Sorry for the fact that my update arrived a lot later than billed.
Transfer deadline day was manic but none of the big news involved us, which, if I’m honest, I was relieved about. You see, I’d believed all those hints in The Times about Jimmy Bullard being offered around the Premier League for sale. Well, our ‘star midfielder’ is still with us – despite Fabio Capello recognising his ability (or not, and more about that later).
Our transfer deadline day business involved a loan signing – Julian Gray from Coventry (as we trailed in the post below). Whilst it was a bit of a bolt from the blue, Gray is by trade a left winger and we’d let two of us those go already this summer. Chris Coleman, our former manager and now the man in charge at the Ricoh Arena, was complimentary about Gray as was Andy Johnson, his former team-mate at Palace, who will be perhaps on the end of some crosses from our new loan signing. My hunch is that Gray, who can also play at left-back, is a signing designed to provide depth for the first-team squad but who wouldn’t get in Roy’s first team line-up unless there were injuries. Therefore, there are no qualms about this deal.
Collins John has joined NEC on loan, not on a free transfer as previously reported. That means he might be back – but we’ll have to wait and see.
The big stories surrounded Manchester City, who seemed intent on buying up most of world football’s eligible batchelors at one stage on deadline day, and Newcastle, from where Kevin Keegan walked again (no great surprise there, then). City did poach Robinho from under the noses of Chelsea, which was funny, but their sale to a bunch of Arab billionaires does make you wonder where the slippy road on which football currently finds itself is heading. Will you have to have bucketloads of cash to compete in future? Yes. Will that harm the game? Undoubtedly. Could it destroy it? Quite possibly.
The relationship between football’s masters and the fans, who once were the lifeblood of the sport, is broken already – perhaps beyond repair. The old season-ticket holders and merchandise buyers are slowly being priced out of the game and replaced by fans on the other side of the world. If the latest reports about City’s new owners are to be believed their new strategy is based around energy drinks, cars and Asian fans. Where will that leave the lifelong City supporters who live on the Moss Side estates? Perhaps its a point to ponder further another day.