So the football season, is upon us again, in what was a fast but quiet footballing summer. Next year will see a world cup and all the trimmings that go with it. There are various ongoing transfer rumours still with a lot of question marks over 3 big players.
Luis Saurez – Liverpool back him up to the hilt, act disgusted when he speaks about wanting to leave, Brendan Rodgers talks about no one being bigger than the club, and that he should apologize (where we are now) and then he apologizes because Liverpool wont sell him to a British rival, and and he stays at Liverpool unless some Russian club come in with big money. Could be wrong.
Meanwhile Rooney wants to leave to play as a central striker, and he thinks he will play there if he goes to Chelsea. Good luck pal because up against Lukaku, Rooney wont stand a chance for the number 9 role. Number 10 yes potentially, but again he is up against Juan Mata who played brilliantly last season.
Gareth Bale – Well he is as good as gone, and for spurs thats the best news as they get 100m to invest in 5-6 quality players who ensure they arent reliant on one player anymore.
But so far apart from Man City the other ‘big’ clubs haven’t done too much business, instead it seems like a house of cards and when one goes they will all jump in. Spurs have probably been doing the best business with Soldado, Paulinho and the belgium winger. Meanwhile across North London, Arsene Wenger seems asleep at the wheel. He is clutching at straws going after Saurez and will look desperate if he signs him. For the same amount he could sign Benteke from Villa to go upfront and finally spearhead an attack. Gervinho has taken his headband to Italy with him, so they need a decent striker. The problem for Wenger is that whilst he hasn’t been signing any big names, he also has lost traction in his traditional market which was the ‘young, relatively unknown foreign players”. This market now seems to have been taken up by the teams such as Swansea, who have signed yet more players we hope turn into the next Michu, whilst Southampton have signed Wanayama, and Norwich has signed young talent Nathan Redmond and Ricky Van Wolfswinkel. That was where Arsene Wenger used to do his business, and is where he is maybe loosing ground and if he isnt careful Liverpool who have been quietly bringing on more talent and Spurs could over take them.
Meanwhile with Alex Ferguson leaving David Moyes has stepped into some huge shoes to fill over at Old Trafford and pretty much seems to have been hung out to dry, without any new signings lined up, and Ferguson leaving him with a messy Rooney situation to deal with, which is going to be a really tough one to fix.
Talking of the mighty Swans, well we have had a busy Summer and I don’t think any of us could have expected it to get any better after last season, but Michael Laudrup seems intent on making a good fist of it.
So far we have seen some shrewd business with Canas coming in on a free, Jordi Amat to provide more defensive cover, Pozuelo who looks a great player to slot in for Michu now and then. The two bigger purchases have been Wilfred Bony who is our most expensive signing. Lets hope he gets to continue in the way he left off against Malmo, as with 2 goals already in the bag, he is looking strong for a good season. He and Michu could be a great double act this season. Then personally the most exciting addition has been Jonjo Shelvey, a player who I dont think many Swans fans where excited about, but after seeing him in a Swansea shirt, I think we are all eating humble pie happily as he looks a hell of a player. Besides having a distinctive style and prowess on the ball, its probably his drive which endears him to fans. Much the same as Steven Gerrard he looks like a player who will go the extra mile for the team.
After watching the Swans play real low standard football in the 90s to that Hull game, I know one of the things which really annoyed many of us fans is a player who looks like he cant be bothered to put a shift in. Now with Michu and Shelvey we have two players who look like they would run through walls for the team. Now both tend to let go a bit easily as we saw against Malmo when Michu got booked and also with Shelvey against Man Utd when he lost his rag with Ferguson, but i think thats something Swansea have missed for large parts of the last few years.
A new Ferrie Bodde? Could be a new, younger, slightly balder, English version.
What else happened in the market this summer, well one of the interesting things for me, over the last year has been the transfers of Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea to Liverpool for 12m, Steven Caulker to Cardiff for 8m, Shelvey to Swansea for 5m, Jack Butland for 3m and Nathan Redmond for 3m. Now many managers talk of young british players being too expensive, but in these 4 players, I see real value and quality. Whether its champions league quality, but for every Denis Bergkamp you need a Tony Adams at the other end, and these players in amoungst foreign quality you would have the makings of a good spine of a team, and there is a lot to be said for a good core of British players in a team. After seeing Caulker play for the Swans i would be happy if he had come back, and the same goes for Sturridge and Redmond, all good quality and worthy investments. Funny that each of these players would have added to Arsenal but Wenger was no where to be seen.
Later this week I will write up my thoughts on where the season is heading.