A matter of timing

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Who should we blame this time? Is it the player’s fault? His agent’s? The club’s? Whilst Chimbonda’s transfer request was, at best, ill timed it was hardly unexpected. The way this has gone down has done no one any favours. At a time when he should have been taking a moment’s reflection on the season’s achievements with his colleagues, Pascal was, if rumour is to be believed, struggling for breath against the Highbury changing room wall.

Let’s get this right. We all knew he was looking for a move; you have to assume that the club did too. I’ll go a step further and guess that either the player or his agent had spoken to someone at the club in an attempt to make his exit smoother. The answer there would either have been a flat no, or at least not to the player’s liking.
Following this logic, the timing of the request was probably deliberate and designed to a) piss the club/manager/chairman off and/or b) ensure that his transfer request made the headlines at a busy time. It worked on both counts; it’s also triggered a series of ‘discussions’ between fans on a number of issues.

Now when this story first broke a lot was made by the chairman’s assertion that there’s no way that Chimbonda would be leaving the club for less than 6 million, and that he could rot in the reserves for all he cared. As far as I was concerned this was all bluff and bluster from the chairman, aimed at getting the highest price possible (with an ounce of opening your mouth before you’ve thought thrown in), for the “everything Whelan says is either bollocks or a lie” brigade it was another batch of ammo, to others it was the brave knight protecting the honour of our club, against the evil mercenary.

A couple of weeks down the line and you have to wonder. A call up to the France squad and ever increasing bids from Spurs suggest that 6 million could have been the price that the club came up with that the player/agent didn’t like. Rather than an off the cuff blag by the chairman, it could have come from discussions with his colleagues. Hell, it could even be the manager’s valuation.

The only thing that we do know is that it looks like the player will leave, and that the price will be around the £5 million mark. To be dispassionate about it that has to be seen as good business especially on a player who doesn’t want to be at the club any more. Would you have complained if we’d accepted that sort of bid without him having put his request in?

The only question that I have now is whether we should accept Spur’s bid, or wait and see what part he plays in Germany? I say snatch their hand off. As much a part Pascal has played in our season, as much as his personality and vigour has impressed itself on his fellow professionals, there’s been more than one occasion where he’s been found wanting. It would be great to see him go to the world cup and come away a star, but do you see that happening? I can’t.

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