A Premier disappointment
Now that the football season is under way I got to thinking about the summer’s transfer activity and I have come to a sombre conclusion. The Premier League is boring.
The fact that England’s top clubs – bar Manchester City – have tightened their collective belts has resulted in a dearth of big name, clasp-your-forehead signings.
In Spain, Madrid have brought their lustre back with the captures of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Kaka and Xabi Alonso. Not to lose out in the transfer stakes, Madrid’s Catalan rivals Barça have clinched the superstar signing of Zlatan Ibrahimović.
Meanwhile, Italian clubs Juventus, AC Milan and Inter have welcomed top-notch talent such as Samuel Eto’o, Diego, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Felipe Melo.
With such a bounty of talent moving around Europe, England’s top clubs have for the most part turned their noses-up at what’s been on offer. United have declined the glitz and glamour of foreign superstars to sign the up-and-coming Valencia, the old-and-failing Michael Owen and the young-and-unknown Gabriel Obertan.
Chelsea and Arsenal have followed suit by carrying out a prosaic transfer policy, indeed the Gunners have let star players go. Liverpool have bought Alberto Aquilani, but only due to Xabi Alonso’s move to Madrid.
Only Manchester City have given a bit of razzmatazz to this summer’s transfer window, however they are fighting a lonely stand.
Now I would hate to be misconstrued. I understand that at a time of recession clubs need to cut back, especially when you take into account the fact that transfer fees are about as realistic as seeing Fergie and Benitez enjoying a half together down at The kilt and Sombrero. However, as the world’s most supported league, the Premiership has an image to uphold. The hearts of the Premier League’s foreign supporters might be turned in favour of high-spending Serie A and La Liga.
On a personal level all this talk of prudential buying bores me. I want our richest clubs to have capricious transfer policies. I want some excitement! I want an unknown Macedonian striker signed for some unlikely sum that will send tongues awagging in the nation’s pubs.
Come on messers Ancelotti, Benitez, Ferguson and Wenger let the purse strings loose.