I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s little point on mulling over every rotation of the rumour mill. When it comes down to it, there’s only about 5% truth in what you read or hear anyway. The rest is either hope or mischief, either from the press, players, their representatives or the clubs.
It’s a hard enough job being a football fan these days without trying to pick the wheat from the chaff, the message board rumble from the genuine interest and in the main I tend not to bother. The best tip I’ve had is the one I shared with you a few weeks back.
Watch how the stories develop, if nothing changes then there’s probably nothing in it. If the story moves on and takes more shape, then there might be some truth in it.
Take Michael Brown (no really, take him) the stories that we were about to sign him, at the 35.675th time of asking, caused quite a buzz. The story spun out for 3 or 4 days, but never got past the ‘Latics will sign…’ stage. It should have come as little surprise when Laurie Sanchez told the world that Brown was still his captain and was staying that way unless if was told different.
The Marlon Harewood situation was different. Right from the off there was a back story, would West Ham want to deal with Latics after everything that was said back in May? Add to that the tales of price negotiations, rival bids and finally a rumoured medical and you have a story that was based in reality. Villa’s late hijacking of the deal means that we’ll have to wait a while to work out if it’s one with a happy ending for Latics.
Finally we have the only transfer gossip worth Latics fans talking about, Leighton Baines to Sunderland. Comments from both managers over the last week or so have made it clear that this story is genuine but beyond a couple of failed bids, the rest is as clear as mud.
In the early days there was rumoured interest from top four clubs, a brief hint that he was happy to stay and a lot of hot air. Move on a month or so and the only thing that has really changed is the slowly increasing bid from the north east. Oh, and people making way too much of the injured left back’s absence from Hutchings’ first team selection of the friendly programme.
I find it hard to believe that only Sunderland are interested in Baines and suspect that there are a bevy of other clubs sat back, and letting Roy Keane do all the running. Should the Black Cats get anywhere then I doubt that their offer will be the only one on the table.
As for the chances of him leaving? The real truth may lie in the, seeming, lack of effort to sign even cover for the lad, let alone his replacement.
So with the Harewood and Brown deals dead in the water and no sign of Keane dropping his interest in Baines we can look forward to plenty more conjecture over the coming weeks. My tip to you would be to remain calm about it and see what happens. There may be a fair bit of frustration in that approach but it’s not really worth getting got under the collar about and you’ll definitely save yourself from looking a fool.
Any way, now that we’ve actually got some football to talk about, it should be easier to keep yourself distracted.
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