Targets missed as all quiet on the transfer front

IT’S always pleasing for a pundit to see the cues he has set up being fulfilled. West Ham were, indeed, as “ripe for a kicking” as I suggested they would be last week; Rooney did take overdue advantage, as prescribed; Nani continues to show the benefits of an enforced summer off, as I predicted in my preview here three weeks ago.

Best of all, the Blessed Berb continues to slay his critics — we have only just reached the end of August and he already has two goal of the season contenders to his credit.

It is probably too much to hope for, though, as I type this on transfer deadline day, that any of the various targets I have previously floated here are going to end up at Old Trafford.

Three have already gone elsewhere, the LFC-captured Meireles joining Ozil and Ireland in the ‘Lost Opportunities?’ camp. 48 hours ago, another of my previous punts surprisingly resurfaced when I learned, via an intermediary from an O.T. Suit, that United were looking again at Jack Rodwell — though it was accepted any chance of success in this window would be limited.

The deal under consideration would’ve taken Carrick, Owen and a pot of cash to Goodison in exchange for that Beckenbauerian Sandgrounder who could one day replace Rio in both the United and England teams. (He’s currently a midfielder, but is widely thought of as a future ball-playing libero general). That Carrick has once again been mentioned as a possible deportee will not surprise readers of the Red Issue fanzine, who were informed last spring that the underwhelming Geordie had been placed on the ‘inessential’ list. Indeed, in June, Steve Bruce was debating a cheeky €9m bid for him, and would not have done so without some prior indication of feasibility.

Carrick and Fergie infamously rowed after the 2009 European Cup final and it has never been a confident morning for the lad since. And to think that he was once thought of as The New Hoddle: he must have sinned in a former life.

Mind you, the player did have some good news to counterbalance the shock of reading about his apparent disposability in The Sun on Monday morning, when Capello included him in his squad for the Ingerlund lumberings. Yes, it’s that dread time again, when promising club momentum is dragged to a halt by another round of potential international disgraces. Incidentally, one might facetiously wonder how many of the national team will be the subject of injunctions by the time of kick-off at the weekend? Tsk. See what the interruption to football’s domestic calendar does? No game to discuss, so we’re muck-raking like fishwives within hours.

Thus let us exchange one type of bouncing balls for another, and raise our sights to future delights, as drawn from the bag last week: namely the League Cup tie with sunny Scunthorpe and the European Cup group games. You don’t often see the towns of Scunny and Valencia in the same thought, do you? Though they do both smell of fish, and enjoy giving donkeys a hard time. We are grateful for the easy draws, and the novel, hedonistic trips entailed. As you can see, I have selected Hubris for my squad...


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