Arsenal

Has Fergie Been Hog Tied?

If you can’t beat them, common football philosophy will tell you, you better get your cheque-book out.

So, more than most, Sir Alex Ferguson can expect a vociferous demand from the Old Trafford faithful this summer to spend the dough that should be available to him.

Despite only losing out on the title on the last day by one point after losing arguably the world’s best player last summer, Manchester United’s boastful, confident countenance will have been severely harmed this season.

The question is will Fergie be able to set things right, or will the Glazers shackle him to the back of a pick-up?

Well, the fact is that United’s first signing has already been made. Javier Hernandez may be no household name, but the Mexican has scored 21 goals in 28 appearances this season for C.D. Guadalajara and has scored 4 times in 5 internationals. To cite a rebuke at those who will disparage the Mexican league, it should be noted that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was plucked from similar mundanities.

And while certain thirty million pound strikers prove frustrating, would it really be wise to repeat the feat in such pressing financial times? Manchester United attempting to justify a record English bid for stellar names while Pompey circle the drain hardly leaves the moral conscience clean. Then again, this is football, and morals certainly tread on unforgiving ground.

Whether the Glazers themselves personally intervene to tighten the purse strings this summer remains to be seen. Although the five years since their take over has seen a drop in the average transfer spending, it has also allowed the club’s largest ever transfer fee for a single player.

Ferguson, on this evidence and for now at least, remains head of the house; you simply can’t expect a manager who loves the club, who continually refutes the thought – despite the possibility – of retirement to remain docile and acceptant of an American invasion into his transfer kitty. Glazer would have the boot kicked at him. Proverbially, of course.

Moreover, the ludicrously inflated transfer market will do no favours to anyone without oil and oligarchs to pay their way. In fact, it’s probably this that has lead Fergie to lead with a line of internal structural assessment; a sensible overture that should signal a lack of desire to deal with clubs willing to play dice with negotiations over astronomical prices.

Perhaps, then, Manchester United fans shouldn’t be asking if the club will spend money this summer. They will. And, those with clarity of thought will rightfully trust Ferguson’s acumen. The more pertinent question, however, is where the hell is the money coming from: the club, or the banks?

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