Dear BoltFromTheBlue Readers
Permit us to be so irreverent as to adapt the first line of Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice:
‘It is a truth universally acknowledged that an ambitious European football coach
in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a solid defensive line’.
Here’s the problem
Whichever way he wants to go, our hero is in effect, rolling the dice.
These are his two options when attempting to buy players to solve our current difficulties in the current competitive climate, defensive or otherwise:
Option 1: Go big
He needs players who can be ready-made replacements for the ones he is disposing of. This means they need to go into the first eleven, either straight away or following a reasonably brief settling-in period.
For each player he desires, he is looking at a financial outlay of at least 50 million of our British pounds.
Get the transaction right, and he’ll possibly be laughing all the way to the Champions League Final.
Get it wrong, and he’ll be something of a laughing stock for all and sundry for years to come.
(Hello, Mr. Mangala!)
Ideally, to guarantee success, and in building a backline, Pep should buy Gianluigi Donnarumma as our new goalkeeper, David Alaba as the left back, Leonardo Bonucci at centre back and perhaps PSG’s Serge Aurier (and his behavioural therapist) at right back.
That would do very nicely.
Money is no object for us!
After all, United fans increase our wealth (and increase their debt) every time they fill up the tank at their local petrol station!
For the same reason that we regarded as laughable the notion that we’d countenance selling our Kun to Chelski, the incumbent European superpowers would likewise snigger at us and our ambitions for the audacity of wanting to poach some of their leading lights.
I can just see Karl-Heinz Rummenigge’s face now as he surveys our faxed offer for David Alaba.
‘Pah!’ he would sneer, before replying with a Blackadder-like retort in which the words ‘small club’ would undoubtedly appear.
Not that those celebrated players themselves would turn their perfumed noses up at the game.
After all, what better way to win over that new supermodel girlfriend or acquire the latest supercar than to have one’s contract extended and enlarged via the purported interest of Mr. Guardiola and his nouveau riche friends at Abu Dhabi Billions plc.
In this scenario, the outcome for our already gilded quarry is often a two-month pseudo-chess match of brinkmanship before ending in ‘Hi Silvia, fancy staying the night?’ and ‘Welcome, Mr. Ferrari.’
Option 2: Gamble on youth
In this scenario, our hero might try to purchase young pups like Benfica’s Ederson Moraes as goalkeeper, José Luis Gayà from Valencia as left back, Issa Diop from Toulouse as centre-back and maybe Cancelo (also Valencia) at right-back.
Hey! What about Danny Rose and Kyle Walker, I hear you cry? These guys are hardened and attuned to the rigours of the best league in the world!
I refer you to a passage earlier in this scribble: Just substitute Mr. Rummenigge for Mr Levy.
However here, despite the fancy Latin names, how does our hero know that this crop are any better than Angelino, Maffeo and Adarabioyo?
Rolling the dice indeed!
We could probably get them all for a song but how do we know that the real agent is not in fact Trotters Independent Traders – the same bunch who flogged us our one-match hero, Mr. Mangala?
What’s a chap to do?
Thoughts on a self-addressed postcard to:
c/o Manchester City Football Club
RTs, follows and comments @boltfromablue are much appreciated.