Transfer tales and kite flying

kite flyingOne thing you learn quite quickly, if you’re a football fan who also reads the papers, listens to the radio and watches TV, is to take transfer talk with a lorryload of salt.

We’ve heard so far that Steve Bruce still isn’t convinced by Craig Gordon, which would handily explain our supposed interest in keepers most of those who saw Gordon last season would consider inferior. Then we’re told one or two of the Big Four (or is that Five, Six or Seven now?) have their eyes on Scotland’s and our No 1. Mmm.

What else? All those people we’re allegedly in for: Luke Young, Mauro Boselli, Landry N’Guemo, Marcus Pedersen, Marcos Angeleri (close to signing, says the Evening Chronicle). Plus a few of those goalies. And even some bloke called Alan Hutton, for whom ‘Arry is demanding crazy money but in whom we are, or are not, still interested according to which report is believed.

Then there’s the list of men on their way out: George McCartney, Daryl Murphy, Teemu Tainio, David Healy, Nyron Nosworthy and Marton Fulop heading the procession, with Phil Bardsley and Anton Ferdinand likely to follow. Always assuming someone else wants ’em.

Fulop has had a reasonable time with us, and the others have generally tried to do their bit with varying success, but few of us would feel the need to ring up the Samaritans if they went.

All you really need to know is that – reassuringly – we’re active looking around, both for people to bring in and for managers who might take those for whom there should really be no future at a club with Top 10 aspirations or better.

There’s the small matter of the World Cup between now and the new season. There’ll be injuries, approaches, second thoughts about men on whom Bruce may already have formed thoughts one way or the other.

Yes, there is often at least a grain of truth in stories linking us with this or that player. But players’ and agents’ interests also come into play, as do the needs of sports hacks to fill their pages or airtime, and their efforts are in turn regurgitated by football websites. It’s called kite flying, and they’re all at it in their own ways.

Never forget what has been mentioned here more than once: in a recent pre-season (and therefore, no doubt in others too), only a handful of the scores of players with whom we had been confidently linked had ever actually crossed our radar. And nearly as many other players had been targets without the rumour mill getting so much as a sniff.

But don’t sell Craig, Brucey!


* With thanks to Tocs for his red and white kite photo

Colin Randall

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3 thoughts on “Transfer tales and kite flying”

  1. I think you’ve just fallen into the trap Keith. If Gordon gets sold it will be because a good offer comes in from one of the top 4 and not because Bruce feels disappointed with him. I’m as guilty as you are now. This is just what the hacks want. Completely pointless discussion about some nonsense they just made up as they finished their third gin of the morning.

    I do wonder however, to what extent managers are influenced by it. Imagine Brucey picking up the paper and seeing the headline e.g. “Sunderland move for Ilan.” Brucey has had no interest in the player until he sees this in the paper. He thinks “What a bloody good idea!” and signs him. In this example it would probably fall a country mile of being even a reasonable idea, but you get my drift.

  2. Why would Bruce want to get rid of Gordon, he played at the start of the season and we were doing great, he broke his arm we then went on an absymal run, before he returned and shored up our defence. It would be a mistake to sell him unless it was for good profit R15m minimum or we weaken the team. I believe Hutton will come, just the grotesquely greedy Levy is up to his tricks and Bruce is made of sterner stuff than Keane, think of the money Spurs have made out of Sunderland off loading players they didn’t want. Steven Ireland has been mooted and would be a fantatic buy. A top class centre back is essential we simply have no back up. I have watched Da Silva in SA and he is not a conventianal centre half, Paraguay play a style of football that is alien to the English and I’m not convinced it will work. We should never have sold Danny Collins
    Have a good world cup Hamba Bafana

  3. Since the last ball of last season was kicked we have been linked with 35 incoming transfers that I’m aware of and probably quite a few that I’m not aware of with the latest being Ilan (ex West Ham), less than an hour ago! I quite enjoy all the speculation but refuse to believe a word of it until I see the player in a Sunderland shirt on the official club website.

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