The transfer window opens and immediately those who are having a bad time splash the cash on players that have traditionally not delivered the goods in the long run.
Given that money is hard to come by these days, Liverpool see a bargain in buying Danny Sturridge for £12m plus a 5 year contract worth £20m more, while they also pay Joe Cole half of his contract to simply walk away back home to West Ham.
Nett impact £35m to replace Cole with Sturridge. That’s the cost of one full Andy Carroll.
Meanwhile, a man who can’t pass a medical gets £7m of which Newcastle get almost nothing, plus a £20m contract to replace, or will they try and play them together, a man who cost £30m from Liverpool. Nett impact is Demba Ba for Sturridge at a cost of minus £5m transfer fee and plus £10m wages.
You can see who the winners are here. Average players pulling massive salaries and in Ba’s case a further £2.5m from his transfer fee.
Neither club will have improved much for all this cash going out of the window.
At Manchester City they have to sell to buy and likely will try and offload Super Mario after Roberto Mancini tugged on his bib, a piece of clothing he finds so hard to put on and even harder to wrap.
After telling him to try harder in training, Roberto then attempts to throttle him when he follows orders. Surely City have become the new crazy gang, from Barton to Balotelli the man management at City continues to amaze me.
Although Roberto seems to have fallen out with Joleon Lescott, Carlos Tevez, Nigel De Jong, Micah Richards and Mario, it appears we are supposed to believe the players are wrong and he is right. Yes of course Mario shows contempt and Lescott is an accident waiting to happen but why is it always him?
City want Radamel Falcao, but why would he move to a club that can’t manage its assets properly. I despair over the choices of Jack Rodwell and Scott Sinclair to take the gold over the glory. These benchwarmers would make far better transfer targets if their contracts ever permitted them a move.
At Arsenal the sale of Marouane Chamakh represents another failure at the graveyard of strikers, as the inconsistent Gunners struggle to keep Theo Walcott. Of course Theo also picks himself as a striker now, so maybe he can also arrange transfers and Arsene Wenger can just look frustrated and give the excuses interviews.
Arsenal will probably just sign the latest sprinter from Southampton and England can laud him as the next big thing. One day the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott or even Aaron Ramsey, Kieran Gibbs or another starlet will actually do something while at Arsenal….or maybe not.
Spurs have created the new Lionel Messi in Gareth Bale, a man who plays a dozen good games a season, pulls a hamstring or two and instantly becomes a sensation.
Show us your medals Balesey (yeah I thought so- the cupboard is bare!)
So far the purchases of Clint Dempsey and Moussa Dembele haven’t replaced Luka Modric and Rafael Van der Vaart, and so Spurs are standing still again post Harry Redknapp. I don’t see them improving in this window.
At United we have previously bought in the January sales, notably Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra in 2006, but our need remains in midfield where Darren Fletcher’s return does at least give some cover for Michael Carrick, and the emergence of Tom Cleverley as a creative midfielder, whilst not totally convincing, does provide hope and also give Shinji Kagawa the chance to establish himself.
We remain fragile in midfield and I believe our problems at the back stem from a weakness in defensive midfield rather than the back four. Of course the keeper doesn’t help, as David De Gea is no Edwin Van der Sar, but the problem is that we get overrun in midfield and if we could buy a Yaya Toure or Dembele or a Danile De Rossi…..I’m dreaming of course. So nothing new at United.
The relegation fodder will all try and buy their way out of trouble. But this doesn’t really work as there are few players who will sign contracts to take wage cuts if they are relegated. Well not good players anyway.
So the window will be good for newspaper column inches, some oil and gas money to move from Sheikhs and Oligarchs to average players on mega contracts and a few failures to get offloaded to new employers more in hope than good judgement.
Another window opens and in the winter, when you open a window, all you get is blast of cold air and a heating bill you spend time paying off. Sound familiar Liverpool? Ah well, some people never learn.
By Steve Burrows CBE @ifollowsteve