MCFC save Transfer Deadline day!

Manchester City seem to have today spared the embarrassment of legions of football journalists standing patiently outside football grounds all over the country waiting for something to happen, by announcing that Bayern Munich head coach Pep Guardiola will be replacing Manuel Pellegrini in the summer. 

Although journalists are usually prolific when it comes to picking a players name out of thin air, picking a value between twenty five million pounds and one hundred million pounds and then thinking long and hard about a club that may be in the market for a player or two, on transfer deadline day their sources and knowledge of imminent deals have to be slightly more genuine than usual. As in; not a load of bollocks like every other day of the year. “Lionel Messi is closer to leaving Barcelona these days than ever”, said Guillem Balague cryptically informing us that Leo Messi is never leaving Barcelona….I think!

On a day that has seen very little transfer activity, news outlets across the country have been struggling to scrape together any credible transfer stories and the go-to sources for football gossip – hairdressers, dog walkers and old drinking buddies of big name players – have even gone quiet it seems.

Transfer Deadline day is often billed as one of the most exciting days in the football calendar, where clubs open their cheque books and splash the cash and learn the same lesson as holidaymakers that wait until the very last minute to get a late deal only to find it is more expensive than doing your business early.

However, with only a handful of deals having been secured in England’s top flight, including Alex Pritchard (who?) moving from Tottenham to West Brom on loan and Seydou Doumbia (….errr?) signing for Newcastle from Roma – also on loan – there really is very little to get excited about….unless you’re connected with Manchester City.

Fortunately, the announcement of Pep Guardiola taking over at the Etihad next season has given the football public at least something to talk about, as the excitement surrounding transfer deadline day once again looks to rumble on without any of the intensity of previous years, that Sky Sports continue to cling to and force down the throats of football fans, fooling them into believing that although it is 10:59pm, their club is about to pull off something big.

With several hours to go (as I write this) before the window ‘slams’ shut, a couple of high profile moves could still be on the cards, but it is hard to see any of the big guns taking the plunge at this late stage of a day increasingly becoming a 24 hour window for selling clubs to exploit the desperation of clubs who have started their negotiations far too late.


Manchester United Set to Miss out!

Time is running out for Louis Van Gaal and his ailing Manchester United team and with the January transfer window set to slam shut on Monday, it is hard to see anyone making their way through the Old Trafford doors as the clock ticks away into similar obscurity as United’s season.

Throughout January (and several months before) Manchester United have been linked to the Worlds elite. Ronaldo, Bale and Neymar to name a few, but even with bias on my side, I find it difficult to understand the logic in these type of players leaving a World Class club that they are playing for week-in-week-out to join a Manchester United side struggling not only to win games, but that have been branded a boring team to watch.

Perhaps players will see that as incentive. Just maybe the likes of Neymar and Bale will thinking that they can be the player to bring the spark and the creativity that United are missing, however it is hard to believe they will give up the opportunity to play alongside the likes of Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in preference to playing alongside Mauroune Felliani and Jesse Lingard.

Other players have been linked, like Felipe Anderson of Lazio and Romelu Lukaku, but unless Ed Woodward works his usual deadline day magic (and is forced into paying over the odds once again) then it is unlikely that Louis Van Gaal will have no new plays to unleash…or should I say; keep on a tight, defensive-driven leash.

Louis Van Gaal needs to rally his players and finish the season with conviction. This is not the greatest Manchester United squad by any stretch of the imagination, but if you look closely there is quality, certainly enough quality to overcome the defeats United have suffered to the likes of Bournemouth, Norwich, Swansea and Southampton this season.

As they prepare for an FA cup tie against Derby tonight, the FA Cup could be the only realistic pursuit for silverwear left to Van Gaal and their performance will be monitored closely. If they once again turn out with negative, predictable tactics that ultimately ends in either an awkward victory or devestating defeat, the reminder will be telling that Manchester United, despite already spending large sums of money in recent times, need to spend a lot more.