By Walter Broeckx
There is something strange going on in football land. We had a transfer market in which nothing much happened.
All the big teams have kept their pockets closed. Chelsea didn’t buy anyone, MU bought Smalling from Fulham but he will stay at Fulham till the end of the season.
We got Sol Campbell back and two young South Americans for the future.
Even Manchester City was remarkably reluctant to spend any more money. Also in the rest of Europe the big clubs didn’t do much business. Real Madrid didn’t go mad this time apart from buying Canales who also stays with his club till the end of the season. Barcelona did nothing and also in Italy there was not that much movement of big names.
In fact the big names that did move all went on loan to another club. Robinho went to Brazil to secure his seat on the plane to South Africa. Closer to home Robby Keane left Tottenham for the 10th time in 3 years out on loan to Celtic this time.
Redknapp and Portsmouth swapped some players like they always do in the transfer period so nothing really that was unexpected. Apart maybe from the fact that Portsmouth looks to have found a few pounds somewhere where they hadn’t looked before.
So after a few transfer periods where the market has gone mad thanks to Real Madrid, Manchester City and Manchester United this time it looks like we have entered a new period in the history of football.
The day when the teams that are looking at the war chest and see….. the bottom.
Is it a coincidence or could it be that clubs are beginning to recognize that the time of losing money and waiting for the owner to put new money in the club is ending? Could it be that the clubs are realizing that if they lose money they not only could face bankruptcy but also risk of being expelled from the Champions League ?
Could it finally have come in to the mind of various owners of clubs that one day the madness had to stop and that now looks a good time to tell managers of clubs and players: first you sell and with that money you can buy. And as there were no buyers and no one sold, no team really had the money to buy.
We didn’t buy anyone much to the annoyance of some so called fans who are calling for the head of Wenger. They come on to blogs or write it themselves and throw names around as if it was confetti in Rio when it is carnival time.
“Wenger should have bought,” and then enter what ever name you wish. The favourite sentence is : Wenger is stubborn as he should have bought Dzeko, Cignac, Chamack, Smalling, Moses and Jezus Christ and as he didn’t do it he should be sacked.
And yes doing a transfer is easy you know, they just bought all those players on their computer in 5 minutes and you know they are winning the league. Do you really need any more prove that Wenger has lost it ?
I really don’t know if this is just to make you laugh or to make you feel sad. How on earth can they think live it self is as simple as on their computer ? Some may say that the current computer game generation will be a lost generation and I really wonder how many of those young man will ever get in to real life ?
Doing a transfer is not arranged by clicking with your mouse to raise the bid or to lower the bid as you want. No, doing transfers is a very difficult thing to do if you want to do it in a responsible way. If you want to do the things like MU, MC and Real do and you want to pay +30M for Berbatov well then it is just the case of going to the bank, ask a loan and you have the player. Is he worth it ? Who cares ?
Well we have a manager who cares. Like he said when you make a transfer you have to see:
- Is the player better than what you have ?
- Is the player available ?
- Will his club let him go for a reasonable price ?
- Does the player want to come?
- What does the player want to earn and is this in line with the rest of the team?
These are only a few questions you have to answer before you make any deal and it takes in this case 5 times Yes as the answer or there is no deal.
The first question could be the easiest one: yes I am sure there are players out there that could be better than ours. There are Kaka, Ronaldo who are world class players. No problem in admitting that.
The second question is a problem as most players have long contracts nowadays. So this time, not easy.
The third is very important. Let us take Villa as an example. If Wenger wants to give 20M for him but Valencia only want to speak starting from 40M then you cannot call this reasonable anymore and there is no deal.
The fourth question is also not easy. If he player is unhappy with his team he will want to leave but a player that is playing every game in his team will not want to leave that readily unless he is a fan of our team or he can earn a lot more.
And here we come to the next question and this also is a very tricky one to answer. Arsenal have a policy of not over spending on the players wages but we still have one of the highest wage bills in total of the EPL. So players are getting a good wage in our club but we don’t want to overpay or to overkill. If one player gets 60K than the next wants to equal that ore get even more and before you know it you pay 105K a week for a player like Robby Keane. I read this in the press yesterday but I don’t know if it is true but one has to be mad to pay that much money for him I would say.
The conclusion is that there is no easy transfer dealing these days. Yes I would have liked a new signing at reasonable cost but now it isn’t the case so we just stick to our Guns and support the team and the players. The players coming back from injury should feel like new signings in a few weeks time. Even Robin Van Persie could have a few games if all goes well and this really would be a new signing to me.
Arsenal’s “fixed” promotion. A Villa fan repeated the old Tottenham propaganda that Arsenal fixed their way into the First Division through bribery. You can read the real story on the Making the Arsenal blog.
The series on football finance will continue shortly with part 3, and the whole series will later appear as a complete article elsewhere on this site.
And there’s also the case of the Making the Arsenal book.