By Sir Hardly Anyone
Interlull news in the UK rarely captures much of the “fun of the fair” type of excitement of normal times, largely because few people in England expect the country to do very much in the WC and Scotland are not there. Nor Wales nor N Ireland. Nor the Isle of Man, although I am not sure that is technically part of the UK.
Still Iceland is there (in the WC not the UK) and we could make them associate members of the UK I suppose. I mean they like the UK, catch fish, have a broken banking industry, corrupt politicians and a massive aluminium industry.
Actually I may be wrong about the UK’s aluminium industry.
But we do have our big bit of injury news, and of course it involves Jack. And what surprises me is that it it is portrayed as a surprise.
However not to worry because the Star tells us today that it has a “Wilshere exclusive”. And that is that the “midfielder deal complete”. They also tell us about “Wenger’s replacement blow”
But the Gunners are concerned with the way Wilshere was ‘managed’, with the 26-year-old understood to have been worked hard in training during his four days with England.
And this is how it always is. There international managers have no long term plans for players’ health and safety and so do anything they like. As we used to say, international managers are like car thieves who take your vehicle, drive it into the ground, return it to you broken and then demand you have it fully repaired the next time they want it.
The Star also tell us
Barcelona star Ousmane Dembele asks Arsenal to sign him this summer – report
But there is something else here. Two something else’s in fact.
One is the story of clubs carefully and slowly watching players without anyone knowing, holding discreet discussions with clubs and perhaps agents on an “if this enquiry gets out there is no offer possible” off the record basis. Dealing directly with agents without permission is of course illegal in football, but I think that rule has been forgotten.
The other story is of unmitigated chaos as clubs swing from one player to another, one day chasing x, the next y, with clubs competing over signatures, and being beaten to deals (which ultimately never happen) as suddenly a new bidder emerges and another one walks away from any deal.
Take for example the story
Juventus to be left frustrated in Aaron Ramsey pursuit as they prioritise deal for Liverpool ace. All that comes from the fact that according to CalcioMercato, “verbal contract has been made by the Bianconeri for the player, although Chelsea and Manchester City are believed to be monitoring his situation.”
Yes some players and their agents do conduct business this way in order to force a move. From what I have been told and certainly from what I observed, this is how Robin van Persie and his entourage behaved when Arsenal were reluctant to sell him, and similarly Alexis Shanchez is said to have been happy for his affairs to be conducted in public.
But where a player recognises he might need to stay at his existing club, no I don’t think there is any real advantage in spilling the beans. When it happens buying clubs are more likely to walk away, and selling clubs are more likely to hike the price.
And anyway whatever happened to all that stuff about Arsenal buying Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez? It came, it buzzed, it vanished. Just like most transfer stories.
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