2011: A Transfer Odyssey
By Ric Turner, Thu 01 September 2011 09:49
By City’s standards, it was a relatively quiet transfer window, with just the, um, twenty three deals (including loans) in total. Gael Clichy and the supremely gifted Samir Nasri (played by a hybrid of a thin Michael McIntyre and a French lesbian) arrived from feeder club Arsenal, whilst Stefan Savic was picked up for £7m from The Verve.
Sergio Aguero has also arrived, and the sound of collective jaws dropping on Merseyside could be heard all the way down the East Lancs Road as the realisation struck Liverpool fans that he cost a mere £3m more than Andy Carroll. They can, however, console themselves with the acquisition of Craig Bellamy, who should serve as an exemplary mentor to the psychotic Geordie.
The most surprising deal of the window, however, saw Owen Hargreaves arrive on a free transfer from Manchester Royal Infirmary. It was an astute piece of business, replacing the perennially crocked Roque Santa Cruz with the effervescent Hargreaves. One wonders just how stringent the medicals are at City these days. “Are you able to walk Mr Hargreaves? OK, you're in...”
Heading through the exit door at Eastlands were the hapless Jo, Jerome “J-Bo” Boateng and Emmanuel Adebayor, who claimed he needed to leave City in order to “feel loved”. Those cheery souls at the Lane, with their affectionate ditty about his parents, should provide such an environment.
Meanwhile, Michael Johnson has gone on loan to Leicester City, where Sven Goran-Eriksson’s relentless mission to recreate Manchester City circa-2007 gathers pace. Awaiting Johnson at the King Power Stadium will be familiar faces such as Gelson Fernandes, “Deadly” Darius Vassell, Kasper Schmeichel and Michael Ball. What price Geovanni next?
Elsewhere, SWP joined QPR in a last minute deal, where he can enjoy Joey Barton's pseudo-intellectual musings on Nietzsche, whilst Levante triggered the £800k release clause in Felipe Caicedo’s contract, and then promptly sold him the following day to Lokomotiv Moscow for £8m, a mark up of just 1000%. This “typical City” tag will take a while longer to shake off fully.
And so another transfer window slams in our faces, and we can once again return to something resembling a normal life. Until January, that is. No more silver fox Jim White screaming manically about obscure deals that no one really cares about (“Sky sources are telling us that Shaun Maloney is HAVING A MEDICAL at Wigan Athletic!”).
No more Bryan Swanson interacting awkwardly with the world’s biggest iPad, rather like your dad trying to work an Xbox 360 after a few sherries on Christmas Day. It was arguably the most pointless, unnecessarily wieldy prop I’ve seen since Andy Townsend’s Tactic Bus. Or indeed since Andy Townsend himself. During the long, tedious August days I would find myself drifting off into a Kubrick-esque fantasy, where the giant touchscreen, like HAL, would develop some form of intelligent life and send the increasingly smug Swanson to a premature end. Sorry, I digress.
And finally no more days spent on the Bluemoon Transfer Forum, frantically hitting F5 on my keyboard like a demented lab monkey, hoping that it would make something, anything, happen. It’s a murky, mysterious world of acronyms (WUMs, ITKs, KFAs), Walter Mitty type fantasists, and a level of paranoia and witch hunts that Senator McCarthy would be proud of. I welcome the break.