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Well, it’s that time of year again! The football season is over and now we look forward to some World Cup qualifiers.

At least we won’t be whingeing and whining quite as much as we do when the “real” football is interrupted by these international fixtures. No, now we tend to grab at them, as a drowning man would grab at a lifebelt. We even watch the occasional friendly without so much as a murmur of complaint.

We also start to look forward to the pre-season tours. You know the ones. These are when clubs like United, City, Arsenal and Chelsea go as far away as possible under the deception that they are giving fans, who wouldn’t ordinarily get the chance to see them in the flesh, the chance to see them in the flesh.

It has nothing to do with the money at all. They don’t want to ensure the maximum income from these faraway places by visiting them. No, they are just doing it out of the kindness of their hearts.

Well, we here at WSA could save them the trip. We know people in Manchester who have never seen any of the City or United players in the flesh. So, no need to travel thousands of miles, just take a stroll round the city and the same objective would be achieved. That is, of course, only if it has nothing to do with money and everything to do with letting the real fans see the players.

The other “distraction” when the football season reaches it’s conclusion is the re-opening of the transfer window. Not enough on it’s own to enable survival through the long cold months of the Summer, (all two of them), but certainly a welcome sideshow until the main event starts again in August.

This time out it appears that Premier League clubs will spend a record amount of money buying new players. Nothing new there then as they do so every Summer transfer window.

The difference this time is that both José Mourinho and Pep Guardiola are bidding to spend enough money to justify that they are indeed worthy of the title “world-class“. Would they be worried by accusations that they had “bought the title” should one of them win it? Not on your life! They would bask in the glory with self-satisfied grins on their face and expect the rest of us to completely forget about the hundreds of millions of £££’s they had spent in achieving their status.

There is history which does generally prove that the title can be bought, although it hasn’t happened very often. Blackburn Rovers are the stand-out proof of this particular pudding. However, although Jack Walker’s millions were the main reason for their one success, it also has to be said that without a manager such as Kenny Dalglish that Premier League title would have remained elusive.

So the “top” managers are also likely to be the top spenders although Chelsea, in fairness, don’t appear to be being linked with many players at present. This, we are sure, will change as we get further through the window.

Arsene Wenger, complete with new contract and the undying support of the Gunners faithful, is being linked with lots of players he won’t buy. Remember, it isn’t that long ago when he spent what was, for him anyway, an absolute fortune on the likes of Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez, two player now being linked with moves away from The Emirates. He is of the “once bitten, twice shy” school of thought.

Poor old Jürgen Klopp must be wondering what he has let himself in for at Liverpool. Roma have priced an ex-Chelsea flop out of reach and Southampton have asked for an investigation into the way they do their transfer business at Anfield after Virgil van Dijk, who has now also been priced way above his value, was allegedly tapped up by someone in a scouse red suit and tie.

Is it possible that next season could be anywhere near as exciting as this close-season? We sure hope so!

PS – Well done to the England Under 20 team who, by winning the World Cup in Korea against Venezuela, have achieved something that the senior team achieved back in 1966, except that they have done it the hard way by winning it on foreign soil, something the seniors have never done, never looked like doing and, probably, never will do.

 

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