I would think by now most people are as sick of hearing about Rooney, Bale and Suarez and transfer windows as much as I am.
The amount of times I have read newspaper reports in the last few weeks stating Rooney is going to put in a written transfer request this week. Really? He doesn’t seem to have so far and Moyes is unmoved on “Rooney is not for sale” but yet they still write it. Selling Rooney to Chelsea is something a lot of Chelsea supporters would like to see but I’m not sure that Man Utd would consider selling him to a title rival without a big name signing to replace him.
Personally my dislike of Man Utd clouds my judgement and I can’t get on board with Ex-Man Utd players in blue shirts! Even if I have to admit that Rooney is looking like the last chance saloon of big name strikers in the transfer window for us.
One of my concerns with Rooney is his wages. I personally think we have a stable atmosphere in the team at the moment and everyone seems to be getting on really well in pre-season. When you bring in players that are earning more money than the existing faithful it can destabilise the team and people start wanting to renegotiate contracts.
There is no doubt there are a number of players playing today who are incredibly lucky to be earning what they are when you look at the talent they possess and a number of players who are earning less than they should. I’m a believer in the old system where players were taught a trade alongside playing to help them in the future and I would like to see a system brought back to help the young players.
Football is a short-term career and giving young men large sums of money with little or no financial guidance and plenty of free time is a recipe for disaster as can be seen from some of the questionable behaviour you read about in the papers. That’s not to say that all footballers are like that, I’m sure there are a number of players who do things right, but the papers never write about them! But that is a whole other argument.
I do question how well Rooney will settle into London. He has friends at Chelsea from the England set up but most of them are coming towards the end of their contracts with us. My fear if we sign him is that come January he will want away again and we’ll be back to square one.
The Bale saga has largely been one of paper talk from what I can see. Bale doesn’t seem to have said anything that can be directly quoted to him about leaving yet I’ve read reports of him refusing to play for Tottenham again. The lure of playing for Real Madrid is something that would turn most players heads. Bale is still young and is obviously considering whether Tottenham is the place for him, the talk of him leaving has been rumbling on for a while now and should he stay I expect the same thing to happen again in January.
If I was a Tottenham fan I would have liked him to man up and say either way whether he was staying or going. The club have said he isn’t for sale but if Real Madrid really offer the kind of money that was banded around in the press could they really be that short-sighted? Would they really be happy saying that one man is worth that much more than the players that could be brought to replace him? £90m or variations thereof depending on where you read it could buy you a lot of players or even a couple of really good signings!
The Suarez situation has annoyed me. He came out and said he wanted to leave England because of the way he is treated in this country and especially by the press. We were asked to believe when he bit Ivanovic last season that it was a cultural thing and that in Uruguay biting someone is acceptable. Well in England I’m afraid its frowned upon and is usually combated in Nursery School with a trip to Naughty Corner and a chat with the parents. That behaviour earned him another lengthy ban from the FA, not to mention costing Chelsea a decent result at Anfield when the referee refused to believe Ivanovic and the bite mark on his arm!
The only people who seemed vaguely interested in Suarez was Arsenal and their hilarious bid of £40m and 1 pounds! Good on them, if someones buyout clause in their contract is £40m then why not offer just over it. I know it’s not the done thing but technically they were within their rights and it was very entertaining for the rest of us!
I have to question why Arsenal would want Suarez after all the aggravation he has been involved in and the fact he is banned for the first 6 matches of the season. The first 6 matches are crucial to your league run, drop too many points and you could regret it come the business end of the season. Also I imagine it would be difficult tactically to organise your team around someone who can only train and not play.
I also have to question why Suarez would want to go to Arsenal, seeing as it is in England and he clearly said he wanted out. It seems he even went to the FA and asked them to intervene to help him leave. Liverpool said they wouldn’t sell him and I could certainly see why they wouldn’t sell him to Arsenal but surely there must be a part of them that considered losing the baggage. His behaviour has caused the club and supporters to question him and there must be some who have thought maybe its time for him to go.
Being a Chelsea supporter I know a bit about having to deal with situations on and off the field that detract from the football. Last season was a testing one for us with the appointment of a largely disliked manager. We have had to contend with the racism accusations surrounding Mark Clattenberg and the fall out from it.
We also had the John Terry racism row which could and should have been dealt with by the FA at the time and not waited until after the legal battle. The FA are clearly a higher power than a court of law on this matter as legally John Terry was cleared and yet the FA found him guilty and in the process accused defendants of lying. The upshot was Terry served a ban in the following season to when the incident actually happened which was nonsense. Footballing matters should be dealt with swiftly and punishments served straight away to avoid people being penalised well after the effect.
Incidentally when Suarez was accused and found guilty by the FA of racism and subsequently banned, no legal action was taken on the matter. The power of people watching TV and hating your club and players?
So what can we expect from the season ahead?
I fully expect it to mostly be about the Happy One, the papers will be full of him for the first few weeks at least. A part of me is hoping that this season is the one where everything goes right for us. The Chosen One is home and he is one of us and that will give us an extra boost in the ground if nothing else. I’m thinking we will get some silverware this year to add to the collection but whether come May we are sitting on top of the pile I can only hope. I can’t see it being an easy run. I think there could be a few close runners so everyone needs to make the most of their chances when they get them!
Supposing Chelsea win; the race for second is surely to be hosted in Manchester but Fourth to Sixth could be interesting.
If Arsenal don’t make a signing can they achieve another 73 points and will that secure them top four? Tottenham if they lose Bale will have to rely on their new signings to settle in quickly and deliver the goods and that is not always easy to do in the premiership can they achieve 72 points and secure fifth without Bale?
Everton last year had Moyes in charge and achieved 63 points for sixth place but this year with a new manager will they struggle or improve? Then two points behind were Liverpool on 61 in seventh, could they smell a potential top four place this season being in a slightly more stable position than the ones above them, that is if they can hold onto Suarez and avoid more disruptions.
In all the furore of Mourinho’s return to the Premiership people have forgotten the return of another character in the form of Ian Holloway. A man equally good at delivering a sound bite. One I remember when he was interviewed as manager of QPR was along the lines of “if we fell into a bucket of boobs we’d come up sucking our thumbs!” Cracked me up at the time and still does now! I can only imagine the quotes after the Chelsea v Crystal Palace press conferences!
Whatever else happens the new season is upon us and the wait is over. Everyone will know come May what is feels like to win, loose and draw. At least this season with the introduction of Hawk Eye we won’t have any phantom goals or blatantly over the line goals disallowed!