Lost In Translation – Player Power and ‘The List’

by that Truro off of Bentleys Roof…

I think the transfer window deals have been good for us with Abe and Waghorn in and Campbell out. Like most City fans, I wondered what would happen with the players that reportedly expressed a desire to leave, (reported as Wellens, Gallagher, Fryatt and Campbell [and Hobbs, and Morrison, and King, and Oakley…] as people speculated).
People were talking about them being “transfer listed” but there is no evidence that this was ever the case. For those who don’t know, “the list” is a real thing, not some euphemistic entity used by the tabloids like a “come and get me plea”.
“The List”, or “The PFA Transfer List” to give it it’s proper name, can be accessed by anyone and is used by managers and agents (among others) to see who’s freely available. In days of yore it was a great tool to publicly off-load unwanted players but these days it is generally used to dump kids who haven’t made the grade and aged journeymen, desperate for one last contract (Ade Akinibiyi’s on it to choose a fairly cruel example). The only Leicester player on “the list” is Alex Cisak, a young Polish/Australian goalkeeper.
Few players use “the list” to orchestrate a move these days as it will cost them loyalty bonuses etc. so it will only be those desperate to leave who will make such a public demonstration of their displeasure. In reality, amongst bigger transfers particularly, the list is used as a marketing tool; to apportion blame, show lack of loyalty or whatever might suit the situation.
If City had still not accepted Blackpool’s bids for Campbell at the 11th hour, he may have asked publicly to be transfer listed for two reasons:
1) To remove certain payments owed to him by Leicester – therefore making the deal more financially attractive to Leicester or
2) To overtly show that he no longer wished to play for City – effectively making it impossible for Sousa to pick him.
There will be few cases as transparent as that of Campbell, we all knew he was pining for the Seaside, but he (or his agent) played the game brilliantly – orchestrating the move with the maximum financial return.
Like many things with Sousa, the comments about some people wanting to leave were lost in translation. There are always players who are unhappy; Hobbs because he struggling with form, Oakley because he knows that fans don’t appreciate him, King, Gallagher, Neilson, N’Guessan and Fryatt haven’t been regular in the side while Wellens has never made the difference we all expected. To be honest, with the team at the foot of the table and Sousa’s methods not paying dividends, there won’t be many who AREN’T unhappy in one form or another, while players express a desire to leave far more often than we could ever imagine. Being a footballer is a transient existence at the best of times, and many of them are looking for the next big pay day in a pretty much constant basis, although this is easier if you happen to be an Ibrahimovic or an Adebayor.
My guess is that certain players “had it out” with Sousa, over the style, man management and confusing tactical direction. Let’s face it, he couldn’t be more different than Pearson if he tried, a manager who had the respect and admiration of the overwhelming majority of players, bought many of them (which creates a significant bond between player and manager) and whose style brought us very close to promotion.
So those that “went on the list” never did. They had a moan, and were probably ignored by Sousa, meanwhile we get rid of the Foxes failure that is Campbell, bring back Martyn Waghorn as a replacement and recruit an exceptional International midfielder in Yuki Abe.
Hopefully, the air has been cleared, and the players will start to take Sousa’s ideas full on board, the Portuguese certainly won round one. Aiyawatt Raksriaksorn has put his money where his mouth is and continues to see City as a “Top” Club, both literally and metaphorically.
So, the future could still be bright for Leicester, for Campbell it’ll only be orange.

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