Great Expectations

The season has long since finished, the novelty of the FA Cup win is starting to wear off and now that my 'stressful' exams have finished what is there to keep me entertained through the long and dreary pre-season? 

The news broke at 2300 last night... literally tens of people cared... Manchester City had began their lavish pre season spending... it was a historic moment.

Dave from Cheshire was on hand to comment 'great player, destined for the top.' Neil from Texas went so far as to put a ':-D' Composure was sadly lacking amongst the City supporting internet community as they tried hard to contain their excitement. This was a special moment...

The man on everyone's lips? 

He came from Holland, the learning ground of so many great footballers and Alfonso Alves. According to reports Feyenoord wonder-kid Karim Rekik has reportedly moved to Eastlands having turned the vital 16 years of age a Dutch newspaper is reporting. 

Yep, that's the man. Forget your Ibrahimovic's, your Sneijders's, your Alexis Sanchez's. Karim Rekik (position and pronunciation unknown) is the new man at the City of Manchester Stadium. There is no word yet on his shirt sales. This is quite the coup for the club with ambitions to be the greatest. Smarm-machine Garry Cook has clearly been working around the clock to secure this deal. No doubt under the pretence of 'building for the future....' A quick Google search would no doubt have explained all, but I couldn't bring myself to do it.

Good god this is dull. Tevez-gate is way past tedium but thankfully there is salvation around the corner! Tomorrow the fixture list for next season is finally released after three long, dark, desolate weeks. Who will be the first opponents? Oooooh the mind boggles!! Predictions please...!

Despite spending the last three seasons telling each other that we should be 'building for the future' and making sure we have foundations in place and getting ourselves in line with the new and mysterious 'financial fair play' regulations there is now a growing frustration and lust for a big money signing. Sure the squad has gelled (even won a trophy!) and Mancini is adamant that only two or three players are needed.

Despite everything falling into place there is a burning, painful desire for a big money, out-of-this world ego to roll up in his personalised Maserati, shake hands with Garry Cook, run off a generic speech in hastily memorised English and zoom back to his flashy penthouse to throw darts at youth team players and generally cause a fuss. 

Unfortunately this is yet to happen. And disappointingly Patrick Vieira has been released and Gareth Barry remains.

Mercurial Chilean Alexis Sanchez is currently 'in negotiations' but even this exciting player doesn't quite provoke the same sort of palm-sweating, Sky-Sports-News-glued, goading-anonymous-internet-Chelsea-fans reaction as the record signing of hugely disappointing Robinho did. At the time a text was sent to my entire contact list saying simply 'ROBIIIIIIINHO!!!! :-D'

Simple spine-tingling excitement at the Brazilian's signing turned to sheer euphoria when the 'instant hero' did this on his debut. Que more Chelsea baiting.

Maybe it's the curse of success even after so long that means the signing of Sanchez (whenever he finally decides to sign for someone) will pass with little more than a contented smile. No doubt Sanchez is a good player. He'd probably do quite well in a City shirt. He may even be more than good as Tevez turned out to be. But the expectation and anticipation of seeing him play just isn't there.

Bar Sanchez however valid links to other big name players are few and far between. A half hearted connection with Wesley Sneijder brought a minute raise of eyebrows but mostly there is longing for the mental days of 2008 when exotic sounding foreigners and overpriced Englishmen were arriving en masse at Premier League training grounds in shades and ridiculous headphones. Sky Sports News reporters will have no one to chase on deadline day in 2011.

The January transfer window was an emphatic non event and this one is fast becoming the same. Tighter restrictions on squad sizes and those financial fair play rules has meant that clubs are shopping around for the best deal rather than the best player.

And although he doesn't like you mentioning it Harry Redknapps wheeling and dealing qualities could perhaps again prove a thorn in City's side in the hunt for Champions League football and maybe (whisper it now) the title.

Let's hope something ridiculous and overpriced happens soon - I've spent the last hour Googling Karim Rekik.

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