Thursday, July 20, 2006

Watching the world go by

Another day passes and still no incoming players.

In fact, most of the talk seems to be centred on Jean-Alain Boumsong's apparently imminent departure for Marseilles (if they can stump up the cash) - which will mean we need two more defenders rather than just one.

All the more depressing when exciting moves are afoot elsewhere.

Over the last two days the Italian fire sale has got into full swing, the two Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona plundering Juve's treasure chest for their prize assets. The best player of this summer's World Cup Fabio Cannavaro and Brazilian midfielder Emerson will be at the Bernabeu next season, while Lilian Thuram and Gianluca Zambrotta have been recruited to strengthen the European champions' already awesome squad.

I can't help but look on wistfully. Of course in our current state we wouldn't have had a hope in hell of attracting players of that stature - but it's frustrating to see it all going on before your eyes.

More upsetting on this front are the moves being made by a club like Spurs, who not so long ago we looked down on and even two years ago were very much our equals. Now they have the appeal and financial clout to attract the likes of Dimitar Berbatov and Didier Zokora, while Damien Duff could still be on his way. All good players at high (but very reasonable) prices. Even Everton - whom we trumped twice in the transfer market last summer in beating them to both Scott Parker and Emre - have bagged Andy Johnson and Joleon Lescott, albeit at inflated costs.

We just can't compete. Glenn Roeder is left to rub his two pennies together to see if anything transpires. A striker or two is still the priority, but I hope some thought and effort is being expended upon trying to bring in defensive reinforcements too. Am I the only person who thinks we could do a lot better than to take a leaf from the book of cynical opportunism from which Real Madrid and Barcelona have been reading and try to sign Fiorentina's Czech Republic centre-half Tomas Ujfalusi on the cheap?


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