Every now and again there’s a press link that’s too good to be true, when I was a younger, fitter wealthier red it was Batistuta, the frequency with which he was linked created this strong belief it could happen, as the belief got bigger so did the dream of seeing King Eric using his supreme vision to create chances for a man who looked to be incapable of missing.
History shows us that it never happened, but this press obsession with certain players continues, these days it’s all about Ronaldo’s “home coming”, or rescuing Bale from his “Spanish nightmare”, we know neither move will happen, that any such rumours are just churned out my agents aiming to get their man a 20% bump on the image rights side of his next contract, or a journalist who’s appetite for writing a story is no bigger than cutting and pasting half a dozen quotes from unnamed sources on clickbate articles and make it into an exclusive that the more inexperienced fan latches on to as a guarantee its happening.
For the reasons above I refused to spend any time reading into or getting hopes up over the stories linking us to Schweinsteiger, the list of things too good to be true is long, and him coming to United was on that list in huge capitals with Ctrl b & u used to emphasise how much of a pipe dream it was, we were simply playing our role as the interested side that prompted Bayern to give him the deal he was after, that was it, over with, job done and I was content I’d put this one to one side without allowing hope to kill me, then Saturday afternoon happened…
I was watching The Ashes, it was a rare lull in the Australian wickets falling, I scrolled through Twitter and saw a wave of retweets in German and excited emojis all around them, it looked promising, but I couldn’t get my hopes up, we’ve seen it before, foreign papers release a story and we buy into hook line and sinker, then the penny dropped, this wasn’t a press source, this was the man running the show at Bayern, he was saying it, the most German midfielder in the history of Germany had said it, then United went and confirmed it, it was unreal!
This isn’t a simple case of adding a midfield option, this is the addition of a serial winner, a man who’s drive to win has been relentless throughout his entire professional career, adding that influence to a squad that lost a huge amount of its winning mentality when Sir Alex, Rio, Vidic & Giggs checked out is huge, if the Ferguson era taught us anything, it’s that technical ability is one thing, but it’s almost futile without it being paired with that contagious drive to win, it’s that something we had during that golden era that regularly turned a point into 3 on those cold wet nights in March when the chips are down and the pressure’s on.
In getting Schweinsteiger signed up we’ve taken a huge leap in success’s direction, if as I suspect others take the opportunity to follow his example, then our time spent watching all the domestic glory go where the oil money is will be much shorter than any of us thought it would be at the end of Moyes last catastrophic game in charge.