I’ve had McAnuff of all this lunacy!

Forget about buying a house to get yourself a high-yield investment, all the action is in run-of-the-mill footballers these days.

Forget about buying a house to get yourself a high-yield investment, all the action is in run-of-the-mill footballers these days.

Because if there is one thing in the UK that has risen in value more than property prices during the past decade; it is bang average British footballers.

In recent years football has teetered on the brink of being bonkers, but The Man thinks the past month has seen the beautiful game formally checked into Hellesdon Hospital.

Ian Holloway - he of the loose tongue - claims it was actually sectioned as far back as June.

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That was when Jobi McAnuff completed a £1.75m switch from Crystal Palace to Watford.

One point seven million pounds...

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Holloway, pictured, screeched: “I think the game's gone absolutely bonkers and the one that started it all off was Jobi McAnuff for £1.75m from Crystal Palace to Watford.

“That never made sense to me. He's a good player but he's not worth that much, surely?

“Then there's Michael Chopra. A year ago he was worth £500,000, this year it's £5m! When's it going to stop? It's absolutely barmy.”

He talks a lot that fella, but on this one he's right.

Quite what he makes of Curtis Davies' £10 million price tag is anyone's guess.

This is a fella who has presided over one relegation, and one failed promotion bid.

Sure, he might be decent - but £10 million!

Thankfully, Martin O'Neill failed to line the Baggies' pockets with yet another obscene windfall (WBA have a track record of getting ludicrous transfer fees), but you fear it's only delaying the inevitable.

After all, MoN shelled out £9 million for Ashley Young. As it stands that's £4.5 million per goal...

The Man is stating the painfully obvious here, but the days when you could pick up Ian Culverhouse, Mark Bowen, Ian Crook and John Polston from Tottenham reserves for little more than some WH Smith vouchers and a betamax copy of Tango and Cash, are so far gone it's almost impossible to believe they ever existed.

For example, Steve Coppell this week described West Ham's £8 million bid for Nicky Shorey (bang average) as “derisory.” The mind boggles...

Of course these players are worth these amounts only if someone is prepared to pay them.

And Prem clubs do have even bigger bundles of cash coursing through their veins, which doubtless in turn has jacked up wages and transfer fees.

Davies' inflated value in particular has resonance close to home; there simply aren't many good centre-backs out there.

When I think of who we should sign to solve our dilemma over The Odd Couple (Shackell & Doherty), I can't think of anyone.

I'd say spend £1 million on the best centre half in League One -- but I don't know who that is, or even if he exists.

One thing is for sure, I'm glad we are not in the Prem during this transfer lunacy.

Our board simply wouldn't be able to get its head around paying £3 million for an average player; we would get blown out of the water.

The Man's top overpriced summer transfers (you may spot a theme here):

t Craig Gordon, Hearts to Sunderland, £9million

t Kenwyne Jones, Southampton to Sunderland, £6million

t Michael Chopra, Cardiff to Sunderland, £5million

t Hameur Bouazza, Watford to Fulham, £4million

t Danny Higginbotham, Stoke to Sunderland, £2.5million

t DJ Campbell, Birmingham to Leicester, £1.6million

t Dickson Etuhu, Norwich to Sunderland, £1.5million


First day in a new job...there are certain things you must get right.

Turn up on time, look smart - and don't get arrested in a drugs bust.

Zat Knight was doubtless peeved at getting fingered by the Brummie cops just hours before his unveiling at Villa Park.

I doubt it went down too well with Martin either...

However, the unfortunate timing did remind The Man of one of football's great characters, Robin Friday.

Friday was nicked on the day he signed for Cardiff from Reading in 1976 for trying to dodge the rail fare.

But that's nothing.

The legendary striker once became so irritated by Mark Lawrenson during a game that he kicked him in the FACE, for which he received a red card.

Not content with the assault, hot-headed Friday then marched into the opposition's dressing room and delivered a fresh stool straight into Lawro's kit bag!

The Man loves that story...


The Man is never pleased to see a player suffer serious injury.

But when it's Kieron Dyer, and it's West Ham, then the edge is taken off it somewhat.

Call me a scumbag, call me what you want: but that's how I feel.

The Man is utterly astounded that clubs continue to employ Dyer (who was cleared of exposing his old fella to guests in a Norwich hotel last year).

Surely there isn't anyone on this planet who truly expects this bloke - on his £80,000 a week wages - to ever complete even half a season again?

Maybe it's an example of the dearth of British talent, who knows?

But why any boardroom would OK giving this bloke a multi-million pound contract is beyond me.


Ooops. The Man has to hold his hands up when he gets something wrong.

Last week I claimed the club's press office had neglected to tell Anglia TV about Ian Murray's press conference at Colney.

However, I have been reliably informed by one of the Carra's PR men that such a statement was “wide of the mark.”

The Carra's media HQ did put Anglia in the picture, and my Anglia deep throat, for once, was wrong.

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