Start planning for next summer now
THE football season eventually finished last night with the capitulation of the England Under-21s at the hands of Germany.
This means fans can get down to the real nitty-gritty of the summer – transfers.
Admittedly there is still football being played, with the CONCACAF Gold Cup (I am particularly looking forward to Guadeloupe v Nicaragua in the 71,500 capacity Reliant Stadium) and the Europa League qualifiers
providing the bizarre occurrence of the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons being played concurrently.
But outside of World Cup and European Championships years, transfers are what make the summer soccer headlines.
However this year’s transfers have all been very predictable so far.
Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid was last summer’s biggest transfer story and everyone knew it was going to happen this time.
Kaka leaving AC Milan was January’s biggest transfer story, albeit with Manchester City his destination.
Gareth Barry and Roque Santa Cruz leaving their clubs were the second biggest stories of last summer and January, although that Barry chose City ahead of Liverpool was unanticipated.
So what we should be looking for this summer are the moves that will happen next summer.
Ronaldo, Barry and Santa Cruz were all determined to leave, despite their clubs wanting them to stay.
This is the situation that the likes of Xabi Alonso, Cesc Fabregas, Joleon Lescott and Franck Ribery currently find themselves in, so expect them to be the big movers of the 2010 transfer windows.
Failing that we are all going to be so sick of their drawn-out sagas by the time the paperwork is miraculously completed within a minute of the window closing, that we will have long stopped caring.