After 3 months of purgatory, we are back. Strap yourselves in. We're about to plunge down the other side of the rollercoaster.
Any discussion of our chances this season seems to be based around how well Man City are going to do. Personally, I think their transfer activity this season is some kind of cruel joke. Has their ever been a more colossal waste of £150 mil? Who exactly has made these transfer decisions? Because you can pretty much guarantee Mancini wouldn't have spent £5 mil on Ray Houghton, let alone £30 mil on James Milner.
I can hardly think this without guffawing out loud, like some nutcase, but is it actually Brian Marwood buying these players? Really? Brian Marwood? Sky Sports League 1 co-commentator extraordinaire? That explains a few things then. Yaya Toure is a poor man's Seydou Keita. James Milner is Steve Guppy on shedloads of creatine. David Silva was only ever any use as David Villa's lickspittle. Jerome Boateng - what are you actually buying here? A right back? A centre back? Helloooo!! Anyone at home??? Balotelli is going to be the black, attacking version of Marco Matterazzi. The PL will be too much for him, and he will be reduced to a foaming bucket of tears with alarming regularity.
Liverpool will be more of a threat. And that's not saying much. Jovanovic is a decent player, but really nowhere near the standard required for what Liverpool want to achieve. He will be like a slightly less clumsy Dirk Kuyt. Everton will be useful, but will ultimately be crippled by their manager’s simplistic, conservative playing style.
This just leaves Super Spurs. Transfer activity has been quiet, but I can't help but feel that's a good thing. The prospect of Micah Richards and Scott Parker left me cold inside. I've seen enough from the Kyles to suggest that both will be pretty decent players for us this season. Naughton looks ridiculously comfortable on the ball, and is a proper defender to boot. Walker looks like a truly awesome product, someone who will probably end up playing CB or CM. With some of Jordsy and Bondsy's magic coaching juice, I can see these players both making great strides this season, and not ending up drifting, aimlessly....like Micah Richards.
Sandro will soon be arriving, and interestingly enough O'Hara remains on the scene. I can't believe there have been no loan offers for him yet, but I also can't believe that Harry plans to actually play him. Maybe he is waiting to use the lad as a makeweight in a future transfer deal.
I like to think that Levy is playing an influential role in transfer dealings. I like to think he has told Harry he's not wasting 10-15 mil on mid-level domestic players. Ultimately, our best players (Gomes, Bale, Modric, Hudd) have not been established, PL players. They have been foreign imports or Championship wunderkids. I like to think Levy has realised this. Having said all that, the more the summer has gone on, the more I've warmed to the idea of getting Bellamy in. But to do so, Keane would have to leave. Levy's business mind probably won't allow him to let Keane leave for less that his value, but I have a feeling he will be off before the window closes.
Harry knows something is missing up top. We heard his slightly uncharacteristic dressing down of Defoe on more than one occasion last season. It's almost fate that Dos Santos played his way back into the reckoning in Africa. I for one, and Harry for two, must be excited about the prospect of pairing him with Big Pav. Expect Defoe to start, but don't be surprised to see him yanked for Dos Santos at the first sign of stagnation. Playing Dos Santos in an inevitably more withdrawn role will also probably necessitate playing Bale on the left, as his penetration up front will be much needed.
But it seems Harry is set on playing young Gareth at left back. Probably they key to all this will be how well Sandro plays in the centre of midfield. If he turns out to be the player we all hope and dream of, then Modric will play on the left, and Bale at left back. If he doesn't, then it's Modric in CM and everyone favourite hairstyle, Benoit, at LB. I have implored Harry to buy another left back, but I suppose if you intend Sandro to be a first team regular, you don't need another left back. But we'll see. One of our strongest aspects last season was our ability to adapt and change and think on our feet, so if Harry has to make some tough choices, he'll make them.
I think a vast majority of our transfer activity will take place after Tuesday night. If we win, expect Crouch, Keane, or even both to leave, and some heavenly being to ride into town to lead us to the Promised Land. I haven't given up hope on Forlan yet. I'm half suspicious that some kind of deal has already been struck. We can dream can't we? Didn't do us any harm last season did it.....
Harry has already laid down his marker for the season, much in the same way as he did last season. We all recoiled in horror when he boldly proclaimed 4th was well within our grasp. I suspect that due to the success of his wild talk last season, we were all slightly less horrified than we might have been to hear him talk up our title chances. But bear in mind, this boast is also a veiled threat to the squad. He's saying 'you lot are good enough to mix it with the best, and if you don't, I'll ruthlessly root out those who are holding us back'. Some players will take it as a threat. Some will use it as motivation. Some will feel the proverbial ten feet tall. This is who it's really aimed at. The likes of Gomes, Bale, Modric, Hudd and King. They know what is expected of them, and to be honest it's no less than they expect of themselves.
by guest-blogger Chrisman.