SOTN - Faith
You won't have missed the nonsense this morning about Rooney and swapping him for Mata or Luiz and a lot of money.
Twitter almost spontaneously combusted with Chelsea fans spitting out their cornflakes in rage over the sheer lunacy of the deal, and of United fans creaming their jockeysocks in unison at the thought of one of the world's finest number tens playing for them.
How can Chelsea be so stupid?
Come to think of it, how stupid would United be to turn it down?
As some of us tried to tell you at the time, it was the biggest load of nonsense since the last Katie Price book. It is just meaningless words concocted by someone who has had a huge wind-up at everyone's expense. It was telling those of the established journos (yes, Ben Smith, Ollie Holt, Matt Lawton - we mean you) we're trying to stand by whoever wrote the story, whereas others (Sam Wallace, Martin Samuel and the excellent Rory Smith - we mean you) did not believe it for one second and could scarcely hide their amazement and disappointment that the Daily Mail chose to run the story, suggesting in one case that 'some journalists should concentrate on what is actually happening than what they wish was happening'.
What actually happened of course was Chelsea made a cash bid of GBP27m, and United turned us down, but chose to leak to media sources that the deal was the ten million plus Mata or Luiz. Why they chose to do this can only be for PR reasons - United would rather have the rags talking about Chelsea wanting to get rid of two their best players (Mata and Luiz) than the rags talking about United having to get rid of one of their best players in Rooney.
It probably seemed like clever PR at the time of course, but whoever it was did not think far enough ahead - one wonders what in fact they thought would happen when the Daily Mail ran with it? Shock horror. Chelsea clarify the situation with a press release saying it how it is, and of course now leaving United looking rather pathetic.
I applaud Chelsea for being smart enough to see what was happening and sorting it out.
But the point I'd like to make for this SOTN here is tangential - bear with me.
I was a little alarmed at the vitriol leveled at the club, particularly Gourlay and Emenalo and (unbelievably!) Jose himself, as the reports came out. Huge swathes of our fanbase were seething with resentment and sarcasm, slating all three to high heaven on Twitter. Now lets discount for a second the character trait of believing what you read in the notoriously mendacious UK agenda-driven media, or what miserable and tragic indictment that passes on you as a person. Leaving that aside - what in the world has the club done, transfer wise, that deserves such derision?
I'd contend we have a very, very savvy operation going here now.
When did we start doing silly business like the press were trying to suggest? Not even the giddy days of immediately post-Roman were that daft. We used to buy badly. We used to get mugged left right and centre.
Not any more.
We have a smart, very well considered transfer policy and are nobody's mugs any more. Just ask Porto and Napoli - they try every summer for the flavour of the month and every summer we walk away because they are taking the piss. We buy top class younger players and kids and we develop them.
You only have to look at the players playing for us against Singha Allstars this afternoon to realise how good our transfer policy is.
Wallace - looks a class signing.
Azpilicueta - one of the best young RBs in the world, Spanish international, signed for 8m.
De Bruyne - the definition of money well spent. Absolutely class.
Luiz - paid 22m, is worth 10m more than that now.
Ramires - quality buy.
Van Ginkel - already looks a quality buy and we got him on the cheap.
Schurrle - see above. Both have potential to be world class.
Cahill - 7m. Nuff said.
Ba - 7m paid and we'd get more than that to sell him on. Profit.
Lukaku - people scoffed at us paying 18m for him, they dont anymore.
Then you've got Mata for 23m and Oscar for 20m, and Hazard arguably the best player in the Prem now and a steal at 32m.
When was the last dodgy buy we had? Marin - fair enough, but he was only 8m and we'd likely recoup that when we sell him.
I can really only think of Benayoun and Torres in the last few years. And even in Torres' case you can probably make a case for him having recouped a lot of his value in terms of shirtsales and the small matter of key goals vs Barca away and THAT night in Amsterdam. He scored 23 goals last season. We'd probably get 15m for him if we sold him, so he isnt a total unmitigated catastrophe.
My point is made.
We do not get mugged off in the transfer market any more. We pay fair value or we walk away, and we have easily the best 'hit rate' for new players coming in of any top team - Liverpool, United or Arsenal would absolutely kill to have as many resounding hits in the transfer market as we get and keep on getting.
Yet people (and our own fans) continue to think that just because someone writes it, it is true. Written by some idiot with attention issues and no personality who needs to do a wind up in the papers to gain some twitter followers and make a name for himself at the gutter rags. How does this prideless nobody deserve credibility and credence over our own transfer team who - and I deliberately repeat myself here - have proven themselves over and over and over again recently.
Just a thought here people.
How about we give Emenalo, Jose and Gourlay and the backroom people who handle this business for us a little more respect and recognition in what they do?
And next time the papers need to sell more chip paper in the north of England and so make up nonsense that the unwashed millions up there will want to read to mollify their fears of the rising Chelsea juggernaut - next time they deliberately try to destabilise the club and our players - just bear in mind this piece.
Trust in Jose. And Emenalo. And yes: even in Gourlay (about transfers at least!)