KLUTZ OF GUNSELS MONTH (2 of 2, then ad infinitum...)
Mickey Blue Eyes
Thank gawd the second dollop of 2011 "transfer window" excreta has disappeared down the toilet. Occasionally this kind of thing can be quite comical, like watching a gaggle of Les Dawsons do a joint impression of owl women shawlies jangling in the back jigger; more usually it is hysterical middle-aged, rumour-mongering, conspiracy-theorising bubble heads trying to impress anybody unfortunate enough to be in audio video range. Personally, I blame their parents and bad potty training. Dumping a full pot on their heads would make for a reasonable start, as it would on the media clerks who help whip up this frantic bullshit. You simply can't parody the dreary I-heard-it-first bollocks, so I won't even try, anymore than I would attempt conversation with a whining drunk who never goes the game but has a big mouth to go with big trousers and an empty head. How grown (sic) men can behave thus is a mystery to me, presumably to their counsellors too. Maybe it's time to kick off and close every transfer window with, "Andy Pandy's coming to play, tra-la-lal-la-la-laaa." Media information clerks must be laughing behind their word processors at the suckers who fall for all this utter nonsense.
Anyway, after all the tripe settled the sum total for our beloved Royal Blues was: incoming - 2, Dutch midfielder Royston Drenthe from Real Madrid and Argentine striker Denis Stracqualursi from Tigre, both on season long loans and due to provide severe problems for terrace lyricists; outgoing - 3, The Yak to Blackburn Rovers, Becks to Leicester City and Mikky to Arsenal.
I don't bother these days following details of foreign players so I can't comment on the newcomers abilities or faults. One presumes Moyesy has done all the necessary. Like everybody else I will have to wait and see how they perform and what it does to team balance. As for outgoing, The Yak has long been well below par and, sadly, won't really be missed, Becks has been iffy despite ten goals, and Mikky hasn't been on top of his game since injury in 2009. All in all, not unexpected - in fact I expected Mikky to go to Spain much earlier - but leaving us a little short. No surprises for anybody with common sense and the ability to understand basic arithmetic on a balance sheet. As long forecast, football's financial system has reached its inevitable limits. From here on in, minor fluctuations aside, remaining delusions will have to go, including absurd expectations that money grows on trees and that if it did it would solve all football problems. Now the younger players have to step up and show they have what it takes. Only time will tell, but I doubt they will get a better if daunting opportunity in their playing careers. Moyesy too will have to weave some more managerial magic. Interestingly, he is often at his best when choices narrow. Some people are like that...best under pressure. Others merely deteriorate into hysterical mush.
Defence is reasonably solid so we shouldn't have much problem there unless they are as exposed by an AWOL midfield as they were against Blackburn. Likely most of the future will rotate around the centre midfield pairing of Marouane Fellaini and Jack Rodwell and whether they can divest themselves of the maddening across-the-field safe stuff. If so, Felli will have to tighten up on playing discipline if he's to help out the younger players, and Jack is going to have to complete his development awfully quickly now. We shouldn't expect too much from Ross Barkley, not unless he can maintain his impressive couple of games. The only thing we can do upfront is wait and see what affect the new signings have on Vic and Vellios. Your guess is as good as mine or anybody else's.
A final word on Mikel Arteta, arguably our finest player of the last decade. Nobody can accuse the man of disloyalty. He owes us nothing and we owe him nothing. If anything, we came out of it millions ahead in the financial side, while he actually took a pay cut to move for a crack at the so-called Champions League. He was with us for six years, a long time in professional football. We watched him develop his game from winger to centre midfield, a position he always said he preferred. I was one of those who thought him too slight for the rôle but I was wrong by some distance. Once he made the switch and adjusted he produced some wonderful displays. This period of his game lasted about nine months and ended with a dreadful injury at Newcastle in 2009, a blow that kept him out of the Cup Final. There's no doubt in my mind we stood a very good chance of winning that game had he and Phil Jagielka been fit to play. Alas, the cruelties of football life. You don't get many second chances. But he was never the same after the injury, though he always oozed the kind of class you can't coach into anybody: you've either got it or you haven't. I still can't understand how his abilities at free kicks and corners declined so precipitately, though I hope they now get a new lease of life. My abiding memory of him will always be that famous and glorious goal in the second leg of our European tie against Fiorentina. In the end I think that is the Mikky most of us will remember.
So football time moves on dispassionately, as it always does. Shape up or ship out. If you're a shipper, here's a pair of roller skates - and be quick about it before the whole circus kicks off again in January and the Klutz of Gunsels reappear for their umpteenth tedious rehearsal.