked a quick, talented, skillful livewire. Some of his touches against FH for example indicated the presence of a brain. He also didn't seem to be in awe of the occassions.

The lad doesn't need any added pressure and we need to remember to keep off his back, accept his mistakes and in many ways give him a bit more breathing space than we normally give players.

But if he can find his feet and make the step up competatively, I'm probably not alone in thinking he could be the signing of the season.

Luke had the finishing and eye for goal, Gabby had the pace.....could Delboy have both?




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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday September 2 2008

Time: 3:46PM

Your Comments

I love the Fonz, give him a go.
tarzan
You're not alone in looking forward to seeing more of Delfounsou...I've admittedly been impressed with the brief times I've seen him. As for say, skillful, quick on his feet and, apparently at least, a footballing brain that Gabby lacks. And as with all players just coming through, he's got that hunger, the drive to suceed and show people what he's about. One to watch this year I think.
Mayo_12
Don't forget McGurk too.
Gordonsleftboot
I await the only fools and horses theme tune being sang whenever delboy scores a goal....!!!
industrial_musical
Delfounso is skinny as. He'll get the p*** kicked out of him in prem matches unless he's as fast as gabby.
johnnyuk
johnny, skinny don't mean s*%t. Gabbys got all the build of a bic pen and is still alive, and pace doesn't save you with your back to goal.
Mayo_12
Wasn't suggesting he's crap Mayo, only that he really is very thin and is likely to be bullied in the prem where defenders are a little more bullish than the other leagues. Reserve action and a cameo in europe against a crap team doesn't make him ready for the prem as too many other youngsters have proven. I hope he proves he is up to it, and as I suggested, if he's fast like gabby, then he may not need to bulk up quite as much. But watch gabby now, he may not be huge but he's a pretty strong kid.
johnnyuk
(to the only fools and horses theme) get the ball out to the left ashley youngs cross is deft cuz if we want that win, we'd better get it in then nathan, he's your man where he runs from is a mystery he's got the touch of barry and the speed of gabby and he's the one driving teams beserk no wonder o leary couldnt make it work la la la la la la la
bobbyfett
Gabbys bulked out a bit and lost a bit of his pace. He's still win in a race against most defenders but when playing against quality defenders (Ferdinand, Terry, Carragher) they back off him a yard, sit deep and when he does eventually get the ball itno feet they out think him and take the ball straight away. Give him a few years and he'll improve.
son_of_cher
I hope he's stronger than he looks coz he's gonna be carrying the rest of our strikers this season. He defo looks promising but i dont think he's really uefa cup material, hence the reason im still gutted we didnt sign a quality striker last night. Its gonna take time for him and gabby to develop but the prems such an unforgiving league. deserves a chance though. Stick him on
medzy
Hopefully both Nathan and Adam McGurk will get opportunities. The latter of course just returning from serious long term injuries, but he's a talent, make no mistake about that.
glensider
If injuries, suspensions or loss of form hit, we could certainly be caught short up front, but hopefully Marlon can play a bigger part in proceedings. As an impact player he's certainly proved his worth, its when he starts a game he fails to impress for whatever reason.
glensider
McGurk seems like more of a goalscorer than delfounso
liamo1981
McGurk is much better, hope his face fits. Expect Stieber to feature in a big way too.
koolbill
I think this lad has bags of skill, not sure about his finishing ability though, maybe that will come with time, maybe he just needs a goal to build his confidence in front of goal, but i wont be surprised if he is converted to a winger over time.
young_jonah
Harewoods poop, get delboy in!!!
industrial_musical
I was very impressed with him against the Icelanders. He does seem to be naturally technically gifted, and he looked really hungrey! Go for it Martin!
villa_de
what's hungrey? ;-)
koolbill
Gabby needs dropping, its that simple, show him he hasnt yet "made it"...he is in serious danger of letting it all go...
Euro_Champs_82
Im making it a point to go to the next few reserve home games to catch a glimpse of fonzy
Euro_Champs_82
How far behind the fonz is this guy McGurk that people are tipping??
Euro_Champs_82
I think to watch these "up-and-coming players" coming through and continue to improve is almost as exciting as hearing that we've just signed a top-class world striker - but I did say "almost". But all the best of luck to him "Fonzy" or "Delboy" or whatever other nicknane he acquires by the "Holtenders".UPTV
villacross
Adam McGurk was ahead of Nathan Delfouesno when the injury struck. Sais d on here before, I'll say it again. McGurk is the most talented youngster I've seen at B6 since Gary Shaw.
glensider
I agree with you liamo1981. McGurk is a more natural finisher than Nathan. He'll definitely do well given the opportunity, both of them will, but I definitely think McGurk is the better of the two.
glensider
 

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