No more games this year – 2008, and too many sports papers in Spain, that's the magic spell for rumors, so back to creativity period where every Paper try to burn fans fantasies by a more catchy rumor, Its Rumor time!
Now that we are approaching to the transfer period, I am not planning to evaluate the squad depth in this article, We already discussed that during international break in the three parts analysis “A new Day has come”, and my beliefs didn't change enough to reconsider what I wrote there, its even more certain that issues like Yaya transfer concerns, Iniesta flop doubts on the left, Abidal and Valdes questioned values are all clear now in a way that the mentioned article may gain more credibility than it did when it was posted.
I will try to Set my Transfer Criteria, to base my evaluation for transfers options on an objective guideline and avoid getting driven emotionally toward one option over another. Having a fixed criteria make us more objective and more reasoning.
Now this is the criteria I recommend, but we can modify based on how we feel better for the team, not for a player we like/dislike, if you know what I mean...
Condition one: You buy, I buy!
We must not build our transfer policies on reactions to what happens at Real Madrid, Lets admit it, we feel excited to buy mostly when Real Madrid start buying, we feel we need a respond, while in fact we are in the position of pioneers and the rest are the ones who are reacting. getting Dispirit involved in winter transfer market means that the previous summer transfers were a failure, which is a wrong message to send to the initial squad and a huge pressure to put on new comers.
sometimes the winter transfer market comes to cover for a serious injury and that will be an unlucky situation, but when your team get so many injuries then its not luck, but poor preseason preparations, Medical care, or wrong training routines. The question is, do we suffer any of the previous conditions? If you believe, as I do, that we are not in that situation then we know that the other clubs wish to be in our place, so lets not drag ourselves mentally to behave as if we have the same situation they do, lets manage our own business regardless of what they do.
Condition two: Another Rivalry Concern…
Sometimes we think: ”Madrid are not better, but they are buying to improve”, Its the feeling that if they sealed a transfer, they will have a chance to become a better team than Barcelona, my pill to heal that concern is a question “If Calderon offered you to pick any 7 players in Real Madrid squad you believe they are the best plus 100 Million cash, will you take that and give him Xavi, Messi, Iniesta, Alves, Puyol, Yaya and Eto’o?” it may look nonsense to drop that assumption but if you think of it inversely, will the current squad in Madrid plus 100 Million winter transfers turn the table? For the options available in the winter transfer market, I can say confidently it will not be the case, and here, let me Clarify something :I am not saying Real Madrid will have no chance then to win the title, because I think they already have that chance now, nothing is won yet and nothing mean N.O.T.H.I.N.G! but the transfers will not make a huge impact, specially when you sign already injured players, who never played on highest levels, they need time to adapt in case they did, so again we need to drop this concern to have a cold blood when we consider our options, regardless of there’s.
Condition three: We will only get better.
We already know the squad we have is far from hitting the peak yet, Summer signings still adapting, Iniesta and Abidal were out for the most crucial games we played so far –and we won it all! Henry seems like making a U-Turn and offering what he never did since been signed, Milito will be back soon, and some other players like Pedro may have their saying, even though the youth players will not be decisive, but their performance will give us an idea what kind of signings to make next summer, meaning that this is still a project on the run, not an accomplished nor an expired one.
Condition four: We already made smart spending in the last three months:
We extended the contracts of our most important players, Some other contracts need to be extended, which will guarantee stability, thanks to pep post about players contract status, we can see that a decision should be made regarding Marquez, Eto’o, Gudjhonsen and Valdes contracts, while Puyol extension has to be out of question. Also, Pedro extension is a must so we don't get ourselves in another Busquets situation. I consider Busquets as a new signing we made, I am not sure what would have happened if the contract negotiations failed, most probably he would have been either sold in winter, or benched suffering a drop in moral and concentration. Now he is OUR player and for years to come. Such contracts clarifications is a must to figure out whom to buy or to sell.
Condition Five: being strategic, not short sighted:
We need to make sure not to become another team that sign in June for the period till January, and buy in January for the period till June, if signing a player in winter will burn our chances to sign a better one the following summer then we don't need it, do we?
Condition Six: Our breeds comes First, and second and as far as they prove worth it:
Our young boys are a priority, the players we raise in our field offer us something more important than talented options for cheap, they protect the team’s identity and character, and this is the strongest and most important factor that gives us an edge even though its sometimes invisible, or not mentioned often. We have a style that our players start learning and training to apply from day one, for at least eight years till they turn from being “pedrito”s to “pedro”s, this way even the players we buy feel the need to adapt to that football methodology, which make it easier to create Chemistry and to overcome any drop in form or end of cycle.
It's one of the reasons that made the challenge easier for Guardiola to make that huge impact in form compared to last season and in a very short period, he didn't have to start from Zero, not only the talents were still there, but also the methodology, all what needed was adding something here and changing something there. In other teams every new coach apply a new system and eventually buy different type of players, that need a long time to turn fruitful, and knowing the lack of fans patience in Spain the coach get sacked before he reach that “Fruitful” point, another coach come and there you go… here we have players who have a team culture and clear, tested football methodology, and we hire the coach who know how to enrich and upgrade the system we have, leading our football brand the way we know and love to excellence. We need to stick to that no matter what and make sacrifices to defend this policy, and by sacrifices I mean accepting the fact that some players whom we like are not destined to join us because the team comes first, and as deco said once:” you lose a game, but you must not lose your identity”
Condition Seven: Being reasonable.
There are lot of great players in the world but we only buy the good player for the team and for the right price. I also consider age as a deciding factor, I label that factor so high that I will not feel comfortable for any signing for a player who exceed 25 years old. Older players may turn to become a flop if they needed time to adapt – which is the expected scenario- Young players give you a margin of choices including loaning them out, or having enough patience on them for couple of seasons knowing that they will still have at least three or four seasons more to offer to the club, something a 28 years old player cannot offer.
Its obvious that I am not one of those who are so excited to make winter shopping, unless if an exceptional hunt fall in our arms, as I will mention in the following parts.
Still, and based on what I mentioned about making a strategic transfer plan not only for winter but also for the following summer transfer period because its all interrelated, I will discuss in the following parts some of the most mentioned names as transfer targets, and one by one we can discuss if we buy or not, now or in the following transfer period.
This way we can monitor for the following six months the players we feel we need to sign next summer.
In this part I made an attempt to hover away the emotional factors that shift us far from reasoning approach while discussing transfer cases.its important to create a criteria to judge any transfer option based on deep understanding of our club needs and potentials on both short and middle terms.here I listed my concepts and based on it I will move to evaluate transfers options.