So Ryan Babel has been fined £10,000 for his Tweet. A rather disproportionate sum for the crime involved me thinks however, the FA have always been a law unto themselves.
We are told by Chairman Roger Burden.
“Social network sites like Twitter must be regarded as being in the public domain. All participants need to be aware, in the same way as if making a public statement in other forms of media, that any comments would be transmitted to a wider audience, It is their responsibility to ensure only appropriate comments are used.”
Quite so however, I can’t think a more “appropriate comment” than to suggest that Howard Webb made two bad decisions in our match against The Mancs!
Seriously however, I would like to thank Mr Burden. Before this decision I thought that Mr Webb had a good game. Babel’s tweet only served to muddy the waters of my weak, feeble, impressionable mind. I am grateful to him for clearing things up, erasing my doubts and reinstating Mr Web to his rightful status as an untouchable man in black. So that’s one social forum down I now look forward to Mr Burden taking issue with the hundreds of other websites, newspapers and other media bits and bobs who also felt that Howard Webb had a sh*t game!
I wonder if the German FA (or equivalent) are bit less “precious” (Gordon Taylor’s words) or pious (my words) than Mr Burden and his chums? It looks like Babel might have to answer to them if there are any more Twitter indiscretions as a move to Bundesliga’s Hoffenheim looks very much on the cards.
Apparently the offer is around £5.8m. We paid £11.5m for Babel in 2007. By no stretch of the imagination does this represent anything but a loss on the club. The figures are a stark reminder of Babel’s continued failure, despite numerous opportunities, to realise his potential. At 24 years old Babel should still have his best playing days in front of him so had he improved, or wanted to move, you expect his value to be £11.5m plus. You would also, with respect, expect Babel to be going to a club with a bigger pedigree than Hoffenheim? However I feel I’m already writing his Red’s obituary, perhaps I am jumping the gun as I write this he hasn’t gone yet?
Meanwhile the owners, who by and large have been rather reticent, have broken their silence over what we might expect in this transfer window. Tom Werner has stated that Kenny will be given some funds to improve, which will no doubt be supplemented by monies from other sales.
“I would be devastated if we didn’t see some improvement, we’ve identified some targets and hope we will be successful. I expect progress, we’ve resources to improve, we’re not driven by spending, but our team needs to get younger.”
What will the funds be spent on? It is probably easier to answer the question “How long is a piece of string?” As ever there is plenty of speculation and most of it surrounds the acquisition of an extra striker despite the recent defensive lapses.
Due to the January window’s limited fare perhaps we might go down the road of acquiring short term loan “stop gaps” until the summer? Kenny has history of unexpected quirky signings anyone remember David Speedie? I thought Roque Santa Cruz might end up with us on loan or, dare I say it, even Robbie Keane though perhaps he’s “once bitten twice shy” now as regards us? How about this as really off the wall interim player until May, Kevin Phillips who is warming the Birmingham bench at present? His finishing is as good as anyone’s and he has experience. Stop scoffing at the back!
However, one name that keeps cropping up and would be a permanent signing is Ajax’s Luis Suarez. This has some credibility. Suarez at, 23 years old, fits in with Werner’s desire to have a younger squad. It also fits in with the Ryan Babel situation. The obvious thing would be make him part of the deal and send him back to his old club however it looks like his wages could be a stumbling block hence the interest of “The Hoff”?
I’m not holding my breath. We will have stiff competition for Suarez’s signature from clubs who can offer him more and are in much better positions. We will probably have to pay £20m plus for his services perhaps even breaking the £22m transfer record we set in acquiring Fernando Torres? Such figures still continue to make me wince but with Darren Bent’s recent move weighing at £24m perhaps this, on the face of it at least, doesn’t look so bad!