The season is just two games old in the Championship and one game into the Premier League and already there are concerns among fans.
Blues are struggling to bring in the five new players Harry Redknapp wants to ensure his team are in the promotion mix come May although earlier this week Luton striker Isaac Vassell signed for an undisclosed fee.
With injuries and suspensions already biting into the squad the need for new blood is critical says the experienced Blues boss. Therein is a valid reason for the transfer window to shut before the season starts.
Now I get that sometimes clubs differ in their valuations of players and very often it becomes a sort of Mexican stand off until the last day or so of the transfer window but of course then you run the risk of losing out on the players you want! I understand that so called super-agent Darren Dein along with Jeff Vertere are responsible for getting new players into St Andrews! I can see the perceived advantage of having an agent involved as he must know what players are available however I am not totally sure if there would not be a conflict of interest. Harry keeps on saying that behind the scenes they are working very hard to make signings. I can only assume that the problem they are not happening is either a) transfer fees are too high? b) wage demands are too high c) agents want to much money for facilitating the transfer.
It’s the same scenario with the Baggies with only two new signings made and as I write the possibility of Gareth Barry joining from Everton. They have been talking about new players for some time, however Tony Pulis is convinced that he will get them before the window closes. In true Pulis straight talking style he made it clear that fans have to understand how the club works. However if the rest of the signings are of the same quality as those already made then they may well be worth waiting for.
Over at Villa Park it’s a different situation as the club have spent a lot of money on the squad sanctioned by the owner Dr Xia and he will be understandably want a return on that investment. However Steve Bruce did not spend all that money and has had to try and ship out the highly paid players that were obviously not good enough to get the club promoted.
Already fans are up in arms with just one point from six but the owners and fans have to dig deep into their well of patience and give the manager time to sort it out. He is experienced in getting teams promoted from what is the toughest league in the world.
Steve Bruce is fully aware of the high expectation levels of a club like Villa from terraces to boardroom –its promotion or bust.
Understandably we fans are eager for new signings however it’s not only the clubs who prevaricate but also players and their agents who are more than happy to wait and see if a better offer comes in before the window shuts and then, if one doesn’t, accept the original offer. Clubs also initially ask for unrealistic transfer fees and then wait until the last day of the window before coming to a compromise.
It matters not a jot about contracts if a player wants to move he will. Most top players would prefer to sign a one year deal as it leaves them and their agents in control. These days’ longer contracts are mostly for the benefit of the club who can command a huge transfer fee if a player decides he wants to move
There have been examples in the past where players manipulate themselves out of a club. If a club says a player isn’t for sale and turns down a big offer you can bet your boots that the player already knows what he will be earning at his new club and has agreed to join in principle. Eventually the player hands in a written transfer request. If the clubs still say no the player usually starts “playing up” by doing interviews in the press criticising his club or being a bad apple in the dressing room. Eventually the club will want him out and will let him have his way and move. But how much of this is agent driven? In my opinion most of it.
I am sure it was big Ron who once said “Give the game to the players because they have everything else”. He should have said give it to the agents.