Blink, and you'll miss someone else blink...
Carroll bid rejected, ho hum. Remember when Sunderland wanted £25M from us for Jones. And where is Jones now? There's a Bentleyesque risk about it for sure. Although you wouldn’t scoff at say £15M for the Geordie, especially if he got the goals that took us back into 4th and consolidated another Champions League finish. And we sort of kinda want some consolidation. The running theme since the summer continues its march forwards. Although it’s hardly a march. More of a drunken waddle.
From the outside looking in, you wonder how reactive and chaotic our search for ‘the answer’ is. Do we have a list of players that Levy and Harry agree are viable targets? I reckon so. Are they in agreement that say, player 1 is the priority but player 2 and player 3 will also be good signings. I reckon yes. Are they shifting from one to the other in a constant merry-go-round, flirting with player/agent/opposing club and using in addition using the media to perhaps aid manipulate and work their way to a resolution? Hell yeah. Considering how focused Levy is I doubt there’s much dithering going on behind the scenes. The issue, as frustrating as it appears, can be blamed on circumstance. Mainly, transfer fees and wages and genuine availability (from club and the player). You can't force the issue, especially if others are also playing the waiting game.
If none of the targets we want are going to join for any amount of reasons, then bidding £25M for Carroll might be the only way we can attempt to force some home made consolidation to arrive before the month of February begins. Or, if you like the left-field, Levy is making a bid for a player that Newcastle don’t and won’t sell in order to perhaps send out a message to one of the other targets and the club that currently owns said targets contract.
Last minute deadline day transfer shenanigans can sometimes appear to be frantic opportunistic desperate risks. Equally so, clubs can end up with 3rd of 4th choice players. I prefer to think that the links, the connections – they are there and when you get towards the last grain of sand in the hour glass both opposing clubs wait to make a final move, their best interests at heart.
Not to say mistakes don’t happen. Pav being one of them. £14M for one of the most apologetic forwards I’ve ever seen. And we’ve hardly thrown him in at the deep end and asked him to play ten straight games. Proved vital, ironically, last season with some important goals. But the point being – we need someone several ‘levels’ of upgrade above the Russian.
Caveat here: More irony, Pav almost felt like the second prize (player) signed and delivered because the Arshavin transfer never materialised, what with Zenit going loopy with their demands. Sometimes, your number one target ends up being tagged as a lucky escape. There's always an element of risk. You don't ever quite know. But if we spend, would rather a player that's young and has potential but can do a job here and now. Both aforementioned Russians flatter to deceive.
Great movement, good in the air, runs like the wind...cheeky bid?
I wouldn’t believe any statements anyone makes either as we edge closer to end of the month. Especially Harry who (as tehTrunk pointed out) resembles a footballing version of Comical Ali at the minute, constantly contradicting and deflecting. Other clubs are hardly going to welcome us in with ease and agents will always tell their clients to not appear too overly keen and eager.
When a call comes in with a final offer...it’s time to make up your mind. For all concerned. And deals tend to be made far quicker with the deadline in sight. The early part of the month is just teaser.
If Harry is truly sharing with us the truth, it’s an insane amount of transparency (i.e. ‘we can’t afford the wages of certain players etc etc’) so personally, there’s an agenda to all the soundbites. And the chairman is in on it. Just my opinion.
I'm actually disappointed that world football only appears to have four or five available forwards for us to flirt with.
Since the window opened there has been around 5-6 viable transfer targets based on history of prior stories, quotes and windows. I’m sure you’ve all been following the ITK updates as they move from one player to another. Reactive to what is actually being reported elsewhere. One of them is bound to strike lucky at some point. What a mess of love that will turn out to be.
Only piece of ITK I've been told (and asked not to share at the time) turned out to be true, even if the timing of it was off by several hours (and no, I’m not sharing it – it’s happened now so it hardly matters, but out of respect to the person it’s best left alone). The point is, the info was precise, unlike some of our esteemed friends (including the ones that have now retired thanks to the rotten fruit thrown in their direction after one too many tall tales).
Considering the amount of work that goes into transfers (ground work especially) the detail, the granularity of the details these ITK's go into can only possibly be known if they know someone at the club who sits on Levy's lap whilst he phones up chairman of clubs on the continent inquiring about the availability of target(s).
If I was a betting man, I’d wager on another vdV type ‘omg where did that come from?’ signing.
No new blood up front would be disappointing. We never consolidated in 2006 (remember that particular window?). Considering how the Prem is beginning to shape up, both chairman and manager must appreciate what is required to level things out. If we’re discussing it, so are they. And at the end of the day – literally – if something is going to happen, it will do so regardless of whether we know about it hours before.
Speculate to accumulate. We’ve got the money.
So who out there has the testicular fortitude to spearhead our attack?