Undoubtedly the most stressful month for a football manager, January has kicked off to a slow start in terms of transfers but the rumour mill is well and truly up and running. The majority of focus is surrounding the ‘bigger’ clubs in the Premier League with the big spending Manchester City keen to add more numbers and Manchester United and Tottenham perhaps have to strengthen with their thin squads.
It seems that supporters at every club will want to see at least one new face come into their side, with certain groups of supporters demanding a whole host of new signings to walk through the door to improve the squad in general. It is clear that some work is needed to improve certain teams to push them up the table from January onwards but the pressure on the chairmen and management is becoming more heated than ever.
That is one major flaw of the current window system in world football as it entices panic buy situations and could make or break a manager’s career. One manager; who despite fans demands; never seems to panic in the transfer windows is Arsene Wenger who may have a change of heart in 2012. The short term deal to bring the ageing Theirry Henry back to the Emirates is the first sign of desperation from the French boss who realises the need to strengthen to keep up with their rivals. A centre back, left back, winger and a full time striker is still on the wish list for Gunners fans but will Wenger change a habit of a lifetime and rush into deals similar to the Henry signing.
Paul Scholes made a shock return to the Manchester United squad in their FA Cup victory over rivals Manchester City, once again a decision that is stinking of desperation. It is clear to see that United need to hurry injured players back and maybe add a midfielder in the transfer window, but the heart over head decision to bring Scholes back is worrying. The unrest that was surrounding Old Trafford after two consecutive defeats in the league may have forced Sir Alex to make the Scholes decision overnight. Fergie is another manager that rarely reacts to fans or public pressure but the lack of form may have prompted that and that may be a trend set in the next three weeks or so.
So the bigger clubs have already turned to cheap, quick deals to try and improve the squad and time will tell whether they help their sides, but the worrying fact is that January is causing the most patient and shrewd managers into strange, rushed decisions. Manchester City are perhaps the only club that will not fold to the pressure of panic buying due to their financial backing but don’t be surprised if the likes of Chelsea and Tottenham also join the brigade of surprisingly low budget signings as the media and supporters join the bandwagon that you must buy in January or else!
Who do you want your club to sign this month? Let me know on Twitter: @Brad_Pinard
FREE football app that pays you CASH