Sometimes in life, it’s better to not get what you want.
This will probably be the case at the end of the next season for West Ham, who almost signing Leicester sensation, Jamie Vardy.
His detractors will be out in force in August, watching how he starts and how the season progresses, with an “I told you so” when he doesn’t replicate the exploits of the previous term.
It is tough for anyone to keep up the pace that he set last year, but the true thoroughbreds and the greatest players, can and ultimately do keep up a relentless goalscoring rhythm. Look at Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Javier Hernandez at Leverkusen and past Premier League greats like Dennis Bergkamp, Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry.
The test will surely be whether Vardy can sustain the form wherever he plays. Be it Leicester, Arsenal or anywhere else, the proof will be in his play next year.
There could be the case of ‘second year syndrome’ and a potentially drier few months for the England striker. Clubs will have worked out how to stop Vardy and prevent the ball getting to him and if the 29 year old does move onto another club, it’s doubtful that the team will play the same way as Leicester and ultimately, not with the his strengths in mind. Vardy may be expected to fit into a different game plan and this will tell us more about him as a top player.
It was reported a week or so ago, that West Ham came very close to signing the Foxes forward, only for the player’s excessive wage demands to provoke a West Ham turnaround. Once the alleged wage of £105,000-a-week was agreed, the forward’s representatives came back with a bigger demand and the Hammers decided against the deal.
Quite rightly, as well. Although you cannot blame the player for wanting as much as he can get, what guarantees would West Ham have that he will be the same player, indeed, what guarantees can any club have, including his current side, that he will score another 24 league goals or close to it?
In all probability, last season was a flash in the pan for both club and player and whilst you can never say never, it is extremely unlikely that we will have a repetition of the startling events of 2015/16.
Vardy has assured himself of a place in Leicester folklore and deserves it, but although the expectation surrounding the Leicester striker will be high, the footballing nation will have to be realistic, as Vardy could struggle to score more than 15.
Better players are coming into the league next year and without being derogatory to Vardy and they will mark him out of the game and stifle his play, as master tacticians also emerge within the Premier League. Pep Guardiola, Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho will have watched, taken note and will plan ways of ensuring Vardy doesn’t get a sniff of goal.
Bearing all of that in mind, West Ham will indeed be one of two or three clubs this time next year, that will feel they escaped signing a much quieter Jamie Vardy.