2011/12 January Transfer Window: Who Will Be the Next Big Money Flop?
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As I write these opening few lines, it is now January 28 in Spain. This means that there are four days, including this day, left in the football/soccer transfer window, (well, if you are English).
By now, some of football's hottest prospects are under a constant barrage of emails, texts and calls (and re-posted, hash-tagged tweets) from their agents regarding their next big move to a world renowned club. The likes of Edinson Cavani, Neymar, Carlos Tevez and even Frank Lampard are sitting at home trying to focus on an upcoming game, whilst the paparazzi bombard them with headline after headline. Will Tevez go to Paris Saint-Germain? Will Neymar stay with Santos?
Here is my question, will the papers ever learn?
The short answer is no.
The tabloids are built upon hype and speculation, meaning that being a top class player in January is akin to posting a bulls-eye on your forehead and walking blindly towards Phil Taylor, (A darts player). In effect, we cannot blame them for what will come next.
What can be blamed is a good intention that drives rich clubs into a state of insanity, the January Transfer Window.
Many managers in some of the biggest leagues have already ruled out purchasing players in the window, and their logic is sound. The transfer windows do work, in that a rich club can no longer run out and buy a new striker when their top goal scorer breaks a nail. No, they have to wait and take part in what should be an open market. This is how it plays out for most of the month. Come the end of the month, all logic flies out of the window.
The examples of how the proximity of deadline day can adversely affect a purchase are far from subtle. Andy Carroll was a class striker at Newcastle, as their system was built around his talents as a poacher with a lethal boot. Fernando Torres was suffering from a dip caused by not adapting his game plan as the seasons progressed. However, each still had a chance to make a further name for themselves, as their price tags were reflective of their abilities. A combined total of £85,000,000 later, and each is a flop.
Should a transfer deadline day fee really reflect a player's ability?
Torres and Carroll both have their problems. Torres is being played as a creator of goals at Chelsea, which is not what the fans expect of a £50,000,000 striker, and Carroll is not suited for the Liverpool style of play. This does not make them flops, in my eyes. However, we, as fans, can only sit back and watch as their heavily inflated price tags are brought up after each game without a goal or three.
This season, one can only imagine the lengths that a team such as Real Madrid or Manchester City will go to in order to land a replacement for Pepe, who is in danger of lengthy bans for his heinous actions, or want-away Tevez. My only concern, as should be the concern of every football fan, is that the next big signing will be a squad player who cannot match the hype. As such, these innocent players deserve our sympathy, not a mocking article whenever they do not dazzle us with every trick from a FIFA playbook.
That being said, the money is there, and the sense is not. Bring on Transfer Deadline Day, as it sure beats watching Corrie!
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