As the transfer season comes to a close, we can look back on a veritable merry-go-round summer that saw almost all the top clubs change managers, many players make high-profile switches and we’re left with a few tantalizing last-minute negotiations that could yet usurp their predecessors in terms of impact and (more likely) in terms of fiscal profligacy.
Bale-ing on Madrid:
We begin with the much hyped, much discussed, much anticipated and now finally looking like transpiring move for Welsh winger Gareth Bale. Gareth had been touted as the next Cristiano Ronaldo, which ipso-facto led to an interest from Real Madrid. After declaring months ago that an agreement had been reached, Real President Florentino Perez must be wondering why the Real left wing still looks Bale-bereft. That question’s left most neutrals flummoxed.
Surely, the richest club in Spain would have met any asking price and surely Gareth would have pounced at the opportunity of playing Champions League Football- so where then is the Bale-Ronaldo partnership everyone wants to see? I believe a certain Andre-Vilas Boas had thrown a spanner in the works but now, it appears, all is well for Mr. Perez and his troops and Gareth has jet-setted off to Malaga where he lurks till the smart people churn out the nitty-gritties.
The bigger question, though, remains unanswered- why? Also, how much? Though that would get cleared up once the smart folk are done churning. After really just one outstanding season, Perez seems willing to expend 100 million pounds to bring him to the Bernabeu- where, no doubt, he’ll see the “Real” thing.
Cristiano Ronaldo does what Bale does- err, better. Ronaldo has been scoring at almost a goal a game since he completed the richest transfer in football history in 2009. He had also scored 20 plus goals a season for three successive seasons at Manchester United before his transfer- confirming his status as one of the world’s best even prior to the move. If 80 million pounds delivered that, what exactly will the Madrid hierarchy expect from 100 million? No pressure, Gareth.
The long-term success or failure of the move will be greatly influenced by the patience of the Madridistas, but this writer feels Bale would benefit from another season at Tottenham. If he scores 20 plus goals again, he gains massive confidence and establishes consistency- and indeed the suitors again come calling. And it’s much easier to play your best when there isn’t a price-tag sufficient to buy most companies hanging over your head!
No way, Jose:
“The last piece of my puzzle is missing. I need the last piece”- my five year old nephew. Also, Jose Mourinho on Wayne Rooney.
Jose is an absolute master- at sneaking players to hotel rooms and stealing transfers from other clubs. And making all of it public! Many would think I’m sledging Jose, but I’m actually complimenting him. He’s honest about how he does his work and he’s open about players he targets- such a refreshing change to managers who remain nondescript throughout the window and end up signing Olivier Giroud.
A master of mental manipulation, Jose has pulled out every weapon in his arsenal to yank Wayne Rooney to Stamford Bridge. The response from United has been akin to a possum’s response to any kind of physical threat- play dead till it goes away. And, away Jose went- to White Hart Lane as it turned out, which Willian evidently thought was Chelsea’s home stadium.
Without any shadow of a doubt the most compelling club at the end of the transfer window, Arsenal F.C. once again earns lines in my transfer analysis- simply because once again, no-one has any idea who or what they will procure. The one thing I am absolutely certain of is that they will sign somebody- and history backs me up on that.
They surged for Luis Suarez and Wayne Rooney- but Liverpool’s pessimism and United’s “possum”ism ensured that nothing materialized there. Lukas Podolski’s injury makes the need for new players more pressing- especially considering that 21 players on the pay-roll were given the boot this summer. Side-note: how, pray tell, will they ever cope without Sebastian Squillaci?
Wenger has promised that quality will not be compromised, but this writer can’t see how that is possible. There aren’t many quality players that get signed hurriedly last-minute and there’s been no talk of any potential big-money buy. Whatever Arsene has up his sleeve, Gunners hope to see it transpire soon- maybe within the next four days?
Whatever be the outcomes, this window has been engrossing in many different ways- and the last few days usually tend to be the best. So sit back, relax and juxtapose our dwindling currency rate with European Football’s spiralling transfer rates.