Tuesday, September 03, 2013
Thank you Mr Wenger
There are certain players who I think you can admire, even secretly wish they played for your club regardless of your tribal affiliations. In the past I would have paid money (and indeed did) to see Kenny Dalglish, George Best, Gary Lineker and Ryan Giggs, among others and get pleasure from simply being in the presence of their footballing ability. Over the years I, through the wonders of television, have enjoyed the exploits of Franz Beckenbauer, Paolo Maldini, Bobby Baggio and latterly Robert Lewandowski. In the current mental drawer marked 'wish he had signed for us' are among others Lionel Messi, Zlatan and Mesut Özil.
It was no surprise to read this morning comments from Gooners about them walking around with smiles on their faces, this was in contrast to the gloomy demeanour of many yesterday who couldn't see beyond the 'where does this leave Jack Wilshire?' moans and groans. I would suggest it leaves Jack Wilshire as a team mate of a player who is not only admired but coveted by many of the top clubs across Europe. A player who Sir Alex Ferguson wanted to sign for Manchester United, who Pep Guardiola wanted to sign for Barcelona and who Laurent Blanc wanted to sign for PSG but who for some strange reason Carlo Ancelotti couldn't find a place for in his current line-up other than stuck out on the wing leaving him, to borrow from Paul Merson, like a fish up a tree.
Özil is a quality player, a genuine world class talent who has signed for a big club who play in a league that isn't exactly overflowing with world class talent at present. All I ask is that on Boxing Day and 12th April 2014 he has a bad day at the office.
Talking of deadline day transfers, as we were, what is happening at Manchester United? The on-off transfer of Ander Herrera was brought to a bizarre conclusion with three 'imposters' apparently pitching up at the offices of Athletic Bilbao, presumably they weren't going to kidnap him using a banana as a gun and drive him away in the boot of a hire car, this was followed by a last ditch attempt to sign Sami Khedira and Fabio Coentrao in a grab at the pick n mix counter and finally resolved when they managed to separate Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines long enough for the Belgian to sign for £27.5 million. That's £4 million more than they could have signed him six weeks ago!
Fellaini has never shown, to me anyway, the slightest hint that he might be good enough for a club the size of United. Yes, he may have a similar disciplinary record to Roy Keane or Eric Cantona but his erratic performances at Everton suggest he is more your Diego Forlan (the United version) than Ruud Van Nistelrooy - Fellaini incidentally cost United £3 million more than the combined Forlan/Ruud fees - a sign that whilst football transfer fee inflation may be high I'm not sure the talent is matching it.
Talking of inflated fees, and they aren't the players fault, good luck to Gareth Bale on his Spanish adventure. Going into a foreign league with a record transfer fee hanging over you is something very few players will have the chance to experience and I'm not convinced that Bale is anywhere as good as that fee suggests. The Real Madrid faithful are notorious for lacking patience and he will have to hit the ground running and hopefully stay on his feet long enough to score plenty of goals otherwise he will soon be seeing plenty of pañuelos blancos (hope that's correct Span if you are reading this)
Now the window is closed, the deals done and an international break is taking place over the next ten days so the fixtures a week on Saturday will represent something of a new start for most teams and we can forget the rumours until the first week of January.
Oh, and breaking news - Carlton Cole is apparently having a medical at Chadwell Heath as I write, just eight weeks after we let him go. Funny old game!
Posted by Paul at 5:37 PM