So, with the signing of Frimpong, Fulham have pulled out a transfer which no one expected, it’s fair to say. This is nothing new; in fact this is how we’ve conducted ourselves ever since Roy took the helm (remember how open Sanchez was with transfers?), and Jol especially is very secretive about transfers, as local journalist Jacob Murtagh identified in yesterday’s Cottage Talk. As infuriating as it is for the fans, it makes complete sense in terms of business practise: keep our targets, finances and negotiations low profile, and the less chance there is of someone coming in and gazumping us or manipulating a quote or situation to force the club into a corner, especially in a frenzied period of transfers like January.
It’s why there is very, very little point in speculating and judging the transfer window until it shuts. The fact is, we just don’t know what is going on, and as irritating at it is that is the policy of the manager and the club. There has been a lot of hysteria concerning our lack of activity in the window, and believe me, I am just as frustrated as you are, but some of the claims such as “The club don’t care.” or “The club are doing nothing.” are ridiculous. They could be true, but as I say, we just don’t know, and considering yesterday’s interview with the manager and the outstanding competency of Mackintosh and Al Fayed, who together have transformed the club’s finances and direction, I find it highly unlikely and insulting to their professionalism.
What do we know that is not idle paper speculation? We have signed Chris David, eventually, and have signed Emmanuel Frimpong on loan from Arsenal. We have also made a bid for Greek captain Torosidis who rejected us for Roma, a Korean left back’s father said he’s chosen QPR instead of Fulham, and we lost M’Vila to Rubin Kazan – although the latter is not explicitly mentioned, Jol strongly implied it, again in yesterday’s FulhamFC.com interview. Everything else is paper talk; whether this is a thread of truth in the fabric of Fulham in Fleet Street, we just don’t know. I would take things with a pinch of salt
Beyond that, any statements on our transfer dealings are entirely conjecture, and this is what annoys me most. There is, surely by definition, no point in discussing or getting emotionally wound up by conjecture, nor is there any benefit in doing so. All it serves to do is promote a potentially false idea (whether positive or negative), and considering how low on morale the entire club and fan base is right now it is the last thing we need. Just be measured – especially those who are using it to validate their #JolOUT campaign.
I personally prefer to stay philosophical about the whole thing and don’t pay any attention to what the papers or websites say; I just wait for quotes explicitly from agents, managers and players, and confirmation from the clubs. Agents are known to feed papers in order to promote their clients or invent leverage for negotiation. I feel as if I say this every six months, but judge the window AFTER it closes, not before. And please note that I am not drawing any conclusions from this window so far, or saying that it has been positive, or saying the club have money they’re not spending or don’t have many to spend. I’m just calling for a bit of rationale.