Thursday, July 27, 2006

Should I stay or should I go?

"If you say that you are mine, Ill be here 'til the end of time." Alas I don't think Michael Carrick has been listening to The Clash recently. The most talked about on-off transfer of the summer is still to be resolved. But I am increasingly getting the impression that Spurs fans are resigned to losing him. And would that be a bad thing?

Don't get me wrong. I think Carrick was our second best outfield player last season (behind Keane) and without him performing at the standard he did Spurs wouldn't have finished as high as fifth. And he's a young guy with a little World Cup experience who is only going to get better and better. But we need to be very careful that he doesn't leave for free at the end of his contract. In fact, I don't believe the Board have any intention of doing that, as the signing of Zokora shows. I read in the press that Zokora was keen to join Spurs because he was basically guaranteed first-team football. Now that might have been paper talk, but it looks to me that as soon as the Carrick and ManUre rumours/bids started, the club acted swiftly by signing a replacement. Far better that than to wait until the transfer goes through and then have to quickly fill the gap as the transfer window comes to a close (who knows what panic buy we might then end up with... remember Raziak?!?!)

Anyway, back to the question: would Carrick leaving be a bad thing? Well, the reasons for keeping him are that he's a class player who will help us get to the next level. Also, managing to keep hold of him would show our intentions and ambition. However, if he does not want to stay then we don't want him. We're a big club with lots of tradition - we only want players who have a strong desire to wear the shirt. And as I've previously mentioned we wouldn't want him to walk away for nothing on a Bosman.

As I understand it, Carrick has two years left on his contract. If he doesn't re-sign, he'll probably only be worth around £5 million in a year's time. So the pressure to sell this summer if he won't re-sign is pretty clear. In other words, I think the only question that really matters is will Carrick sign a new deal with us this summer? Because if he won't then so long Michael, we'd rather you left now.

The press have been full of reports this week that we've offered to make him the joint highest earner at the club. Unfortunately it seems that he isn't keen to accept, so I think it is clear that he's holding out for an improved bid from ManUre, which I'm sure will happen once they unload Van Nistelrooy to either Bayern or Real Madrid. And I don't think it's just this week's events which tell us that Carrick would rather be at Old Trafford. The first bid for him came in before the World Cup started. Since then neither Carrick or his agent have said anything to the press. If he really wanted to be at Spurs, he'd have come out and said, "I'm flattered to be linked to Manchester United, but my future lies at the club I love. We've done great things at Spurs this season and next year will be better still. I want to be part of that." Have we heard such comments? As if.

Carrick is one of the new breed of footballers who is driven by personal wealth. Now obviously if he was to change his mind and sign a new contract at Spurs, we'd all get behind him and think the sun shone out of the proverbial, but in reality it's clear that he doesn't value us as much as we value him, so the sooner he goes the better I feel. So, "come on and let me know," because "this indecision's bugging me."

No comments: