Monday, July 14, 2008

Transfer Gridlock

"Clearly, Arsene hasn’t got any money. He's potless. He’s penniless. All Arsenal's cash has gone into the flats at Highbury Square and something happened that we don't know about.... Now, Arsene has to sell to buy. And a lot of big clubs have to sell to buy. That's why the market seems to have vanished."

- Myles Palmer, Arsenal News Review

Strangely, this was actually a good article by Myles. It's strange because it was written off the cuff and rehashes what everyone else surmised a few weeks ago, when Wenger said we were a selling club. But there was a little observation that really caught my eye:

There's no money in the transfer market.

Everyone's waiting on someone else to buy their player before they can offer to buy someone else. Think about the Adebayor case: Ronaldinho to Milan, Adebayor to Barcelona, Gourcuff to Arsenal. Think about Hleb: Nasri to Arsenal, Hleb to Barcelona, Ben Arfa(?) to Marseille. Think about Liverpool: Crouch, Barry, Alonso deals are/were all interlinked. Think about how Arsharvin's been waiting for ages for a club to take a punt on him, or how Man Utd's got half the known world's agents waiting for them to sell C.Ronaldo to Real Madrid.

Of course, this disregards Barcelona's 80 million euro splurge in the transfer market so far. But that can be explained by election manoeuvrings by Laporta. Apart from Barca, it's been quiet. Italian football's been moribund for ages now. English football's incredibly quiet, considering the influx of SkySport money.

There is something to Myles' train of thought. The frustrating thing about this article, though, is that it failed to address the one really glaring question - where did all the money go?


Whatever the case, the transfer martket's become a bit of a Mexican standoff. Nothing's going to happen until someone blinks, stumps up the cash and buys the first player. And then, in a blaze of gunfire and flailing sombreros, mano e mano sorts the wheat from the chaff. I imagine that's going to happen in this transfer season. Cut price deals, swaps, negotiations... everything finalised in a few hectic days.

Going to be boring until it happens, though.

The first domino might've fallen - Hleb to Barcelona for 15 million. Good for him. Truth be told, I'm starting to come around to his way of thinking. I'm going to be in Europe over the winter, and after comparing mean temperatures in December, I think I'd opt for Barcelona over London as well. London, by all accounts, is a very, very depressing place in winter.

1 comment:

CW said...

ishmael,

he's a msg from my colleague re highbury:

there will be a champions league game either on 12-13 Aug or 19-20 Aug. They haven't anounced which leg is at home yet.
that one is almost certainly free if he is interested. Don't think there is more in Aug

Let me know if this suits - if so I'll pay him and reserve the seat for you...