As I write this, news has just come through that the signing of Jordan Rhodes from Middlesbrough has been finalised and confirmed.
What a relief!
The rumours and gossip surrounding this deal have gone on for far too long for everyone. I’m sure everyone concerned are just glad that the deal is now signed and sealed and the lad can now concentrate on reproducing some of the goal scoring form that has made his signature so sought after.
There is nothing more frustrating for a player than the uncertainty surrounding you when transfer speculation is rife. All you want is for it to be sorted as quickly as possible and to get back to playing football.
The signing is a massive commitment by the club and chairman Mr Chansiri and the intent is there for all to see.
Let’s hope that he can now fire the Owls to success this season.
Elsewhere, away from the saga of the Jordan Rhodes transfer, there has been much debate over the last week regarding the FA Cup and what regard it still holds for both players and supporters.
Some say that it is being devalued by some of the bigger clubs by not playing their full strength teams and I think we have seen this past weekend that they do this at their peril. Do some of the continental managers disrespect the competition by doing this?
All I can say is that as a youngster, FA Cup final day was something I looked forward to for weeks. The build up starting early morning with all manner of television FA Cup ‘specials’ culminating in watching the teams leave their respective hotels and making their way to Wembley. I was glued to the ‘box’ for what was to come and after the game had been played out and the final whistle blown I would soon be outside re-enacting what had just gone before.
To me, the FA Cup has always been a fabulous competition and, like many other people, was something I dreamed of winning one day. May be that’s why I had a pleasant smile when so many of the so called ‘big guns’ came unstuck this past weekend.
I look back over my playing career and the closest I ever got was a quarterfinal. You may only get a dozen or so chances to enter this beautiful competition during your professional career and so for one or more of those chances to be taken away from you, in my opinion, is ludicrous. I’d like to bet that every single one of the managers who have been knocked out through playing what has been deemed as under strength teams this past weekend will look on with envy come cup final day, probably kicking themselves that this year could possibly have been their year.
What has been quite apparent is that the wonders of the cup are still well and truly alive and the rewards for the outstanding achievements of giant killers Lincoln City and Sutton United are enormous. Not only the bragging rights of each respective clubs supporters and players alike, but also the financial rewards of a cup run can be truly life changing for some of these smaller clubs.
Jon Newsome is the owner of prestige, sports and performance cars specialists, Automarques Unit 1, Old Barracks, Sheffield. S2 4EE