[Quick Author Note - Apologies for the lack of updated content in the recent weeks, the only real excuse i can offer is that during the period of time just as the season ends and just before the real transfers begin to happen, I actually have very little to discuss with yourselves. However, as people are starting to move around.....]
You may recall, for those of you that are persistent purveyors of my particularly petit online publishings (alliteration is fun!), that back in December of last year, I constructed an article debating the rather confusing James Milner to Manchester City transfer. I outlined the implications in terms of his career moving forward and the general stigma attached to players that move for the money rather than the sport. In lieu of that post, I would like to discuss some of the current transfer dealings that have happened, or are about to go through.
- Kevin Nolan (Newcastle –> West Ham // Completed)
Now before i start to discuss this transfer, I would like to state for the record that i have an inordinate amount of respect for any sportsman/woman who is able to take a look at their career and realise that they need to take a step back in order to take two steps forward. For Nolan to not only take the step down from the Premiership to the Championship, but to also take a rather substantial hit to his wages every week, is a rather commendable act.
However, one has to wonder just why a player would want to remove himself from the best League on the planet, when there really is nobody forcing him to leave. Could it be that he feels more at home working under Sam Allardyce?, Could it be that Nolan feels he is coming to the end of his career and would much rather spend his twilight years helping a team to actually achieve something, i.e promotion, rather than feature in a stagnant pool of general mid-table mediocrity?, or, and this is perhaps the most plausible reason, could it be that the ego that drives us all, has, for Kevin, told him that he would stand out as a much better player were he to ply his trade in a poorer standard of competition?. Whatever the reason is, this is one transfer that i just cannot get my head around. There is no guarantee that West Ham will shoot straight back up into the Premiership, what with some of their star players from last season having already left, and their talisman on his way, coupled with the fact that the top 6 teams in the championship are every bit as good as the Hammers.
Gael Clichy (Arsenal –> Manchester City // Pending)
This one I just cannot fathom at all. I can appreciate the fact that Clichy may feel slightly disappointed after having experienced the overwhelming exuberance of being part of the infamous ‘Invincibles’ (of which, Clichy is the only remaining first team player), and then to see Arsenal go on an inexplicable run of not really winning anything of note, but if its triumphs and trophies that you’re after, why would you possibly think that it’s a smart idea to move a side that, bar this years FA Cup victory, haven’t actually won anything since 1976?
Yes there is a current reformation going on at City, yes there are some genuine world-class talents at the club and yes the whole franchise does seem to be taking huge positive strides in the right direction, but, and this a big but, at the same time, the owners have more money than sense, nobody has any idea if any of the players are staying or leaving and the general harmony of the squad could be likened to a gabble of teenage Prom Queens fighting for the last pair of Jimmy Choo’s 5 minutes before Harvey Nicks closes. It’s a risk that may very well pay off and leave a lot of people eating their words were City to go on a European rampage and devour every single tournament that there is to partake in, but it could just as likely backfire as City never really achieve their true potential. Not to mention the fact that Clichy is a bona-fide first team player for his current squad, and would have to compete with the likes of Kolarov, Boateng, Zabaletta, Bridge, Boyata and Onouha for the left back birth were he to jump to the sky blue ship.
Jordan Henderson (Sunderland –> Liverpool // Completed)
Many have spoken about this move already, so i won’t bore you with the same old regurgitated ensembles about how he is unproven, overpriced and only worth that much cause of his nationality. What i will attempt to highlight however, is the ineptitude of some, if not all, of Liverpool’s recent signings in midfield, and just why they feel it necessary to add even more ingredients to an already overflowing pot. Consider this; if you were to construct the Liverpool middle 4 (assuming Kenny plays a 4-4-2) and your talent pool included Steven Gerrard, Maxi Rodriguez, Raul Meireles, Dirk Kuyt, Joe Cole, Milan Jovanovic, Lucas Leiva, Christian Poulsen, Jay Spearing, Jonjo Shelvey and the returning Alberto Aquilani, would you actually find a place in the first team midfield for Henderson?. Granted, Jordan is one for the future, and he outlines the impressive youth policy that Liverpool have in effect right now (what with the likes of Wilson, Ayala, Pacheco, Robinson and Flanagan breaking through), but to spend upwards of £20m on a player that has rarely displayed an ability to actually perform at a level required for a Champions League team (assuming thats where Liverpool are aiming), is rather perplexing.