Well the deed is done. In a matter of 2 days what had hitherto looked like a decent January transfer window for us has just become an absolute nightmare.
Let me be clear..just a few days back I had penned an article indicating why in my opinion we should sell Juan Mata this winter transfer window so my total disgust with this recent turn of events has nothing to do with the reality that he has been sold. My beef is with who we sold him to and when in the transfer window.
For the first time in over a decade the self righteous Red Devils were in trouble..in turmoil and literally facing down the possibility of a next season without champions league footie. They reportedly had close to 200million in funds for transfer yet every target they were linked with Koke, Gundogan, Reus, Herrerra, Garay, Contreao, Dante etc etc etc was telling them the same thing..' thanks but no thanks'. Someone like Daniele De Rossi was publicly thanking his lucky stars for not making the mistake of joining ManU and as the January transfer window was drawing to it final third it became very possible that despite their multiple needs No marguee players were interested in risking their careers by coming to Manu and that they would thus have to make do with what they had. The rumblings of Wayne Rooney planning to jump ship to Real come summer were growing and there was the talk of RVP possibly even feigning injury to avoid playing.We topped that of with a comprehensive beating handed to them at the bridge and this was literal nirvana. The old nemesis were truly on the ropes.
Then what happened next…our so called brain trust decided to extend the hand of fellowship to a club that gave us the middle finger in the summer when we sought one of their 4 strikers. Honestly I don`t blame them for doing it..that is how it should be. Spurs did the same to us and Liverpool have given us so many kicks and hits to sensitive areas in the transfer window business that you would think that we would have learnt our lessons by now. But oh no. Jose, Mike and Roman decided that we should play the ultimate Santa Clause and gift ManU with exactly what they needed in their hour of need; a marquee player who addresses one of their critical points of weakness. A player whose profile as a person is sure to lift morale for a club that was down in the pits and a player whose arrival may then spur others to now suddenly take interest and decide to join David Moye's project.
Some people will say he is just one player..he wont make much of an impact..excuse me, did these guys see what impact Ozil has had with the gunners (not just the goals and assists he brings to the table but the tremendous morale and confidence boost his arrival brought)? Do these people forget what impact Suarez has had at Liverpool, How RVP virtually singlehandedly secured the BPL title for ManU last year?
Guys the so called demise of ManU has been greatly exaggerated. As bad as ManU have been at this very moment they are only 6 points of 4th place..that is just two wins for them and two loses for current 4th place occupier; Liverpool. Let no one be surprised when at Season`s end ManU are again among the top 4 and when it happens we will be able to thank Uncle Jose and company for their great call on this. Mata will have a big impact for them and we will look like the absolute mugs we are for sanctioning this deal and doing it in such rapid fire pace so he can integrate quickly for them and at the miserable quoted price.
Seriously, am I supposed to believe that Mata had no takers in all of continental Europe that we had to sell to ManU? Seriously am I to believe that had we hawked him to Napoli, Juve, PSG , Monaco etc that we would have got not takers even if for 5-10 mill less than what ManU offered? Am I to believe that suddenly We have become the beggar club that just accepts what ManU offers and hands over one of our most prized assets within 2-3 days of their asking?
People, let us not forget before we get ahead of ourselves, this BPL season is barely half way ..we have no basis for any sense of entitlement or accomplishment. We are not first or second..we are currently 3rd in the BPL..occupying the last guaranteed champions league slot..we are just 6 points (that magic number 6 again) above 4th placed Liverpool..that means as simple as two misplaced losses for us and two wins for them and suddenly we are back in the dangerous pack of 5 teams separated by just 6-7 points all battling tooth and nail for that final spot.
The smart, wise thing to do would have been to do everything in our power to sabotage ManU even more so they would fall further down in that group of 5 teams vying for position 4..instead we gave them heavy ammunition to clamber back up and only a fool does favors to the devil because rest assured when the time comes he will repay your "kindness" with a knife in your back.
