Only Three Days To Go Before We Find Out The Truth Behind The Rumour !
Monday, 28th Jun 2021 09:06
On Thursday it will be 1st July and professional footballers around Europe will be checking their bank accounts to make sure their laughably named loyalty bonus has been deposited and then some of them will look to have secured a move away by the end of the month.
The transfer window opens for real on Thursday and fans will find out what rumours of the past two months actually have any substance, although the laws say that you can't negotiate with a player unless you have his parent club's permission, the truth is that it is impossible to police, you can't talk to the player directly, but his agent can talk to whom he likes and who can prove what was said when.
A prime example of this was the summer of 2017 when Virgil Van Dijk was courted by Liverpool behind Saints backs, Liverpool crossed a line as they were so brazen in their approach, but the truth was now out, no matter how hard Saints wanted to keep the player who was under a long term deal, despite refusing to sell him that summer, they knew that player power had now taken over, gone where the days football clubs could simple say no to a transfer request, if a player wanted to go you couldn't keep him.
So by the weekend we should know how serious Aston Villa are about signing James Ward Prowse and even Oriol Romeu, we should find out how serious Liverpool are about signing James Ward Prowse, how serious Tottenham are in Danny Ings and Jannik Vestergaard, how serious Manchester City are in Danny Ings and Jannik Vestergaard and a host of other rumoured moves for our key players.
By Saturday we will know whether there is any substance and we will know whether the players themselves want to go.
Social Media will go wild with indignant supporters saying that Saints are a selling club and that they are not going to renew the season tickets they gave up in 2019 or earlier.
But the real truth is that for most of the Premier League and that includes some so called Big Six clubs, the power to hold a player to his contract has long gone, clubs have accepted that, only the supporters seem to still think that ambition is refusing to sell your star player, this is not just a Saints phenomenon, but as I say virtually the whole footballing world bar a few elite clubs.
Spurs fans will find that out when Harry Kane moves to Manchester City and the realisation sinks in that it is no longer a big six, but a big four.
So as i always say, the next two months will not be so much about what we are going to do, but what we are going to do next, players come and go and our success will be based not on holding on to star players, but what we spend the money on when they go.
Some will say that you can't keep doing that year in year out, but the truth is that we have no choice and we are in a better position than most in that we realised that a decade ago and planned for it.
Back in 2014 many took to social media to complain about the sale of Lallana, Lovren, Lambert & Shaw, but the truth is we built a better team, we progressed and we have to keep doing that, because of the nature of the Premier League we will have good years and we will have bad, we just have to make sure the bad years are finishing 15th and not 18th.
Money or to be exact spending lots of it is no passport to success, indeed forget the top four, these days it is no guarantee of finishing in the top 10, it is all about how you spend it not how much.
The famous Black Box at Staplewood was never about finding players for £30 million or above, it was always about scouring the Leagues for those young players that were still under the radar.
We operate in a different league from the likes of Liverpool, they had scouted Virgil Van Dijk for as long as we had when we signed the Dutch defender in 2015, but they stood back and watched as before they signed him they needed to see that he could perform in the Premier League, if he couldn't they wanted to find out that fact with him making mistakes in someone else's team and not theirs, they preferred to have an experienced player at £76 million than get him for £15 million and find out he was a dud.
So here we go again this week, there will be deals that we don't like and deals we do, but remember ambition is not refusing to sell a player, that is just a fruitless exercise these days, real ambition is about setting realistic targets and looking to achieve them and that is all about what we do next !
Photo: Action Images
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When Saturday Comes #10 by wessex_exile
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When Saturday Comes #6 by wessex_exile
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