In the corporate world, budget time is always the most exciting. There are great promises of new products, new sales, great profits, and ultimately a promise of a happy year ahead.
For the average rabid football fan (is there any other kind), the transfer season represents a similar time in a footballing year. This is the time when there is a high level of optimism (not if you're an Arsenal fan) about the year ahead. This is usually driven by rosy pictures being presented about new managers, new owners, new money (Man City’s sweetheart sponsorship deal a prime example), or new signings – like Liverpool's claim to have signed the new 'Steven Gerrard' in Jordan Henderson or Man United waiting for the new 'Eric Cantona' in Wesley Sneijder.
This is further compounded by the baseless rumour mongering that goes on in chatrooms, random fansites, serious fansites, twitterverse, and gossips columns on major news sites. If you believed everything you read so far, then everybody from Messi, Christiano, Villa, Kaka, Neymar, would be playing in the EPL in the near future. So having set that context, lets dive into the EPL 2011-12 transfer season and see what’s gone on so far.
As with most other seasons, Manchester United are the early movers and seem to be close to achieving most of their pre-season transfer goals well in advance. The signings of Ashley Young, Phil Jones and David Gea seem to be the most rational and well thought out based on their weaknesses last year.
And if they can fill that vacant creative mid-field replacement to Paul Scholes (not that anybody ever accused of 'muscle' Scholes of ever being creative), Alex Ferguson can certainly look forward to being in the mix for the 20th league title in April-May. Content with having comprehensively knocked Liverpool off their perch, he can then head off to his much speculated and long anticipated (by non Man United fans, Arsene Wenger and players who routinely have been subject to his famous hair dryer treatment) retirement.
Talking about teams likely to be in the mix, the one team conspicuous by its absence in the transfer market so far is Chelsea. Of course they could argue that most of their important buying was already done in January. They would, of course lose the argument given how those transfers have turned out so far, the average age of the first choice eleven, how they performed last season and of course the mandatory injury to Essien at the beginning of the season.
This is a team in dire need of re-invention of personnel and while they have been linked with Luka Modric, Sneijder, Lukaku, Aguero, Parker (not in the same league as the other four…cheap shot, I know), there is an urgent need to start closing deals. Of course the other question is whether Villas Boas will turn out to be the new Mourinho, or a whole new kettle of fish. I like what I see of him so far.
That’s it for now, soon we will be looking at how Liverpool fans feel yet again for the 21st time in a row that this is going to be their year, check out how the Greek Tragedy at Arsenal pans out with the Fabregas and Nasri sagas and confirm if Tevez does actually move away from Europe. And there is always Spurs, Harry and Luka to talk about.
While this is going to be a blog about football, EPL, etc the most important news in the world of football right now is the gossip of a romance between famous fans of the two fiercest rivals in football. Twitteratti is abuzz with colorful rumours linking golf's superstar-in-waiting Rory Mcllroy with Caroline Wozniacki, the delectable World No. 1 women's tennis player.
How does this link to football? Rory is a self-described Man United fan and Wozniacki is a big Liverpool fan and has filled out a No.8 Liverpool shirt like StevieG never has. Is this true and will it last? I don’t know but EPL surely has needed this glamour ever since Posh went to LA.
Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.
Updated Date: Jul 20, 2011 11:55:21 IST