If we end up winning the BPL or finishing second and still managing to win the FA cup or even better the Champions league and if ManU still finishes out of the top 4 and preferably in a Europa league spot where that tournament can further sap their strength and resources then at seasons end I will come here on VC to give my full mea culpa and take my well deserved flagellations from the VC community like a man. If on the other hand at season`s end we end up with no trophies, still stuck on third or worse and ManU manage to secure a top 4 finish or even God forbid finish above us just remember this rant…remember I called this deal with ManU even worse than the debacle that saw us sign El nino from Liverpool for 50mill when Sergio Arguero was available from Atletico Madrid for substantively less.
While I can understand what may have driven Jose to do this (undervaluing Mata, his misplaced friendship and loyalty with SAF, misplaced confidence and arrogance that ManU is so wounded that they are no longer a threat etc) what baffles me is that Emenalo and Roman went along with this, with absolutely no sign of dissent. This is part of what I was saying in my prior article as to why our board structure is so poor. A DOF should have enough clout, experience and confidence to call out a manager when he is making a wrong personnel decision. Emenalo sadly I suspect has never told Roman no on anything the big boss wanted and I suspect he is unable to stand up to Jose either. If we had someone like Heynckes or Hiddink there instead I doubt this sort of joke of a deal would have transpired without some major fireworks. There is a reason no such nonsensical deals are done by clubs like Bayern and City…hint they have guys of clout and vast experience on their boards who can tell their high profile managers when they have got it wrong!!!
To add further salt to this festering open wound, I am now reading that we are sounding out Mohammed Sallah (from FC Basel) as a potential replacement and being quoted 12-15 mill Euros. If true the hilarity of this would be the stuff of comedy central. We sold Mata and KDB and are now contemplating bringing in Sallah as a replacement (trying to hijack the deal Liverpool is trying to make with the guy..ala the Willian situation?) How childish is this? How about we save the money, recall our own home grown winger (Moses) who is just warming the bench at Liverpool while Brendan Rodgers gives preference to his player .; Raheem Sterling . (This is another case of our never seeming to learn our lessons..we have seen this movie before when we sent Josh to Brendan at Swansea with the same ending..lots of bench time and sight seeing with little actual playing time while Brendan appropriately priortitizes developing his own players). Before the detractors get in an uproar and try to undervalue Moses, yes this guy is not willian quality but last season in his debut with us as a 21 yr old he scored 10 goals with 3 assists in all competitions in mostly sub appearances. Can he really be much worse than what we see from Schurrrle who we have retained? Why spend money ..especially the reported 12-15 mill reported on Sallah while Moses would cost us nothing to recall and instead should we not be trying to get a striker in this window since Jose and co seemed to be so much in need of ManUs cash that they couldnt wait to get Mata sent to them quick enough?
Between the funds from the KDB and now Mata purchases we can activate the release clauses of either Jackson Martinez or Diego Costa and address an actual need we have right now. Are we seriously going to wait, instead get another AM after selling two who are arguably better quality and then wait till summer to address our striker needs when these very guys availability and prices may evaporate if they happen to have decent to great world cup showings? Someone please help me here. How do these sort of decisions even make sense?
In one fail swoop the joy of our steady team improvement and the signing of Nemenja Matic have vanished. Unless Jose, Mike and Roman get it together really quick (only 9 days left) this January transfer window may end up being more shrouded in infamy than that sorry one from 2011.
On a positive note thank goodness for Gus Poyet and his Sunderland boys for helping his extended Blue nation family out by sending the red devils packing out of the Capitol one cup right there at Old Trafford. It is the one positive bit of news i have heard today that has any ramifications to Chelsea FC.
Okay Rant over..i am sorry of this has such a dark ambience to it. I am really struggling to see what rational thinking and judgment went into the decisions our brain trust have made in the last few days on this mata transfer. I hope I am wrong and just being myopic..time will tell.