Monday, 10 May 2010

The Torres and Boateng plans

There are very broadly speaking two transfer plans for this summer. One is for the brightest of stars, the galácticos, or those we could tempt to play for City. The other is to sign younger, hungrier players, less famous but not too far behind in terms of ability. Both of these plans are embodied by high profile and strongly desired players. The former by Fernando Torres, the latter by Jérôme Boateng. I know which policy I prefer. We are more likely to succeed in the long term with ambitious players with careers ahead of them: signings along the lines of Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany, Nigel de Jong - or, from Chelsea's time, Arjen Robben, Petr Čech and Michael Essien. Signing expensive established stars is both fairly vulgar and no guarantee of success.

Fortunately from my point of view, or failure to qualify for the Champions League football might preclude our pursuing 'the Torres strategy' this season. Mancini spoke of our pursuit of El Niño today:

"Can we attract the top, top players, like Torres? I don't know, but I don't think so," he said in The Sun.

"If we finished in the top four, it would be better and easier to attract them.

"In this situation it is different. There are probably some players who want to play in the Champions League and not in the Europa League."

I imagine this is representative of our pursuit of many other players in a similar bracket. The names are omnipresent, but I am sure we will go for - at the least - David Villa, Steven Gerrard, Joe Cole, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Gonzalo Higuaín. None of these I imagine will now join us. And, to be frank, if they do then we need to ask serious and legitimate questions about their motivation. So I imagine we will switch focus to other targets. Targets like 21 year old HSV defender Jérôme Boateng. This deal is understood to be done, and Mancini said today:

“Boateng is a good player, a young player and strong. He plays for the national team and we have a good chance to get him.

“We are quite close to signing him.”

“He can play central defender, right defender, or in the middle, three different positions. If we find a player like that, who can play in two or three different positions, it is better for us.

“Next year we will play in four different competitions, which means playing every three days, so we need those players who can play in a few different positions.”

There's not really much more to say. This looks certain to happen. And once we've got him we need to go for a goal-scoring midfielder, a competent left back and maybe another centre forward. But I'll write more about transfer policy in due course.


Anonymous said...

I've been following your blog for a while now and have come to regard it as the best source for truthful and unbiased viewpoints on our beloved City. I agree that the "Boateng Plan" seems like a better option, rather splashing out on flaky 'galacticos'. It's not only important that City maintains an onwards and upwards motion but, for me, we also need to shake loose this unpleasant image of being new money arrivistes with more money than sense.

Scorch said...

I agree with Mr Orbidog - I tend to come here for a sensible, though-out opinion or a well sniffed out nugget of info.

Marquee names aren't the long view we need. Nor will they be the return on investment people might think, exciting as they may be. And I don't believe they're a statement of intent - more a flash of financial clout with very little strategic thought. A time will come soon when such 'galacticos' come from, not to, City.

Anonymous said...

I agree that we do need youth more than anything but there is one place that needs experience more than anything.

Darren Bent to partner Carlos Tevez does not seem such a bad looking partnership.

We will see a lot more of our homegrown next season.

Mark my words.

Blue Phoenix - Moving on up! said...

Personally I want to see several world class players in the side.

Players like Tevez, Torres, Rooney, Ribery, Olic and Messi.

Why? Because aside from all of the Galactico baggage these guys truly can play and they don't let ego's get in the way of their winning attitude.

We certainly want to avoid the Robinho's and the trouble causing players who are clearly out to bank role a new property development or swell their bank accounts for little of no work.

But I guess we also need to be made of steel throughout the whole team so players such as Milner, Boateng, De Jong, Vinny and Zabaletta are a must.

We need another Left back, another right back, another centre back, 2 flair central midfielders, a left winger and another couple of top top class strikers like Tevez or Torres.

Lastly we need to keep building on home grown "quality" and I must repeat the word "quality".

Too much to ask for? I don't know but I think we definitely need these players if we are to compete to win the premiership.

Its a no brainer we need to get rid of the under performers and bring solid reliable players.

I expect at least 8 players to go but most of which will already be on loan and I wouldn't be surprised if a few more got cut for not living up to the standard.

So do we want to win the league next season or not?

N Rowland said...

Agree with the hungry youth approach - 75% of that type, 25% established world class players. If we were to go the galactico route, it would cost too much to lure them to Eastlands without CL football. And there's the risk of them coming solely for the wrong reasons (money...). But one or two additions of the right type of class player can steer the youngsters in the right direction. Winning the league next year should not be the goal anyway - it's a year too soon IMO. Must comfortably secure a CL position next season - then the Premier League Championship the next.