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Silly, Frustrating Season

Written By Themba Khumalo on Sunday, September 1, 2013 | Sunday, September 01, 2013

Since before the transfer window could even be open, a lot of speculations have been flying all over the different leagues. A lot of players are or were being linked with several teams, supporters not happy, players threatening to leave, managers swapping teams, while other players and managers leaving the beautiful game permanently through retirement.

Since football is a universal language, I have decided to write about the silly season (transfer window) for both South Africa and as well England.

Premier Soccer League: The only team that has enjoyed the window has to be Mamelodi Sundowns. They are well known of big signings and they have done it again in this window. However, no one can predict their starting XI on any match day, with the depth they have in the team as it is.

Other teams like Mamelodi Sundowns, SuperSport United, Orlando Pirates and Bidvest Wits just to name a few, also went for a serious shopping. Defending champions Kaizer Chiefs on the other hand only signed two players which I I’m aware of, a defender (Simphiwe Mtsweni) and a loan for a second spell striker (Knowledge Musona).

Coaches like Gavin Hunt, Cavin Johnson and Clive Barker are now managers of new teams this season. The coach swapping teams is also part of the merry go round that the transfer window brings.

It does not bring a lot of frustration in the PSL’s transfer window, but people will start talking during the season if the team is losing. Usually coaches are the ones that will take the blame.

However the window closed yesterday, surely the new arrivals will show supporters on why they have been purchased, critics will rise too if they don’t live up to expectations.

Anyway, I am now taking you to the most frustrating part of this window – England.

English Premier League: Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City are all under new managers in this new season. One can say maybe for Chelsea is a reunion rather with their favourite manager back at helm.

All eyes are on the three managers since day one. Enhancing their different squads is expected too. However the window is still open so every manager is making all means to get a player or two. Manuel Pellegrini and Jose Mourinho added few faces already on their squad while David Moyes still trying to land quality on his squad too.

Players like Yohan Cabaye, Wayne Rooney, Marouane Fellaini, Leighton Baines, Gareth Bale and others are being linked with other teams daily. At the moment, Luis Suarez and Christian Benteke decided to stay in Liverpool and Aston Villa respectively. Most of my twitter followers blame the media sometimes in quoting other players saying that they are not happy at their clubs.

Players are aware that football can be a short career so they also want to make the best out of their life. I don’t expect supporters to understand players who want to leave or unhappy or want to play in major tournaments. Believe it or not football is about the money in the end.

Defending champions Manchester United so far only signed Guillermo Varela (defender). Moyes is still new at the club and still working with the current squad that Sir Alex Ferguson left him with. There is still no need for him to panic; all he need is a midfielder or two. He tried to attract a lot of them since his arrival but they tend to join elsewhere or don’t want to join the “Red Devils”.

I was amongst those who were attacked for believing in Moyes. Most of my friends are “Red Devil” supporters, but pilled a lot of unnecessary pressure on Sir Alex’s successor. Moyes missed out on a lot of players since took charge - arguments, name calling, some even sang a song “Moyes Out”. Well, it is not a matter of buying - who to buy should be considered, does the player wants to come? Also need to be taken to account. 

Supporters really cannot understand this window when it is their team that suffers instead of benefiting. Arsenal is another team that had a lot of interest in many players so far. All those players which were linked ended up signing by other teams or staying in their current team. Their defeat against Aston Villa on opening day surely raised eyebrows of many. Arsene Wenger is also blaming the media on poisoning The Gunners supporters.

So far players only left the Emirates than joining. Yaya Sanogo is the only player to join The Gunners so far in this window. Questions are raised on why Wenger is not signing. Fans saying Wenger must capitalize on the absence of Sir Alex by landing a big signing to end their trophy draught.

Manchester City managed to add few players on that expensive squad of theirs. This is also another team that is under a new manager who is still trying to gel well in the club or the English Premier League rather. He started the season well by hamming Newcastle United. A shock defeat arose in his second league match against the newly promoted Cardiff City. Blame him / use him as a scapegoat, but losing Matija Nastasic and Vincent Kompany through injuries cost him on that match.

Jose Mourinho “The Happy One” is back at Stamford Bridge. Since his arrival, he has also added new faces on The Blues and promised those who enjoyed loan spell last season at other clubs a game time. He is still looking for another forward; hence he went for Wayne Rooney and Samuel Eto'o. To me, the Rooney bid is just Mourinho and his mind games to create conflict between Rooney, Moyes and us the supporters.

Anyway the window is still open and anything can still happen. Bale is on the verge to join Real Madrid; we are just waiting for the official announcement anytime. Andre’ Villas-Boas is turning this around at Tottenham Hotspur, new faces and quality. Spurs without Bale will survive and compete for top four.

The silly season leaves people frustrated, especially us supporters since we have less say on who to join the club or leave. Alan Pardew is interrupted by Cabaye’s bid, while Roberto Martinez is also not happy with Moyes wanting duo Baines and Fellaini at Old Trafford.

Note that most players who are linked with moves to other teams are either not looking happy or being left out of the squad on match day while others are “injured”. Surely managers will sleep peaceful after the “Silly, frustrating season” has shut.

By Ntokozo Skhosana

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