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30 August 2006

You Can Never Rule Out Man Utd...Yada,Yada,Yada

Yes. OK. Manchester United are top of the Premiership.

Fair enough. They've scored lots of goals.

True. Chelsea have already lost a match, as have Arsenal.

But this is not the resurgence of Manchester United as the major power in Premiership football.

Here's the facts. Charlton. Fulham. Watford.

Those are the teams that Utd has played so far this season. Not exactly a list to bring fear to the hearts, is it ?

So, to all you ManChoo fans, just stop with all the 'you can never rule out Manchester United' stuff. I don't want to hear it. And nor does anyone else.

Beat Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool away and then we'll talk. OK?

The Transfer Window - It's Not Working, Is It?

When the idea of a transfer window was first suggested, it seemed kinda like a good idea. The apologists for it suggested it would force managers to manage and players to play. They even went so far as to claim it would reduce the inequality between the rich clubs and the poorer ones, as the rich clubs wouldn't be able to just buy their way out of trouble.

A few years down the line and this has all revealed itself to be absolute rubbish.

What has actually happened is that the smaller, but aspirational, clubs like Bolton and Portsmouth in the Premiership find they can't get players in. Unless they are willing to pay a) pay a Premium price they can't really afford or b) wait until the very last minute, cross their fingers and hope for the best.

The real result of the transfer window has been this:

Some clubs end up buying players they don't really want because they sold, for example, their left back then found that the replacement they had lined up is stalling and gets a better offer at the last minute. Consquently, they get in a player who isn't really as good to fill the gap.

Clubs - both buying and selling - can't really gauge what is genuine interest and what is really no more than a casual enquiry. The deadline forces all clubs to pursue a greater number of players to guard against the transfer window closing before they get someone in.

Clubs struggle to get the players they want as the player can wait until the last minute of deadline day to see if there is a better offer from somewhere else. This almost always means the smaller clubs lose out on players they might otherwise have got.

What makes it all even worse is that the transfer window doesn't close until a few weeks into the season. This makes it a very difficult time for lower league and smaller Premiership clubs who think they have put together a decent squad, only to find their star striker is poached on deadline day. This leaves them with no time to line up a replacement.

I could ramble on about the inequities of the transfer window system but let's just say it was not a system devised by the brighest and most perspicacious of minds.

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