So Bruno Alves is in Glasgow, swapping Italy for our windy days and rain.
And money, of course. Let’s not forget money.
Because it’s the only reason he’s here at all.
This is Sevco, and it has been from the first; a 35 year old “bling” signing, like last year’s captures of Barton, Kranjcar and Senderos. All equally useless. Two have already hit the road. One remains, and my money is on him not lasting until Christmas.
Alves is a better player than that lot. Much will be made of his experience. At 35 that kind of goes with the territory. But he’s a guy who’s in his waning years. No longer at the height of his powers, he’s certainly capable, on his day, but there are less of them as a player gets older and that his club is willing to let him go for a “nominal fee” is pretty telling.
“Oh but he won a European Championship medal” is the current refrain from their fans.
Yes, he did. In 2016. He was in the squad for the Finals, and so, like every other member of that squad, he did get a winners medal at the end. But he played only one game and then only because Pepe was unable to. Which, I dunno … is kind of interesting.
So too is this stat; the average age of the central defence in that squad was 35. Carvalho got in it, at 38. Its youngest player was Pepe himself, at 32.
He will, almost certainly, be “good enough” against the kind of teams who’s managers select guys like Jayden Stockley; quite how well he’ll do against those which show some drive and verve and try to play attacking football is another thing entirely.
But like I said, this is Sevco and bling is what they care about. It’s there in their pursuit of Dorrans, who I would love to see move there for big money having played a total of 48 games in the last three years … none of them in the last campaign.
They cannot seem to get themselves out of this stupid mind-set of signing “name players” rather than those who can actually do a half decent job.
This strategy was a disaster last season, and already the coming window has all the hallmarks of the one where Paul Le Guen signed a lot of third rate junk and the media tried to convince us they were up to the job.
I remember reading about what a fantastic player Jeremy Clement was; he lasted 19 games and was punted in January when the manager got his jotters. Remember Karl Svensson? The Scottish media wrote about him like he was a world beater, but even as they were doing it they must have known, as Graham Spiers certainly did, and wrote about in his book on the Le Guen tenure, that the move was greeted with disbelief by everyone who’d seen him play.
Today The Daily Record is trying to put a positive gloss on the moves to sign the Portuguese striker I wrote about yesterday, the one who scored a single competitive goal in 33 games for Benfica’s second string. You couldn’t make this up.
At the same time, the media is reporting that their “interest has cooled” in the Motherwell duo they were linked with for most of last month, and who The Record put in their ridiculous “this is what Sevco’s team could look like next year” article which is already looking decidedly crummy as their right back – Callum Patterson – chose Cardiff instead.
Yes, their interest in the Motherwell players has “cooled.” But that might have more to do with the fact Motherwell said they wouldn’t get the players on the cheap and would have to pay something more than “nominal fees” to secure them.
Honestly, the media really goes to bat for this lot at times.
Alves has a good claim to being a decent footballer; he has a record most players would be proud of. But this is an end of career move if ever I’ve seen one and I predict that like Barton last season he’s coming for what he reckons is an easy, final payday before the bell.
And those guys do not scare me at all.
We’ve signed enough of them ourselves to know how little they have to offer.