Recruitment under the radar as Leicester might have missed a clear identifier of massive decline and big losses

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Leicester head of recruitment Martyn Glover do have a grand background in this trade, being around at a number of clubs, but still missing a massive lift in recruitment that has taken his clubs to a level far above. He has been working in the head of recruitment role or a major scouting position at Blackburn, West Ham, Leeds, Sunderland, Everton and Southampton.

Prior to Glover’s appointment, Leicester had Steve Walsh, Lee Congerton and Eduardo Macia as head of recruitment, all of them with another background and upbringing at top clubs such as Chelsea (Walsh, Congerton) and Liverpool (Macia).

The job done by the chief scouts can be crucial in the way a club moves on from one phace to another, and of course remembering the work of Steve Walsh as his recruitment must be described as excellent, getting players in that liftet the club from League Championship to Champions League in a very short time.

Looking at Glover’s work in perspective you have seen major decline shortly after or before his departure. There are positives, but mostly red light and negatives. The fact that a club sack a manager is nothing new, but the changes during the time Glover has been involved are massive, and then decline seen as players recruited has not contributed as well as planned.

Martyn Glover was a popular appointment when coming in at Leicester, described as a perfect fit, but sadly his work so far has been smashed to the floor by new interim manager Dean Smith, only playing Wout Faes as a regular starter. With both Cags and Jonny Evans fit, and the current form of Faes, john Terry, advicing on the central defender role, would probably have doubts about Faes as well.

The bond between the manager and his head of recrutiment makes a special combination as that has to be in line with what they are going to do regarding players attributes and how they believe a squad and team should be build.

Glover and Rodgers had no real background from before. The trust and belief as well as their partnership was new and had to grow in time to get everything correctly. Martyn Glover had previuosly been working with Steve Walsh at Everton, but that counts for little, as we all know how the type of play and approach to the game changed under Rodgers, going full circle from counter attacking to possession orientated.

From a distance we know that those other previous men in this role, Macia and Congerton, both are from a higher shelf, and they had a relation to Leicester either with a previous direct link by working closely with the manager in charge in other places, or a connection that makes the Glover appointment more soft and with no direct or concrete lead to follow.

Another major problem at Leicester at the moment is the way transfers are financed, with massive loans taken up to push deals through, and also in danger of being out of line, regarding FFP. This of course comes down to what type of players to approach and in what environment you will be looking.

What Leicester did in January, regarding transfers, made little or no sense at all. Since the new interim regime came in all of those players have slided down the peciking order. Ayoze Perez is a better player than Tetè every day of the week, Victor Kristiansen has limited pace and at left back in a Premier League back four he has in real little or no future. He could be a good option if Leicester decide to play with three in the back or if he is given a chance to adapt to a midfield role, still a young and very talented footballer with a good mind and understading as well as having grand passing ability.

The grim picture written of Glover is that his previous roles and recruitment has seen a decline at several clubs during years after his scouting missions as managers have been sacked in grand numbers around him. He is also one that has been working closely with Sam Allardyce over a long period of time, and we all know his style of football. He first worked as a chief scout with Big Sam at Blackburn, as they ended 10th in the Premier League in the 09/10 season. Martyn Glover was appointed chief scout in August 2009, and left his position in August 2011. In the 10/11 season Blackburn ended 15th and a season later, relegated. This is a first message of Glover’s part of recruitment, as players signed, looks to have made less impact than expected.

He followed Big Sam to West Ham and was appointed chief scout in august 2011, not really being part of the recruitment taken place prior to the 2011/12 promotion from the Championship. He was at West Ham until 2015. West Ham managed to survive and establish themselves in Premier League, seen as a mid-table team. Of all the moves made and recruitment done at West Ham, few of the players coming in had little or no long term impact, besides Cheikhou Kouyaté, Diafra Sakho, James Collins and Aaron Cresswell, looking at it in the back mirror, all clever moves. Big Sam in this period decided to pay a fee of £17million to secure the services of Andy Carroll, first a loan deal, and later a permanent move.

Glover then had a short stop at Leeds, probably being involved in the signings of Chris Wood, Stuart Dallas and Sol Bamba, Leeds not really getting the train on the track having a struggle to find their path under Uwe Rossler and later Steve Evans, as the latter and Glover parted company early on.

When Big Sam took over at Sunderland in October 2015, Glover was fast tracked and came in January 2016, being part of a survival, seeing players such as Whabi Khazri join for a fee of £9million, moving to St. Etienne two years later for £6million. Lamine Kone was another signing in that transfer window, paying £6million, later becoming a direct problem for the club as he signed a five year deal the season after, just months before relegation appeared. Kone left for Strasbourg first on loan and then on a permanent deal as the Black Cats still payed his wages.

Glover stayed at Sunderland after Big Sam left, and worked under David Moyes, seeing relegation after a difficult season and heavy money used on players such as Didier Ndong, Papy Djilobodji, Paddy McNair, Donald Love, Mika, Darren Gibson and Brian Oviedo, adding up the spendings to £37million. Later and after these transfer deals done Sunderland faced two relegations in two seasons, leading to their dreadful drop into League One. Among the players signed during Glover’s reign as head of recruitment only Ndong and McNair aquired a reasonable transfer fee on departure, so in all more than £30million of spendings had no value and players recruited did not have the quality needed to be able to even compete at a level below.

During this season, we have seen Southampton relegated, Everton and Leicester fighting for their lives, as both clubs are battling far below expectations. Different moves in this and in prior seasons must be seen in picture of recruitment policies established during Martyn Glover’s periods at the different clubs.

There are of course positives and also other matters that have influence, but his time at Sunderland, Everton, Southampton and Leicester looks to have a systematical pattern of recruitment that has failed and to see clubs like this getting a decline difficult to understand.


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