Roy Keane and the great transfers debate (5)

We all want to be positive, and it is ridiculous to raise doubts about players who have impressed Roy Keane enough for him to buy them, but who have yet to turn out for us.

But when the transfer deadline passed without the promised additional signing or two – unless the news media and club are observing some curious silence and have surprises in store to announce this morning – how many of us sensed a hollow feeling in the stomach? The rumours about Arca, Danny Murphy and even – perhaps a wind up – Julio Baptista persisted until the last minute, and all came to nothing.

Terror of Old Trafford may have something to do with this morning’s downbeat mood. We are looking for a mighty performance this evening that belies the form book (despite Man Utd’s iffy start) and confounds the commonsense belief that we’ll be trounced.

With a good or even encouraging result, we’ll be over the moon. Otherwise, we’ll begin to fear we are in for a long slog. There are games against lesser teams coming up, games we cannot afford to lose or, in some cases, even draw. We may know as early as October what our realistic prospects are this season.

For now, then, we must trust Keano’s judgment, sympathise with him over his failure to lure one or two more exciting targets and hope for the best.

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