We are all already suffering from a lack of domestic football. I can see it in the eyes (and the tweets) of my fellow football lovers. International football is one thing, but especially for me where my country does not rank up there with the top footballing nations, I find the gap between the two to be extremely large. Regardless, I do enjoy watching internationals because its football at the end of the day and at this moment, I’ll take anything. It also allows me to watch the game in an unbiased and fairly neutral manner. This is a pleasant change; it’s nice to remove the red specs once in a while and appreciate the game without any strings attached. I especially love watching England play, because for me, it works both ways whether they win or lose. I prefer seeing them win, as all of their players play in the Premier League and I watch them week in week out, so it’s good to see them perform from an outsiders perspective. However, if they lose, well I just love watching the media dismantle and shame the team like they have for all these years, as if each of the players had intentionally set out to irritate and disappoint the public and their fans. Hilarious and classic, every time.
But overall, it seems like something is missing and will be missing for some time yet. I actually can’t wait for pre-season tours to begin, to watch the players in their new kits and see the team together again. Last year we had the World Cup and next year we will have the European Championships to pass the time, however this time round there is really only one thing that gives us a real sense of footballing pleasure (unless you’re an
Arsenal fan), and that’s the transfer window.
Some Interesting Transfers:
Wednesday, in particular, produced a peach in terms of transfer activity. It was announced that Liverpool had signed the promising youngster, Jordan Henderson, from Sunderland for 20 Mil, with David Ngog included in the deal. A good piece of business in all honesty, as they get rid of Ngog and add some depth (and youth) to their midfield. Even though United showed some interest in the lad, the truth is we already have one of our own in Tom Cleverley and need a more experienced player to come in and do the job. Both players are English, young and creative centre midfielders. I believe Cleverley will be given his chance this season and hopefully he will grab it with both hands. Liverpool are also looking to add Charlie Adam and Stuart Downing to their ranks, along with Roma goalkeeper Doni. Let’s see which of these actually happen, but I do expect major ins and outs to happen at the Scousers throughout the transfer window.
However, the best news of the day happened a little after the Henderson deal. Just when everyone thought Liverpool had secured their next target, United popped up and grabbed him from right under the noses of the scousers. A truly Houdini type of act performed by the master Sir Alex Ferguson. Phil Jones, what a surprise coup! According to reports Jones met with Wenger last night but still chose to join United instead in a deal rumoured to be around the 15-20 million mark. At this moment in time, with the transfer market completely inflated, most clubs are going to overpay for the players they really want. Especially if the player they want are English! They have become precious commodities, prized long term assets seen as investments in the clubs’ future to ensure they meet the UEFA “homegrown” criteria. Most of the players bought do not match and warrant the price tag they are accompanied with; however, they represent an overall larger investment which has to be made by the clubs.
With that said, I see Phil Jones as an old fashioned, uncompromising powerhouse defender with bags of commitment and promise. I have not seen him have a bad game for Blackburn and stats show their winning percentage is higher when he is in the team (34% vs. 25%). Sources also say that Fergie only really wanted to bring the player in the season after next, however after Liverpool and Arsenal showed their interest, SAF knew he had to move quickly and in the end he got his man. A long term investment, and with Smalling as his English U21 centre back partner as it stands, United have some great young defenders in the team. With two Englishmen and two Brazilians in our backline, there will be a perfect mixture of youth, speed, commitment and flair which opposition teams will one day fear.
I look forward to Wesley Sneijder, Luka Modric or Samir Nasri making their way to Old Trafford in the near future. My personal preference would be Sneijder, I’ve been a fan for a really long time and it would give me great pleasure to see him don our shirt. Modric, however, is pure class, Premier League proven and a player I would take in a heartbeat. With Ashley Young and David De Gea looking certain to join United by the end of the month, this season’s transfer activity is looking to be really exciting.
Who wouldn’t want to play under Sir Alex Ferguson, the most successful manager of all time? Play at Old Trafford, the largest stadium in the league and join up with the Champ19ns of England? Did I say I took my
red specs off? I think they may have slipped back on sometime during this article.