It has been more than 48 hours since yet another summer transfer window has closed shut on the Barclays Premier League faithful, and, as has always happened in all post-transfer window closings that have passed us by, fans, players, and managers alike remain deep in retrospect – whether for better or for worse – about their respective clubs’ business deals.
For some, the twelve week duration of the window and the transfers it yielded proved to be a smooth ride. As the pre-season games kicked on, managers were given time to test and fine-tune their squads against opposition of varying footballing prowess, and under numerous climatic conditions in many different parts of the world. Tactical analysis with each passing fixture revealed clear holes that needed to be plugged by bringing in new players, as well as weight that needed to be shed in the form of players surplus to requirements who needed to be let go.
A simple give and take process was in order, and deals were done promptly to be ready for the new season. A certain blue side of London and red half of Merseyside come to mind.
For others, what needed to be gained and lost was equally as clear, but various factors stood in the way. These included the mentality of the manager, club funds, traditions, and many more, all of which of course played their part in making the journey to 11pm BST on September the 1st nothing short of erratic. From the perspective of fans, what needed to be done was perhaps as simple and straightforward as what Mourinho and Rodgers had done throughout the summer – realise what sort of player you need, look at who’s available, pay the price, acquire.
Yet managers, being the enigmatic personas they sometimes are, always seem to be in the hunt for perfect pegs to plug their holes, and such perfectionism almost every window ironically leads some clubs to making last minute signings of players who are far from perfect fits.
The ever frustrating Arsene Wenger, and his signing of Danny Welbeck, are arguable examples.
On the other hand, the final push for the biggest spenders of this transfer window, Manchester United, was the aftermath of the first three fixtures of the season, whence it became clear to some that radical changes needed to be made. Suddenly, the aforementioned factors seemed minute when weighed against the potentially devastating campaign that could result without such changes.
Out came the cheque books, in came the phone calls to the super agents, and by days end, among the numerous clubs that had clinched key signings that could save their seasons was United, the highlight, having made a successful move of dick-dastardly proportions for Radamel Falcao.
All in all, it was a window as gut wrenching as any that has preceded it. The timings of the moments that sink us or help us swim always seem to change, but the overall roller coaster finish is ever present. And now we wait for two weeks, musing about the players we saw leave and come in, awaiting the 13th of September to deliver our verdict to the manager, whether in chants at the stadium, or in expletives aimed at our television sets.