It’s over. £150million quid later – approximately £2m a day – Manchester City, unleashed on the market like a bunch of greedy no-marks on Supermarket Sweep, have returned with their trolleys full and a bewildered look on their faces.
All it needs now is Dale Winton to loom all Blackpool-shirt-faced over the spendthrifts and say ‘Well done, sweethearts but it looks to me like you’ve got an awful lot of the same thing.’
I mean I’m sure Blackburn fans are dreaming of summat similar at Ewood Park, although Allardyce put on his usual Bulldog Licking Piss Off A Nettle face when he suggested that coming to Blackburn was a bit less of a draw than, well, anywhere really.
Why wouldn't people want to join me?
Chins up Sam! Juninho came to Middlesbrough – twice!
And of course you’ll be able to waft rolls of wonga under their noses and nowt peaks a professional footballer’s interest more than that (except the waft of mascara-lacquered eyelashes across a Mediterranean bar in August).
Manchester City’s elite squad – cash-hungry ragbag to us plain speakers – have been doing their best to spout the party line. They’re here to get Chumps League footy... erm, next year... ahem , maybe. In Yaya Toure’s case (and he must be the Sloaney brother in the Toure household ) he’s already won 200k a week and d’you know I’m not sure a trophy can top that. Hasn’t he won the Champs League anyway? Ya-Yawn Toure more like.
Milner arrives with the wrong-headed assumption that he’ll be wide right most of the time given that Citeh already have central midfield more clogged than a docker’s arteries. Barry, de Jong, Yaya, Vieira, and Michael Johnson (English, home-grown, doesn’t really count) are all jostling for a bit of space and Mancini reckons on Milner being in there too.
If he is moved to the flanks he’ll have to compete with the likes of Shaun Wright-Phillips, Adam Johnson and new boy David Silva. At least Weiss is popping up in Glasgow for a bit so he can spend the year putting things on a plate for James Beattie – who’s never made a habit of finishing an easy meal. In fact if you want a benchmark for the quality of Scottish club football look no further than Rangers signing of a great 32-year-old lunk with the first touch of a concrete block whose biggest impact in football has been on the side of William Gallas’s head.
In the meantime, players that have served Citeh well are scowling along touchlines in a state of apoplexy. It’s unclear as to what Given and Bellamy have done to deserve being ignored – although if Craig opened his gob, then it’s understandable.
There are other players who are starting to look like last week’s under-5’s Chrissie presents. Wayne Bridge can get back to his pre-summer sulk-fest as the one-footed wally will be on his way elsewhere. (Blackburn? I expect Sam’ll be checking how far he can hoof it as we speak).
Lescott may start tonight in that vibrant outpost of FC Timisoara but he has Zabaleta and Kolarov ahead of him now. Still, City’s bench-warmers can always enjoy the cultural bounty that Timisoara offers: choose from Timişoara Orthodox Cathedral or St. George's Cathedral (presumably the unorthodox one).
Robinho and Jo are still around like a special offer at a beauty salon – 2 free Brazilians, lady? - and the Ecuadorian Caicedo is around too. I wonder if he knows how or why.
And here’s the thing. Any club with unlimited funds is bound to get a little carried away but Citeh’s problem seems to be that they’re getting the players first and assembling a team second. A touch of the Capellos maybe.
Of course, Ferguson can’t resist one of his lateral digs - ‘kamikaze spending’ he called it.
Well, no, Fergie. Kamikaze spending would be forking out money you don’t really have cos the people owning your club are using it to offset the huge debts they have elsewhere and if they forked off tomorrow you’d be selling the Big Issue and looking nervously at the team-sheet for Wythenshawe Wanderers.
I mean I expect you to get a little cranky, my human Stop Light, but it’s not like this Fand-Abu-Dhabi fund is going to run out soon.
The side Mancini put out at White Hart Lane on Saturday was an odd one with Tevez playing the lone striker role and inevitably scuttling back into the midfield three to find out what had happened to the ball for the first half-hour. Answer: Spurs had it.
Mancini betrayed a negative mindset last year and with Rafa out of the frame he is free and clear to claim the mantle of Most Miserable Deployer of Incredibly Expensive Footballers in the Premier League. Three holding midfielders tonight n all! Who have these Romanians got in the middle of the park? Platini, Zidane and Mara-bloody-dona?
I mean the least you could try to be was a bit enter-bloody-taining for 150 million quid plus last year’s convoy of cash. When you think how hilariously playful Sparky’s Citeh were before the chairman sent out the managerial seagulls to crap on him. And now this outfit.
'If only the team had been duller...'
It’s early days for the Italian and it would take a right pillock not to put at least one good side together from the equipment he has available, but no, I will not be wishing the moneybags well and neither should the Citeh fans expect it.
Most of us cling on the misguided belief that money isn’t everything – if it is, we’ve got too much nothing – and a well average Citeh season would happily underline this.