Always amazes me how we can get down to the final day of the transfer window, and still be looking to acquire new players. I guess our desperation (along with everyone else's) and the opposing selling clubs agenda mean that the cat and mouse game played in the weeks leading up to 6pm cut off on the 31st August, serves both best to get a deal done and dusted. So in that final day, everyone goes loopy. Must be easier to negotiate when the clock is ticking because something has to happen, right? Last chance saloon.
If you go by what Harry says (when he's not abusing Sky Sports reporters), we need a CM and a striker.
We've signed a keeper on a season long loan (Stipe Pletikosa). Got Gallas in. Sandro has arrived. But, there is still persistence with Parker. And there are a number of forwards we've been linked with since the summer. So we've not been completely inactive. Just not overly active for areas deemed key for our continued progression. That added depth and removal of deadwood to freshen things up. Plenty of flirting, no first base.
I guess there are no young British forwards or continental gems to wine and dine.
If you look back to the methodology used to sign Modric and Berbatov (to name a couple of examples), these were players scouted and then bought well within the boundaries of the window. You'd think, having finished 4th and qualified for the CL we'd have had players tied up long before today and thus aid in avoiding the imminent melt-down of Sky Sports News.
Comolli, where are yooooooooou?
But these modern times are not as free-spending as previous seasons. There doesn't seem to be much in the way of options, and what is available appears to be way too expensive. I always thought we'd consolidate CL status with a superstar or two. I guess that's an expectancy too far. And probably nothing more than the want for something that's not actually necessary (Moddle, Bale etc - are players we should retain our faith in, as both are potential superstars). Signing of an actual world class player isn't and never has been easy, and is probably something we won't be able to do for a while yet (if all goes to plan). But it's what we lack. It's the difference between contending for 4th and challenging for the title. The other 'top 3' and City would tell you they have one or two world class players in their ranks. Liverpool too.
This is probably why some of us are frustrated with it all. But gun to head, we can't force a transfer just because it works in discussions on blogs and forums.
Perhaps we don't have quite as much disposable money available (to buy really good players who could play for us, if we could afford to match their estimation). Or maybe there is a genuine lack of affordable viable deals to be had (was Fabiano really ever an option?). Which means there is potential for panic. We've done that before what with the re-signing of Chimbonda.
This time round, it's not the defence that needs fixing up. So, who's it gonna be? Adebayor is being linked again. You would also have to speculate that one or two of our current players (the deadwood) will be shifted out on loan or otherwise. Odds on Keane to West Ham and Parker to us? With plenty of spin thrown in to attempt to mask the back footing? I guess with everyone desperate for an injection of new blood, it's all quite possible. It probably doesn't matter what's in the syringe, just stab it into the vein.
I hope we keep a level head. No need for dilatation of the pupils.
Levy and Harry should only sign a player(s) if it's the right player. Might be that there are three or four 'right players', and for reasons touched upon above, it comes down to the last day thanks to the tradition of wheeling (soz 'arry) and dealing and the fact that those opposing clubs play hard-ball right up to the final hour.
Irony to all this is, on the surface, it all looks a bit manic. But then most of what's being written is just commentary on what people think is going on. Leaked info from agents, genuine club insiders talking to their journo mates. Take a look around:
Adebayor to Spurs/Adebayor to remain at City. Parker bid rejected from Spurs/Parker to join Spurs. Young to Spurs/Young in no hurry to move.
All corners covered then.
Keane is now being linked with a move to Besiktas. Jenas to Stoke? Is 46 year old Sully Muntari really going to sign for us? Jim White's head to explode in 3...2...1...
We don't need much in the way of change. I'd rather a new forward than a new CM. Would love a game-changer, a talismanic signing. But my feet are firmly on the ground.
Onwards to 6pm.
I hope to be surprised. But won't be surprised if nothing happens.
Visit the DML Facebook page for collective shaking of the head whilst the hours tick away with no sign of a new player signing for the Lilywhites.
You tube vids here.