I dare say it’s far from over, this madness. This wonderful, ‘bright new day’ kind of madness at Eastlands. The pace of transfer activity and the scope of speculation has picked up again since the curtain fell on South Africa’s mildly interesting, predictably unpredictable tournament – and I for one am glad to be back to normality. I say normality – it’s all relative. I’ve cheered up a bit, and I hope I speak for every City fan in expressing excitement about 10-11 and the trepidation that’s starting to kick in.
Once again, there’s no way of knowing how we’re going to get on. On paper, we should burst out of the traps, kill everything, have a pee against an official’s leg, dig a hole or two, bark a lot and then sniff the stupid rabbit’s bum before mounting it and chewing one of its ears off. But then City being City, it’s not about what’s on paper, so even if we do storm the charts, we’ll leave plenty of time to eat a plastic bag followed by some grass, chuck up making horrible noises and have a farty sleep about halfway round. But that’s the frustrating beauty of it all – and what makes City fans slightly queasy in a strangely familiar and welcoming way every season.
Anyway, three major signings thus far – all World Cup achievers who could have stayed at or gone to Champions League achievers. All, needless to say, positive acquisitions, albeit slightly overpriced, but then until we have titles and silverware, we’ll have to pay over the odds for those who can help us achieve them. But what does it mean for those who’ve played major parts in the panto so far? We can’t really hold on to all of them, so who’s for the rickety table in the Aldi car park?
In my experience, you start looking at what’s in the cupboard under the stairs and before you know it, it’s all ‘wow, I’d forgotten about this!’ and ‘I reckon I’d wear these now’ and ‘we can’t get rid of this little fella – look at him!’ But I’ll take a wild guess at it not being like that at the top level of football. For a start, Cook’s boot is already full of left-handed golf clubs and books about how to wind the wrong people up and make us look stupid. Regardless, let’s look at who’s got a sticker on them, and who’s going to go where and for how little.
Ireland – linked with Sunderland and Scumchester United, but I still reckon Liverpool might step in. A fantastic player who thrives on and deserves regular first team action. Would be a snip at anything under £5million. Ooh – how about Big Samuel reviving him at Blackburn. Eh? Eh? £6million and a written apology about RSC? Signed by Mark Hughes? Bite his arm off…
Onuoha – strong links to Sunderland, possibly Spurs or part of the idiotic, unnecessary wrangling for Milner, who we don’t need THAT much. Maybe falls short of Mancini’s vision, but an asset nonetheless. In the same shoebox as Ireland, pricewise. £5million upwards or part of a better deal than Milner. Maybe chuck a scart lead and a novelty ashtray in – can’t say fairer than that.
Bellamy – Spurs more or less a formality. £? Does it matter? I think we should hold onto him for another season, I really do. Or at very least sell him to a team that can’t use him against us. But my prediction is first sale of the day, before you’ve even turned your engine off. A big dopey-eyed fright is tapping on the window, but isn’t as daft as he looks.
SWP – I’ve stood up for Shaun a lot, and still do to a degree. Could have been a bigger influence in South Africa if Capello had any testicles. But again, maybe not consistent enough to help us go higher. Would go well with half a Scalextric set. Hopefully hasn’t got too high an opinion of himself (like his dad) or he’ll end up on the bench again and reappear in the back of someone’s car before you know it.
Garrido – Surprised we didn’t take him to the charity shop ages ago. Sorry. In amongst the odd, laceless shoes and the mobile phones with no batteries. 20p just to not see him again.
Richards – apparently we’ve told Liverpool to back off. If he can grow up and stop eating so much, I reckon we should dust him off and give him a fighting chance. A future England mainstay or a Championship thug, it’s down to him and no-one else. No, we don’t want to swap him for a fishing rod (yet), and he won’t be any cheaper when you’ve had an economy burger and an argument about tobacco tins.
So there we have it. As useless and uninformative an article as you’re likely to read today. But hey, we’ve got new toys and can’t be arsed with ebay.
Watch out, here comes another interesting run up to deadline day.
George Caveney. A man wearing a badge with, ‘I am smiling’ on it.