Liverpool squad building
Liverpool hit the transfer market with a fantastic opening sign picking up Rickie Lambert from the saints for a shocking 4m deal. I do not know the full detail here and hopefully our saints fan 1998 will give us the whole story. How on earth do Southampton think selling Lambert as this point for 4m is good business! Yes he is 32 and would never turn down the chance to join back up with his boyhood club but surely he must be worth more than 4m?
For Liverpool this is clever business. With Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez they have forwards who do everything but dominate in the air. Teams will have learned from last season and during games at Anfield will sit deeper forcing LIverpool's attack wide meaning an increase in crosses into the box. Now they have a bigger danger with Lamberts clever movement and aerial power. Rickie will realise he will not be first choice but at 32 now is the time for to embrace a squad role and prolong his amazing career.
Rumours of Liverpool putting in an increased 25m bid for Adam Lallana also represents great business. Lallana is in his prime and his clever movement and inventive play suits the requirements in the Champions League. No doubt Southampton will hang on to see if Tottenham will show any interest but it seems the star player will be moving on during the summer.
Tottenham Hotspur appoint manager until Christmas
Ok, Spurs haven't appointed Mauricio Pochettino until Christmas. They have given him a 5 year deal but we all know what that is worth at Spurs. Pochettino has done a fantastic job in the 18 months as Southampton manager and has shown himself very wise to make the move when his stock is at his highest. With everything going on at the Saints it is hard to see how he could have improved the clubs league position and lets face it spurs spend like they want to be in the Champions League.
The appointment is a gamble as despite Pochettino being a very impressive young manager he has yet to win a trophy. For it to work Tottenham must now do something they seem unable to do, be patient. It will take time for Pochettino to learn his players and persuade them in his systems. To break into the top four with the power of the teams already there and a Manchester United side looking to return would be a challenge for any manager. There is no coincidence Arsenal and Utd never failed under managers that had been there for a sensible period of time to qualify.
From a fantasy football view It will help us. Rotation seemed less of a belief for him at Southampton and we can hope to see some consistency in his team selection. His man management skills will have an immediate impact after the aggression of Tim Sherwood. Players like Paulinho, Vertonghen and Eriksen should be ones to enjoy working with him. The feeling is Spurs will be better next season even if not achieving their top four aim.
Saints lost direction?
Southampton are one of my favourite teams other than of course the Red Devils. I have been to the ground a number of times and the club must be viewed as one of the very best youth development clubs in world football. They are a club on the verge of something. Unfortunately it seems the owners are either geniuses about to prove me wrong or they have made some business choices which are very poor footballing decisions. Allowing Pochettino, Lambert then almost certainly Lallana and Shaw leaving the summer after their best ever Premier League season has disaster written over it. While Jay Rodriguez is injured they look like they may have sold their entire heart of their side in one go. There will be a new manager in the next couple weeks and they still have plenty more talented youngsters in the academy but the Lallana/Shaw situation needs resolving as soone as England come home. Should they go the money must be invested back into the squad or they may have a battle on their hands to avoid a relegation battle. Perhaps the club do not intend to sell either of their star players and perhaps neither are willing to leave. The signs currently are the opposite the vultures are circling and it is sad to see.
Wenger finally signs
After a long running story Arsene Wenger finally signed his new three year deal. Whilst some Gunners fans still want to move on, the majority are happy with the news. Paper talk is a Wenger having a £100m war chest to sign the players to take them to a title challenge that lasts beyond February. The Arsenal squad now knows they can win a competition and adding the correct 3 or 4 summer signings and they may become a serious challenger to what is already looking the best potential title battle in Premier League history. The question then is with Wenger. Well known for being as tight as a ducks ass (is this just an english phrase?) can he persuade himself to sign more than one big money signing?