Friday, September 1, 2017

Silly Season is Over

As the door slammed shut on the summer transfer window last night, it brought much relief to many clubs out there who were trying their hardest to hold onto their star players. Over the years the game has changed and the money has escalated, I mean it's quite ridiculous in some cases. This transfer season saw the record price for a player being smash, previously it was held by Paul Pogba who's transfer from Juventus to Manchester United cost the English club a cool £89 million but a year later saw PSG come in to shatter that price by triggering a release clause in Neymar's contract with Barcelona to lure the Brazilian to the French side for a whopping £198 million! With clubs prepared to fork our insane amounts as those, it just blew the costs per players out of proportion. 

Smaller clubs who had players who gained interest from bigger clubs had exorbitant price tags slapped to them, just so the club could make a great profit from the sale but what that actually did in most cases was scare the prospective buyers away, ultimately ruining chances for the players. Then in certain instances you get players who wanted a change, and tried forcing moves but were unsuccessful. One case which is close to home is of Philippe Coutinho wanting to switch to Barcelona. Understandable it was a life long dream for him and I agree with the player that he tried to be reasonable and respectable about it with the club but when Liverpool didn't budge, he played the transfer request card which didn't go down well with the club nor the fans, thereafter faking injury to make matters worse. 

While we might be livid with the player and can't understand why he would want to move away from what seems like an exciting future for the club, we can't tell what his ambitions or aspirations are. Like Stevie Gerrard said in an interview, it might have been a dream for him to play for Barca as a kid and they could have threatened him and said this would be his one and only chance to join. So you can sort of understand the predicament he was facing. It's quick for supporters to get angry at situations like this but this where football teachings come into it, there is no player bigger than the club. For me, it was a tough pill to swallow when I heard it but if he doesn't want to stay, let him go. Virgil van Dijk faces a similar fate with Southampton but yet with just 2 hours to go in the window, both Coutinho and van Dijk still remain servants to their club, whether it be loyal ones remains to be seen. 

While there was plenty of drama, there still was a lot of sales going on, so who do you reckon did the best business in the Premier League? Many say City, getting their players in before or during preseason, they spent a lot, got in some quality players, prices on some of them remain questionable but at the same time you got to see how the market reacts. Chelsea made some clever purchases but would it be enough for them to defend their title? I personally don't think so but they should still be putting pressure on whoever is. Spurs, finishing second last year and still have a squad which is probably the same as last years may find things a bit different this season, as it is they haven't had the greatest first 3 games but I feel their lack of desire in the transfer market may come back to bite them. Arsenal? The less said the better, for them it's all about holding down the gates and making sure there isn't a max exodus. So far Oxlade-Chamberlain managed to break-out and sign for Liverpool. A signing which confused me a bit seeing that we didn't really need him but who am I to judge. 

I personally think the cleverest deals were done by Jose, he's a shrewde guy and gets what he wants. Signing Lukaku and Matic proved to be the last pieces in his jigsaw puzzle that is Manchester United. They have been unbelievable since the first kick of the ball this season and really look like the United of old, with Zlatan declaring himself fit again and rejoining the Red Devils for one more season for "unfinished business", who knows what this team who looked destined for 6th place again can achieve. My only concern if I was a United fan, is what happens if players get injured, what then? We saw how sides could frustrate United last season and we saw how United could frustrate teams by not wanting to play football in fear of losing. Overall, this Silly Season has been one that certainlly riled up emotions from many and most of us are glad to see its over so we can concentrate on the real matter at hand and that is the football!

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