Rotherham United are currently nineteenth in the Championship having just suffered back-to-back losses away from home.
The first of these losses was on Tuesday night at Villa Park when Millers Manager Paul Warne said that, looking at the Villa bench, they were ‘different gravy’. At the moment he’s right – they are beef gravy and we are looking frankly like a veggie substitute.
If we are being honest I don’t think anyone would have thought we could bring anything back from Villa Park on that Tuesday night. We didn’t play brilliantly and, if we are being truthful, Villa really didn’t need to get out of second gear.
Saturday at the City Ground against Nottingham Forest it might have been different. I don’t think Forest were anywhere near Villa in their play and if the Millers had taken one of those early chances they had and it had gone into the net, well, who knows, it could have been our first away point or points of the season. I don’t remember Marek Rodak in the Millers goal having to put himself out too much before the penalty.
Villa’s three subs consisted of Albert Adomah who cost Middlesbrough £1,000,000 in 2013 and I’d have expected him to have fetched around the same money when he moved to Villa Park, Yannick Bolaise who is on loan from Everton who stretched their budget in 2016 by a rumoured £20,000,000 plus former Barnsley defender James Bree who probably didn’t cost them that much in the long run of the thing (though I’d bet more than any player the Millers have on their books).
Former Miller Lewis Grabban, who scored the penalty for Forest on Saturday, cost £6,000,000 in the summer from Bournemouth – we got him on a free in 2011 from Millwall. Midfielder Joao Carvalho was a cool £13,200,000 from Benfica while Leeds charged Forest £1,000,000 for Liam Bridcott in 2017.
Most of the Millers players were freebies. We did pay money for some Manny Onariase, Anthony Forde, Matty Palmer, Jamie Proctor, Michael Smith, Jon Taylor but I’d like to bet it’s nothing like what other clubs have paid.
In a recent fans’ forum at the New York Stadium both Chairman Tony Stewart and Warne said they didn’t want any ‘big time charlies’ at the club and I do understand what they are saying. Warney likes his dressing room to have a family feeling, each player and their families to have a togetherness. And I do applaud them for that but I am now wondering if it’s not time to be thinking about ‘splashing the cash’ in January.
I do think we need to do something to compete in this division. It could be that a brilliant player who can’t get into his own first team for some reason comes up on a loan deal who would be just great for the Millers. But, wouldn’t that player obviously try and go to a team who is in the top half of the table?
On the other hand my sensible head says we don’t want to go berserk and spend money willy-nilly and get ourselves into debt like other teams have done. We’ve got to keep an eye on those finances. We don’t want to find ourselves a couple of years down the line getting points deducted for financial problems (been there, done that, bought the t-shirt).
But, I do think we need help and if that means spending cash on a player in January until the end of the season who can do that, then sobeit.