Thoughts of a Manchester United season ticket holder
Thursday, 8 July 2010
Sneijder Would Be Nice, But Here's The Truth...
The panes of glass in the transfer window have well and truly been cleaned up for its grand central placing in all football fans' minds when we get the World Cup over and done with this weekend. For us from countries that didn't do so well (ahem...England, Italy, France, etc) it couldn't really come quick enough. We are already drowning in speculation of new players, and eat every morsel of nourishment that is fed to our salivating mouths.
The latest (and biggest for United fans) one that has surfaced is about the alleged impending swoop by our club for Wesley Sneijder.
Now I don't claim to be a mind reader, but when we sold ol Cristiano to those fellas at Madrid, I begged for Sir Alex to sign Sneijder as part of the deal. The Spaniards were willing to let go of him for under £15 million and I just thought it was too good to be true. Even a year ago it was evident that Paul Scholes was slowly edging his way to the knackers yard in the sky, and at that price it was too good to be true....so of course we let him sign for Inter Milan.
Fast forward 12 months on, and the Dutchman has won the treble with a dogmatic Inter team, and is now staring a World Cup final in the face. His value has trebled, and it's fair to say he now sits at the table that was exclusively reserved for Mr Xavi and Mr Ineista. It's not a particularly meteoric rise, as his quality has always been there, but it's been a quick succession from being a very very good footballer to be a truly marquee name.
..and now suddenly United want him....to replace Scholesy.
The press report that United have made a £29 million bid, which is all very nice. But does anyone really think that will make the Italians sell?
I don't. And here is why:
The market now consists of three elements...
At the bottom of the tree lie 99% of all football clubs, from your Athletico Madrids to your Wolfsburgs. From your Aston Villas to your Fiorentinas. Then in the middle lie a hub of teams that are considered 'very good/elite'. We are one of those elite clubs..along with Chelsea, Inter, AC Milan and Barcelona, going through to Arsenal, Liverpool, Juventus and Bayern Munich and ending with the likes of Spurs, Roma and Lyon.
And at the top of the tree lie two teams:
Real Madrid and Manchester City.
Now anyone can distinguish the difference between these two clubs. One is a multiple times European champion, and the other wants to at least play Champions League football! But that's were the comparisons stop. City have already shown their muscle this summer with the signings of Yaya Toure and David Silva...ok they are not marquee names as such, but they are considered as immensely talented. Add a Fernando Torres to this, and God forbid a Nemanja Vidic, and you suddenly have a team capable of winning any club trophy on the planet. City have signalled their intent, and unfortunately they have the bank balance to back it up..
Which leads me back to Sneijder..
If Wesley becomes available there is only two places he is going. Mourinho now holds control at Madrid, and Sneijder is his boy. On the other hand, if Sneijder wishes to become wealthier than his wildest dreams he may well have a chat with Yaya, who has been given a £200k a week contract, and that may well turn his..and his agent's head.
It is folly to believe that any footballer would turn down the sums of cash that only City and Madrid can offer. You often hear the players mouth the old cliche that 'a footballers career is a short one blah blah blah' and when it comes to wages, they get their agents to act as such...huge 3-5 year contracts, so they can sit on their yachts in the Med for the rest of their lives after the age of 36. It's nice work if you can get it. Its also crass to think that players move clubs in the modern age for the reasons of prestige. Would Cesc Fabregas want to 'go home' to his local club if it was Espanol? I doubt it. At the highest level players only really move clubs because their team no longer wants them (as when Sneijder left for Italy) or if they are offered a King's random. Simple and ruthless. It's a business.
So just from a point of logic, Wesley Sneijder will not be wearing a United shirt anytime soon. Like many fans I want the Glazers out, but I did also think they would understand that a marquee signing was needed when you lose two in both Ron and Tev. It's clear that United now have a 'ceiling' when it comes to the total transfer package of fee and wages. This is no bad thing, both financially and from a stance of morality. But when we start talking about the biggest and best players in the sport the truth is none of them will be heading to Old Trafford. £29 million is ALOT of money..but it's just the small change of coins dropped down the back of Man City's sofa!..or just a small slice of Perez pie!! Any player that is 'that' high profile and is on our radar will almost definitely be snagged by the new Big Two..even if it's just to spite us!
So I advise my fellow United fan...don't get wrapped up in the hype. The agenda is for us to go after players that have 'that' potential, and are not already winning their teams Champions Leagues and World Cups. I heard mentioned today that Lucas Podolski was now a target. After a fine World Cup his name is back up there, but it was only five minutes ago that his name was mud in club football. At around £16 million, he is the sort of target we need to concentrate on. Chicharito wasn't really getting anyone excited four weeks ago, and now suddenly post World Cup he already looks like a bargain at £10 million! Lets hope that translates into Red Devils form and goals sometime soon.
And lets face it..it's what Fergie normally does. Evra and Vidic were cheap as chips. Valencia looks a steal. Carrick and Hargreaves were slightly overpriced but well within budget, and we have a wealth of talent from the youth system, whether it be Ryan Giggs all the way through to the DaSilva twins.
One or two 'really good footballers', and I think we will be on the verge of silverwear once again. If Fergie can get the jigsaw pieces sorted early, fitting them together may well be the easy part.
And if we really do have some money to spend, I suggest we take a look at both Rafael Van Der Vaart and Alexis Sanchez..both who would be well within our capture net. And both who could become potential superstars of the game.
Manchester United fan since the age of 9 when he saw Norman Whiteside curl the ball into a Wembley goal in the dying minutes.
He is an Old Trafford season ticket holder in the North Stand Tier 3...and cried tears of joy, on his knees with the many in Moscow.
Rob is a contributing author/editor at Man Utd blogzine 'The Faithful'