As the announcer read out his name from the team sheet, the whole stadium went into a frenzy. He had cost a couple of millions but then, he was a complete steal for that amount. He had been in imperious form for the club he was prized from: He had occupied the playmaking role there and seemed like the ideal signing. He wasn’t just about the skills, he added goals to his game as well, hitting double figures in goals and assists in League & Cup games the season before. We were all excited, He looked very smart in our club jersey, and he seemed the ideal signing.
The blast of the whistle from the referee only increased the level of anticipation amongst the fans. The thought of our new signing combining with our captain was picture perfect in my mind. We would be indomitable! The referee’s whistle couldn’t quench my anticipation. Our captain’s first touch was classy and his first pass was directed at our new signing. He did keep the ball well, dazzling past two defenders before teeing up our striker who put the ball in the net in a flash. We were one-up! This was the perfect introduction! However though, reality was only hitting us in the face.
Tactically, that dream-combo wasnt working: Our new signing was occupying the same spaces as our captain. They had the same characteristics! Driving from deep, playing the calm pass; steadying the ship. It was like we had bought our captain all over again! Was this a good thing? How would the manager fit both of them in? He had only one slot in the deep lying playmaker role in our winning tactics. Was he willing to risk our winning formula for a new signing?
The questions in my mind were recurrent and many. How did we end up buying the same type of player as our captain despite a lot of scouting? It was troubling. Where do we go now? The combo has caused headaches for our team and we’ve had a couple of bad results. We are playing our rivals next. The rot has to stop. The question however, is if the coach is willing to take the risk. Should he? You judge.
The EPL transfer window, now closed, saw Premier League clubs cough out in excess of £850m on transfers with clubs bringing in as much as 13 players. However, while the negotiations are being conducted; fans are only keen to see a new player hoist their new jerseys ignoring the tactical consequences. It’s only after the player has been bought and things aren’t working out well that fans now realize what they missed and then begin to ask whether they needed the player or not.
Even the XI above (the most expensive in this window):
– PETR CECH was the most expensive – goalkeeper this window.
– NATHANIEL CLYNE, though not the most expensive, slots in at RB for £12m.
– TOBY ALDERWEIRLD is in at CB for £11.5m.
– NICOLAS OTAMENDI pairs him for a £45m defensive combo.
– MATTEO DARMAIN of Man Utd slots in at LB for £21m.
– MORGAN SCHNEIDERLEIN and BASTIAN SCHWEINSTEIGER combined cost £41.5m in central midfield.
– KEVIN DE BRUYNE in the playmaking role cost £58m.
– RAHEEM STERLING cost a whooping £49m on the wings.
– PEDRO cost £21.5m after a tussle between Man Utd & Chelsea for the other wing slot.
– CHRISTIAN BENTEKE did go for £32.5m up top given his goal per game ratio of 1 every 2games.
..cost a whooping £301.5m…. And that’s just over 35% of the total layout in all of England’s divisions.
The question, still lurking, somewhere, somehow is: Will they fit in ‘perfectly’? Or are these ones just another ‘replica of the captain’?
Written by @teetunez.
Author: Rotimi “Papi the Great” Daramola
Rotimi Daramola aka Papi the Great is the owner of ForTheGoal.
A freelance sports writer who focuses on football, Rotimi is also a freelance writer, a copywriter and a football analyst who regularly appears on radio and television to talk football. You can follow him on twitter @papi_thegreat to keep up with his writings, engage him and also find out about how you can secure his writing services.