By Kevin Koczwara
Manchester City has requested an emergency transfer move following Shay Given’s season ending injury in the hopes they can reach a loan agreement with a club for a goalkeeper for the rest of the Premier League season. And why is the Premier League even listening to their proposition?
This is outrageous and other clubs should be up in arms. Premier League officials won’t listen to requests from a floundering Portsmouth, who can’t even fill their bench some weeks, but when the men with money come calling the league is all ears.
Manchester City should have dealt with their injuries like any other club in the EPL, by using their back-ups.
Clubs in the EPL have all had their fair share of injuries this year, it is a part of the game. So, why does Manchester City feel they are any different from other clubs in the league? Cross town rivals Manchester United had to do without their number one keeper, Edwin van der Sar, for sometime at the start of the season. Chelsea had to make due without Peter Cech for a while. Tottenham had make do without Heurelho Gomes for a few weeks. So why does City feel they are any different?
Part of building a successful club is having depth, not just accumulating an all-star starting XI. And perhaps City will now realize that. When an injury occurs they need to be prepared, and that goes for goalkeepers as much as anyone else. Now, two keepers who feel they should be starting at clubs all around Europe is hard to have, so they need to find a formidable back-up who is comfortable sitting on the bench for months at a time and coming into a game cold. And that is tough, but it is part of being a top level club with European aspirations.
I feel no sympathy for the big spenders in Manchester this season. They inflated the marketplace in the summer and they have built a club in a single season with a over-sized wallet, rather than building a club. They do have Joe Hart out on loan with Birmingham, but they can’t recall him or cancel the deal, like bringing up a player from the minors in baseball. So, in the future they do have a solid keeper in the wings.
Buffon Could Move Given Out
As for Given, he has been City’s savior on more than one occasion. It can be argued that for the price they paid for the Irish international, he has been the club’s best purchase since the takeover. He has been sturdy in the back, giving the defenders a safety net and an experienced general between the woodwork. Yet, rumors are surfacing that the club is seeking a massive transfer for Italian international Gianluigi Buffon, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but is it needed?
Given will surely hand in his transfer papers if City does move for Buffon, and is selling one top goal keeper for another necessary for a team that is still looking for some youth in their midfield and defense, depth in their defending corps and a solid number two keeper? I don’t see it as a positive move for City. They need to pick up a solid back-up for whoever is their keeper next year, and sure up their lackluster defending with solid signings, not inflated ones like that of Joleon Lescott’s price.
As City is finding out, it isn’t all about the big names and big price tags. Winning on the big stage in any European competition is as much about a good solid core and a deep bench as much as it is about having the best starting XI. Just ask Real Madrid, they won’t win any trophies again this year despite all the record transfers they broke last summer.
Editor’s Note: Sunderland and Manchester City have agreed on a loan deal for Hungarian International keeper Marton Fulop through the end of the season.
Kevin Koczwara is a contributing editor and writer for The Soccer Guys. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.