So there I was, egg on face, after totally misplacing the opening of the transfer window to the tune of one month, but in the end it didn’t stop Man City snaffling Barry Gareth and Real Madrid nipping in for a slice of Kaka. Seems people are doing their business early this summer.
I guess, with Barry, that he was free to sign a pre-contract, with just one year left on his current deal? Either that or the transaction was simply done nice and early. Dunno. Either way, he’s gone and massively improved his salary but has moved to a club that is – contrary to his reasons for wanting to move – patently not in the Champions League, and indeed finished the season below the one he left. Read from that what you will.
I recall, at the tail end of the transfer window last summer, wondering how long it would be before City were breathing down the necks of the top four, but in the end we had nothing to fear last season. We might have nothing to fear this next one too, but the way they are going about their business – and the money they are spending – suggests to me that they intend to break into that elite sooner rather than later, and it’s another thing Wenger and Gazidis will no doubt have taken into account when planning for this summer.
The simple fact is, there is a limited pool of talent, but an increasing number of teams prepared to bid for it. So how Arsenal go about recruiting will be an interesting feature of the close season. It also reaffirms that signing Arshavin – a big European name, albeit one with no previous experience outside Russia – was a coup. Had we waited until this summer, we might well have been gazumped.
And finally tonight – I can only blog at night, at the moment, for reasons of having small children – what to make of the whole Tony-Adams-to-Celtic thing?
Now, if you listen to both these interviews carefully, it’s clear that he has not been offered the job (of head coach), and has not even applied for it, but he does suggest that Wim Jansen has put his name in the ring. And Adams is clearly interested in the role – who of his experience wouldn’t be?
Celtic have since come out and denied everything.
It is odd though – if Adams honestly thought he stood a chance, would he really have talked about it on national radio? Of course not. I suspect he’s just reminding people that he’s available, and this will put his name back in the press. It already has.
He also talks about coming back to Arsenal – and how much he’d like to – and that’s nice to hear. Will it ever happen? I can’t see it right now, especially not as a manager, but he’s still young enough to make a name for himself.