Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has slammed the timing of the transfer window in the wake of his side’s emphatic 4-0 defeat to Manchester City on Monday evening.
The Magpies’ opening game of the season ended in a resounding defeat, but Pardew felt his side were overshadowed by Arsenal’s bid for Yohan Cabaye earlier in the day. Jose Mourinho has echoed Pardew’s sentiments amid calls for transfer deadline day to be brought forward to before the start of the new season.
The Newcastle manager was left seething by the Gunners’ “disrespectful” bid and alleged Cabaye’s head had been turned by the offer on the eve of their opening fixture. While Newcastle’s fixture sheet is admittedly none of Arsene Wenger’s concern, Arsenal themselves have found themselves the victims of ‘transfer sharks’ in the past, losing Robin Van Persie, Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, all in protracted sagas.
The summer market is a turbulent and rarely enjoyable time for Premier League clubs, only made worse by the fact that ongoing sagas repeatedly interrupt preparations. Tottenham started the season with a shaky 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace, and with three debutants, it was incredibly difficult for Andre Villas-Boas to pick a formation or plan ahead without knowing if he will be able to call on Gareth Bale’s services on the left wing.
Everton have attempted to shut the doors as David Moyes comes knocking for old friends, but Manchester United’s continued pursuits of Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines have certainly been unsettling.
United themselves do not just play the part of the big bad wolf. Wayne Rooney’s position has been unclear since the end of last season, when then manager Sir Alex Ferguson claimed the striker had handed in a transfer request.
Disruption to pre-season is unfortunate and inevitable, but the Premier League must act if they are serious about protecting clubs. With increasing media presence, it is virtually impossible to keep a deal quiet. Pardew may have to wave ‘Cabaye’ before the unsettled Frenchman’s transfer does any more damage, but it will not be the last saga to disturb the start of the season. Three months will surely be long enough for clubs to disrupt each other in the future.
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