Tuesday Team Talk: Stop unsettling players and disrupting squads – close the transfer window pre-season

By Tim Hyde

At the beginning of every campaign you can hear the rumblings of disgruntled managers complaining about how the transfer window runs past the start of season.

The summer transfer window can be a blessing for some, but for most football managers it is the bane of their pre-season preparations.

This year’s transfer window didn’t officially close until three games into 2013/2014 Premier League season.

This means that clubs prized assets could be subject to bids from other wanting managers around Europe, causing potential disruption and unrest with players, staff and fans alike.

Season after season the same arguments are put forward by managers and chairmen to close the window before the first game of the season.

This is an option league officials could take up but seeing as this is a sensible option it decreases the likely-hood even further.

It is obvious that managers are all of one mind on the matter however, leagues such as Seria A and La Liga are unwilling to do the same– which would put the EPL at a disadvantage.

Some prefer the window closing after the start of the season as it can allow teams to see first-hand where they need to strengthen and whether their current squads are up to the task.

Transfer windows are often stressful times for football clubs as modern players have gained increased power to be able to force moves to other clubs at their wish.

This means it is even easier for a deal to go through in the final days of a window – which are well into the domestic season.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has voiced his opinion explaining that the window should be closed well before the curtain opener as managers need to know what they have to work with for the coming season.

Late transfers often disrupt a clubs plans and affect their strength and depth in certain positions, but it can also affect team’s performances and playing styles on the pitch.

Key players that are vital to the success of a team are often sold after the season has started which can leave managers plans in tatters.

Other top managers, like Jose Mourinho, would also rather the transfer window was closed before the start of the season to allow teams to relax and gel as a group.

This is often difficult as top clubs often forage for players at the last minute leaving the selling club left with no replacement, a demoralised squad, and an angry fan-base.

When fan-favourites leave clubs it always leaves a lingering sense of disappointment, but when a new campaign has started losing a player so late on is even more frustrating for everyone at a club.

Another problem that arises is that when a club tables a bid for a player, just before a match, it becomes nearly impossible for the player to be completely focussed on the game ahead.

This happened earlier in the season when Arsenal bid for Newcastle’s French midfielder Yohan Cabaye the day before their tie with Manchester City.

This meant that Cabaye was not selected for the Newcastle season opener against City which heaped pressure onto the already weak Magpies.

What has also been apparent in this window is that players are willing to feign injuries which then allows them to miss trips abroad or early games of the season.

This season’s main transfer saga has seen Gareth Bale intentionally miss Tottenham training for a number of ailments while trying to force a move through to Spanish giants Real Madrid–a deal which has now been concluded for £85million. 

It is, quite frankly, disgraceful that a player signed to a club can decide when he wants to turn up to training.

You can understand that a player may want a ‘dream move’ to Los Blanco’s but there is a certain etiquette modern day footballers should be treating their clubs with– which Bale didn’t show.

The transfer window is entertaining for neutral football supporters and the excitement created when a club is linked with a player can get all fans hearts racing.

However, the risk of losing key players three games into the season can cause severe disruption to the Premier League and is unfair on clubs with less financial clout and smaller scouting networks.

The fact we still have a January window means the summer transfer period doesn’t have to be make or break for a club as new additions can be made later in the season.

Although it is ideal to bring in players at the start of the season clubs such as Liverpool still completed very effective business in the January window snapping up the likes of Daniel Sturridge.

The England International has started this season in scintillating form alongside Liverpool’s other January signing Phillipe Coutinho– who has been a revelation since moving to Anfield

The transfer window is one of the busiest times of the year for footballers and their respective clubs, with the media giving transfer rumours and speculation primetime coverage.

Transfer windows are an important time in any season but for the window to continue into a domestic season is ridiculous as players need to be settled before the campaign begins.

It is unlikely that the window will be brought back to before the start of the season as other European leagues have decided against the decision.

This means teams either have a little longer to procure one or two more players, or have to wait nervously for the window to end so they can be sure their star players remain at the club.

Image courtesy of Sky Sports via YouTube, with thanks.

For more on this story and many others, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter and Facebook.

Related Articles