"Manchester United? Hardly. Hahaha the thought of playing for one of (if not the) greatest manager of all time. Purpostorous! I’d rather go to City. Because what they’re doing there is exciting. And they’re paying me 4x more than anyone else.”
I guess we’ve all been fooled. For months now, speculation has been that Wesley Sneijder would be moving to Old Trafford this summer. It seemed like a good fit for the sought after midfielder who may be looking for a challenge at this stage of his career. Speculation of a move to Man Utd hit a wall last week when Sir Alex claimed to know nothing about the potential move for the Oranje star. This however was taken with a grain of salt, as Sir Alex has been known in the past to send the media off the trail before swooping in for a players signature. We were all wrong it seems.
Sneijder will be one of many high profile signings at the Eithad stadium this year. With Manchester City the only club willing to pay the astronomical fee some clubs have slapped on their star players, it’s no wonder that Sneijder will be joining them from the Nerrazzuri. Part of your heart breaks a bit when you see things like this, because you know that’s it’s killing football as we know it. Chelsea was a hard enough pill to swallow, but at least you only had to deal with one of these mega clubs right? No longer. Now we have City, and soon Malaga, and with a squad bursting at the seems with talent that any club in the world would be lucky to have one or two players from we must ask ourselves: what is happening to football & what truly makes a club great?
Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta, Gael Clichy, Kolo Toure, Yaya Toure, David Silva, Nigel de Jong, Emmanuel Adebayor, mario Balotelli, Edin Dzeko, Kun Aguero and oh yeah, Carlos Tevez. That’s without the likes of English players Joe Hart, Joleon Lescott, Micah Richards, Gareth Barry, Adam Johnson, Shaun Wright-Phillips, and you know a little Craig Bellamy (Wales) on the side. It’s nice that Roque Santa Cruz, & Wayne Bridge are hardley even mentioned. The edition of Wesley Sneijder to this mix would surely make them world beaters.
The scariest part about all of this is that City are doing things a bit differently than Chelsea. First of all, City have great supporters. And in fact, I’m happy for the Blue Moon Rising because their supporters deserve it after being in the shadow of Man Utd all these years. I don’t like the way Abu Dhabi United Group are going about it. A part of me is jealous, I mean, it’s just not fair that they can go out and literally buy whoever they want. They don’t even have to think about transfer fees or wages, they can pay them all. At least Chelsea had some sort of limit, or at least a crazy owner in Roman Abramovich to balance out their spending. But City are going about it in a different way & it’s frightening.
City are signing great footballers, not just good players. They’re signing good people, guys with beautiful football brains, passmasters, clinical finishers, staunch defenders. Not to mention they happened to get the best young goalkeeper in England who also happens to be English! It’s just mindbending. Add Sneijder to this list and I’d say they can mount a serious challenge for the Premier League & Champions League titles. I think the only thing that can take down City is what happens within, but Roberto Mancini is a manager of football & personalities & I think that’s already. I feel like City have learned from the likes of Balotelli & the issues with Tevez, the signings of Silva, Aguero, & potentially Sneijder are smart signings of smart footballers. Bringing Patrick Viera on as Football Development Executive assures that they have people who know the game & people involved in the sport itself. City have tons of money, but are spending it right. Until FIFA Fair Play comes into affect, we could be looking at City dominence for at least another decade.
Football follows global trends, global trends follow football. But with all this foreign money pumping into the game, one has to ask: is this good for the game?
Gael Clichy - Manchester City
Arsenal’s Gael Clichy has signed for Manchester City. There were many clubs interested in the Arsenal player left out of Arsene Wengers perfered line up last season. Liverpool were the biggest contenders, until City entered the mix and offered a salary the Anfield club could not match. As of now, Clichy is a City player, but who knows, maybe James Milner could move the other way to Anfield, the club he denied last year. The rumors are that Milner is not happy with his position or role at City, and may be rather keen to leave the club before the end of the transfer window. Some would say that Anfield would have been a great destination for Milner last season despite Roy Hodgson, as forces have changed with King (Dr.) Kenny Dalglish reinstated at the club. One thing is for sure, no one knows what’s happening in the transfer market until the deal is done, and the player literally writes his name in ink. It’s still early, and I’m sure there will be more exciting signings before the end of the window. Don’t forget to check out Copa America, the Women’s World Cup & the Under 17 FIFA World Cup in the coming month. It seems like all the time, is an exciting time for football, as the global game truly takes over ahead of Euro 2012 & more importantly Rio 2014.