Smith does illustrate an interestng point. Wigan could sign Hardaker, say, but while he is a far better player than Smith, Smith is worth more to us because his ability to stick to a passing plan and kick effectively makes him a decent Deacon replacement. We have runners galore and plenty of big lads - they need to be pointed in the right direction.
If you contrast that with Saints, say, they looked to this observer to have 2 very conspicuous weaknesses. Their back 5 were no threat in attack, and they need decent props. They look to have tried to remedy the first, but signing Manu just adds depth to a deep pool of second rowers. It's all about team building.
I always thought it daft of Saints to let Smith go as he is the kind of half back every team needs, not flash but someone who can work a team around a football field. I know Long really wanted to keep him at Salford, and whilst you might question Long's judgment on many things in life, I would back him to know a good half back when he sees one.
Saints are desperately short of biff in the pack, have been for a while and for some reason haven't really done anything to rectify it. The young signing from Batley looks a good prospect but we need more like him. What's the old saying about props winning pots?
I sincerely hope that Gaskell is played more this season, he has a very good footballing brain and can work the team around the field, and went alright with Lomax in 2010. The latter is not really a scrum half and his distribution to the right is very limited, one of the reasons Shenton never really shone with the club, and as for Hohaia, a Chairman's pick with 3 more years to go and no-one knows where to play him.
Of the big four, I would say Saints currently have the most imbalanced and 'overgrown' squad and whilst we can turn anyone over on the day, I see another season without finals football.
Edited by foozler, 18 December 2012 - 06:00 PM.