Ed here. … Two stories on Soccernet caught my eye this morning.
First, Manchester City insist they are going to make a big splash in the winter transfer window that will open at the end of this month. The names linked to them are the usual suspects, of course, the likes of Messi, Ronaldo, Kaka, and given his situation at Manchester United, possibly Carlos Tevez. Though, I have some suspicions, even as a United fan, whether you would put Tevez with the company of those others if it’s truly a “big name” that City seek to sign. Tevez, however, might certainly be the most available of that group. I talked on the new podcast about the Tevez situation. I don’t think he’s happy coming off the bench, and with Berbatov now joining Rooney and Ronaldo in the mix, I just don’t think there’s minutes for Tevez – and of that group, he seems to be the last choice for Sir Alex. And I don’t think the manager is necessarily wrong in that assessment, either.
But while Tevez might be a convenient buy from their neighboring rivals, it isn’t the answer as to what is A) going to lead them toward the top of the Premiership, and B) becoming “the” club on the world stage, where all the top players will want to go play and thus, perhaps, accomplishing Goal A. More after the jump.
Another name linked to City is goalkeeper Iker Casillas. Now there’s a smart move, perhaps. Not that Casillas is the end all be all of goalkeepers, but it’s a move that would have a much more positive impact on City on the field than some of the others would, in terms of the actual gathering of points in the standings. But then, that doesn’t seem to be the goal at City. They seem more hellbent on signing a star, any star, with the supposed thought that this is going to lead to better marketing, creating a brand, and that suddenly, a great team that wins back-to-back league titles is just going to appear out of thin air.
If you’re going to spend70M in January – why not get 3, 4, or 5 players – if you are serious about trying to contend that is. This is where I’d be concerned if I was a City fan. I’m not sure their tactics have any intent to actually win anything – they appear more intent on becoming a world power that lacks substance.
Meanwhile, noted City nemesis and former Manchester United midfielder Roy Keane has his own problems at Sunderland. As we discussed in the new podcast, Keano’s boys have gone downhill faster than Plaxico Burress’s career lately, and he was damned in public this week by the man who helped him write his autobiogrphy, Eamon Dunphy. Among other things, Dunphy was quoted in the Soccernet article today as saying:
“He is rambling about all sorts of things and it’s really ridiculous. He is in serious danger of getting relegated but I think that Roy Keane is beginning to believe the Roy Keane mythology.”
Sunderland have lost six out of their last seven games. Dunphy continued: “He is pontificating on everything. He’s lost the plot. I have the highest regard for him, he’s a remarkable, intelligent, family man, but he’s lost the plot big time.
“He hasn’t had a settled side and I think he is in a fog at the moment. Everyone gets there at some point in your life, when things get too much for you. You don’t know where the levers for control are and he’s making some really silly decisions. He paid all that money for Anton Ferdinand and dropped him. Then there is [El Hadji] Diouf on the bench and out of favour.”
It goes back to what I said on the podcast. Get your shots in on Keane now, because one way or another, I don’t think he’s going to be available to kick around next season. Sunderland are becoming safer bets for relegation by the week, and you wonder now if Keane is even going to survive long enough for the Black Cats to be officially consigned to that fate. Keane’s management ability always seemed to rely more on bluster and motivation than it did on tactics. That motivational style is going to wear thin on even the best players after a while, and if there is a suspect tactical acumen behind it, then trouble ensues.
That trouble seems to be around the corner for Keane.
But hey, on the bright side, Keane is still kind of a big name, so maybe City will sign him.