Batuhan: The last great dictatorship (3)

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By Allan S. B. Batuhan

Foreign Exchange

Friday, January 31, 2014


To Premier League fans all over the world, January means only one thing—the last transfer window of the year, a time when their clubs can get last-minute reinforcements in their run-up to the crucial, final games of the season.

For teams in the Top 4 like Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea, this window could be the missing link to their chase for the league championship. And, for those teams at the foot of the table, it may spell their fate of whether they play in the Premier League, or the Championship (second tier of English football) next season.

But why is this transfer window so important? Why is the addition (or departure) of one or two players to a team so critical, when after all, there are 11 men that make up a side, and plenty more to beef up a squad?

To those who are familiar with football, or any team sport for that matter, this would seem like a stupid question. Of course, the addition of one or two players to a team is critical. And just as equally, the departure of a key one could also be suicidal.

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Arguably, the hottest strike partnership in all of football today is the one they call SAS, which stands for Suarez and Sturridge.

Luis Suarez is a Uruguay international, who came to Liverpool in January 2011, from Dutch champions Ajax. Acquired to replace departing Liverpool icon Fernando Torres, he is now the source of the team’s inspiration, mentioned along with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as among the very best ever to play the game.

In January 2012, Daniel Sturridge left his old team Chelsea and joined Liverpool. This cemented the SAS partnership that now terrorizes defenses all over the league, and leaves those in the continent quaking in their boots, anticipating the day when they meet Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League. Only two men out of 11, but their addition has made their team a very different one, with their presence.

On the other hand, look at what happened to Tottenham Hotspurs.

Last summer, they sold their prized player, Gareth Bale, to the Galacticos (Real Madrid), setting a record for the most expensive player transfer in history. In exchange for eighty million pounds that they got for their man, they brought in half a dozen new players to bolster their squad. The team thought that one Gareth Bale would be less than five or six new players, and that they would be better off without him, but have a few more in his place.

But one player doth a big difference make, as the Spurs found out too late to their chagrin.

The Spurs were murdered by Liverpool’s SAS by a score-line of 5-0 at home, and again this week, thrashed by Manchester City 4-0 away. The team that gave their prized asset away to get a few replacements, ended up ruing the day they did.

Tottenham forgot that teams are made up of people. And the composition of the players in a team dictates how that group behaves, in any given situation. Take one out and put someone in, and the group displays a very different dynamic.

Liverpool put in two players in the SAS, and they are now the most feared attacking team in the Premier League. Tottenham took one away, and they have become a toothless tiger, the laughing stock of their rivals in the Premier League. (More next week)

(http://asbbforeignexchange.blogspot.com & http://twitter.com/asbbatuhan)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 01, 2014.

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