It now appears that investment in new players is coming to a premature halt. What happens this coming season (at least) will be left essentially to those players left over following the departure of Ashley Young, Downing, Friedel, Reo-Coker and several others. Cuellar is another who might leave.
What is alarming is that the players that are left leave precious little cover for the full-back department and there are two main groups of players - those that are rapidly approaching pensionable age and those that are still too young to be considered for permanent first team selection. Players falling in-between those categories (such as Agbonlahor, Ireland and Delph) have questions hanging over their heads, though another (Bent) should be considered as 'safe'.
The situation now seems rather akin to where we stood in the 3 years preceding each of 1934, 1954, 1964, 1984 and 2004. In each case a peak had been passed and the club then went into deep depression culminating in disaster in 1936, 1967 and 1987. It was a too-close-for-comfort call in 1956, and 2007 could easily have been a disaster year if Randy Lerner had not stepped in the year before. It did not happen in the 1970s nor the 1990s as the club was positively investing in the team during those times.
In 2011 we are moving towards 2014 and a potential disaster in 2016/17.
I have lived through all the decades and troubles since 1950 and feel that history can easily repeat itself the way things are. I hope not..