Monday, July 18, 2011

Tevez Saga Must Be Ended Promptly

"If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done quickly." Football clubs don't have an awful lot to learn from Lady Macbeth, but her commentary on haste is one sentiment that they would do well to take note of.

Speed has forever been, and will continue to be, a crucial part of football. However, despite the presence of flying wingers and lightning quick strikers in the game, speed in the transfer market seems to be a commodity more precious than that possessed by men like Walcott and Ronaldo.

Clubs over the years seem to have developed a nasty habit of delaying things a little too long, waiting  until five to eleven on transfer deadline day to conclude a deal that could have been finalized weeks earlier. A lot of this obviously, is down to the clubs' determination to navigate through an assortment of bluffs and counter bluffs, designed to squeeze every cent out of a player, while at the same time confuse the watching public as much as possible. And of course, to get on Sky Sport News' rolling transfer bulletin at least five times a week.

However, those savvy enough seem to have realized the importance of concluding dealings quickly; Manchester United have already signed three players, insuring that the entire squad will enjoy pre season together. On the other hand, Tottenham haven't learned from their past mistakes- Luka Modric's saga is becoming reminiscent of that which involved Dimitar Berbatov.

If there is one club that really should be experienced in the execution of a deal though, it is the very one for which heeding Lady Macbeth's message is the most crucial; the bully on the transfer playground, Manchester City.

To say that City have been profligate in their spending over the past couple of years would be a gross understatement- if I had added an 'inho' to the end of my name, then I'd probably be earning 50k a week there right now!

But this summer, the situation is different. Unlike in past years, there is no room for error; if the Tevez deal isn't concluded promptly, then City's entire season could be derailed. The last thing Roberto Mancini needs heading into the new year is an unhappy player, or even worse, no player at all.

Wait too long, and the start of the season will be rolling into view- recognized strike force or not. It is vitally important that the Citizens find an adequate replacement for Tevez, but that process must be concluded within the next few days.

Unlike in past years, City have something to lose heading into the new season, a status that must be upheld if the owners' grand vision is to be fulfilled. Like it or not, it was a player that didn't want to be there who was crucial to City's rise last campaign, and unless his exit is dealt with efficiently and effectively, then it is that very player who could see City fall back to their position of old.

The pit falls of a transfer saga which drags on all summer long have already been explored by countless numbers of clubs. Most recently, Tottenham Hotspur learned what it was like to start a season with limited numbers of strikers, when they sold Dimitar Berbatov on transfer deadline day, leaving no time for a replacement to be found.

While I doubt that City's potential plight would be that extreme, they still have something to learn from the failures of  England's fifth best team. Even if a replacement was acquired before transfer window's end, Mancini would likely find it difficult to mold together a team before City's opener against Swansea. At this point in their development, it is crucial that City settle rather than continue to rebuild- a late signing is exactly the sort of business they need to avoid.

In light of news of Corinthians's denial of an agreement in fee for Tevez, City's prospects have significantly darkened; Tevez must be offloaded soon, but Corinthians are clearly ready to drag the transfer out for as long as necessary. Whether or not the officials upstairs at Manchester City are prepared to handle a situation of this importance could end up defining the club's season; about forty-five days remain in the transfer window, too often do clubs leave things to the last forty-five minutes.

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