Well the only thing of significance that’s happened, for what it’s worth, is the approval of Javier Hernandez’s work permit.
Chicharito also scored Mexico’s only goal in their 2-1 defeat to Holland.
On the transfer front, all has been quiet save for the transfers of Smalling and Hernandez during last season. It must be said, if reports are to believed, the net outlay for these transfers is £17m. The question is whether an overt dependence on this sort of scattergun approach on promising youth is really working. (Actually that shouldn’t even be a question: buying youngsters with ‘promise’ is always going to be hit and miss. More miss than hit, I dare say.)
Anyway, over the past week we’ve been linked with a predictable set of stars from around Europe. Most persistent of these rumours has been that of Rafael van der Vaart from Real Madrid. Actually it was just the one story in the Mirror which was reproduced in most other news outlets and blogs. Any transfer out of Real Madrid would happen only after the appointment of Mourinho. Which means he would probably spend time assessing his players. When he went to Inter he didn’t immediately stock up on new players. He kept the basic core and made a few enhancements. It’s questionable if Real will foist new transfers upon him or allow him to make more unilateral decisions. So any Real Madrid transfers will have to wait.
Among other players linked to us is another usual suspect, David Silva. But then, there is a Guardian story that links City with a mega twin-bid worth £70m for David Silva and Edin Dzeko. True or not, the less I talk about that, the better.
In other news, UEFA have approved a wide-ranging plan to enforce rules on ratio of earnings and wage spending. United it would seem are well within the stipulations. But that story requires a separate discussion.
There is a BBC story that contains a lot of question marks on the Glazer plans for the club. Apparently, they are willing to put more money into “team building”. Yes, at my workplace, we are scheduled to go for team building next week. It involves a cruise (booze-cruise, according to rumours, but that’s besides the point) in one of the half a billion lakes in my city. Maybe the Glazers have a similar team building exercise planned with the scale of such an event significantly higher — say a booze cruise in the Bahamas.
Anyway, my point is, until we’re strengthening in the areas we’re falling short (read: midfield, primarily) with a quality buy, cynicism will be the order of the day.
On a tangent here, but since we don’t have much to talk about anyway, I must add, as much as I despise Real Madrid, Mourinho’s arrival makes me all excited about La Liga just for the amount of juicy narrative next season will provide. The contrasting philosophies towards football that Guardiola and Mourinho bring, at the helm of the most bitter of rivals respectively, is just too mouth-watering to ignore. On Mourinho, here’s a critique, following his win with Inter, on the Run of Play. Read.