The Dalo's Army Analogy Gossip
There remains a possibility Harry Redknapp invented the cliché that 'form is temporary but class is permanent' in a smoky London bar during the "Swinging 60s" given his love for ageing stars. Its a policy which served him well in his first spell at Portsmouth with 35-year old Paul Merson leading Pompey to promotion in 2003 and Teddy Sheringham helping to establish them in the top flight at 37. In his second spell at the club, 'Arry was delighted to be able to pick up David James and Sol Campbell who became key members of Portsmouth's FA Cup winning side in 2008. The problem of course with signing high-profile veterans is the club will end up paying sizable wages that are usually based on past performances, therefore its very short-term and often financially inefficient.
This may have been one of the main reasons why Redknapp ultimately fell out with Daniel Levy. The fiscally prudent Tottenham chairman was probably unhappy to be shelling out big wages for the likes of Ryan Nelsen, Louis Saha, William Gallas and to a lesser extent Brad Friedel and Scott 'Scottie' Parker. However, the QPR manager cares not for new age football buzzwords like 'Moneyball' and 'value' and is sticking to his guns. Rangers have been heavily linked with Parker and with another of his old favourites, 32-year old Peter 'Crouchie' Crouch. However, Ireland fans won't mind Harry recklessly spending some of Tony Fernandes' money on Richard Dunne.
QPR chief executive Phil Beard admitted that Redknapp is keen on acquiring the former Manchester City stalwart. He told the Fulham Chronicle: "He's [Dunne] not signed yet but he's a player that Harry would like to bring to the club." Ideally, Dunne would be playing in the top flight next season but a move to west London and a good chance of promotion might prove to be better move in the long-term than signing on with a club who are likely to be involved in a relegation battle. Giovanni Trapattoni has also said on many occasions that he doesn't see much difference between the Championship and the lower reaches of the Premier League so it wouldn't affect his chances at international level.
Even though they've won a Leinster title and comprehensively defeated arguably the greatest team of all time, its still hard to imagine the Dublin hurling team lifting Liam McCarthy in September. Not because Anthony Daly's side are lacking in any particular department (although we still have concerns about the consistency of their inside forward line) , but rather that history and tradition make it seem more unlikely a prospect than it actually is. Luis Suarez's proposed transfer to Arsenal can be looked at in a similar vein.
Considering Manchester United paid over £30 Million for Rio Ferdinand in 2002, the fact that the Gunners record transfer is still the £15 Million they paid to Zenit for Andrey Arshavin in 2009 emphasises the difficult task Arsene Wenger has had to compete with the Premier League heavyweights. However that appears to be changing this Summer with 'chief executive, Ivan Gazidis, having said that the club are ready to "compete with any club in the world" for the biggest names on the market' and an escalation in their financial firepower coming from renegotiated sponsorship deals. The club remain confident to securing Gonzalo Higuain from Real Madrid and are now according to the Guardian, 'determined to test Liverpool's resolve over Suárez with an improved £35m bid.'
Liverpool's apparent asking price is only £5 Million more and the Uruguayan has sounded desperate to leave Anfield all summer. Despite that, we still find it very hard to imagine Suarez in a different red and white shirt next season and not just because Liverpool would be selling their best player to a rival for fourth place.
Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE
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