Wednesday, January 21, 2009

An Explanation Why Manchester City Will Not Attract the Very Best...Yet

Manchester City signalled their intentions of becoming a footballing super power by trying to sign Kaka from AC Milan for an amazing £100m. In many respects it made sense for City to earmark Kaka as potentially their first major signing this year...

Milan are in third place in Serie A, and look like they won't be capable of mounting a title challenge for a few years. They are currently playing in the UEFA Cup, so City approached a club they that felt were in transition and a player they hoped would move.

Many column inches have been dedicated to the deal turning sour, and Man City's Gary Cook has been quick to place the blame on AC Milan's greed. The ex-Nike executive was a major part of the sportswear company as they branded Michael Jordan in the '90s.

His skills in negotiations are renowned, but whereas Michael Jordan was advertising a product to make money, Kaka was asked to turn his back on everything he holds dear as a professional.

In other words the deal for Michael Jordan was an easy one to sign, all he had to do was wear trainers, for Kaka he would have to turn his back on trophies and professionalism of the highest level,while Manchester City get themselves in order to challenge for trophies.

And with nothing being guaranteed, the Brazillian faced never winning anything again. Already a wealthy man, the ex-World Footballer of the Year is a model professional. He is intrinsically motivated, not extrinsically.

Intrinsically motivated players are those who play the game for the love of it. Those who challenge themselves to get better every day. Kaka is a prime example.

Extrinsically motivated players are those who have fallen out of love with playing the game, they're usually motivated by outside reasons such as money or status.

The proposed move to Manchester City was entirely based on the extrinsic motivation of money, and if the deal did not collapse at the beginning it would have come to end sooner rather than later.

The point being that Manchester City will not be able to attract the world's elite until they progress in the league.

For the moment they will have to make do with players like Craig Bellamy, Robinho, Nigel De Jong, and Richard Dunne.

All excellent players in their own right, but they are a little short of that extra bit of class needed to play for the best of clubs and at the highest level.

For many Manchester City fans the collapse of the deal was disappointing. They were sure that their new financial clout has not automatically made them a superpower.

But what City fans need to realise is that clubs like AC Milan, Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Manchester United have also been around for 100 years or so, but that their time has been largely spent challenging for trophies and with that history comes a certain type of mysticism.

Chelsea have been a super power of the EPL for the last 10 years and yet they still cannot be compared to the above clubs. Liverpool have seen the mysticism that surround them erode greatly after 19 years without a league win, despite the fact they have won the Champions League.

Arsenal are also a great EPL team, and despite 12 glorious years under Arsene Wenger they are still short of becoming a true super power.

The point being, that all of the above clubs have been around for as long as City and have steadily built their phenomenal reputations. And when it comes to a player or manager having to decide between between one of them and City, the Manchester side will usually come out the wrong side.

Especially when dealing with players of the stature of Kaka. To them money is the least of their motivations, and while City may be able to promise the sun, the moon, and the stars, they can't promise greatness, trophies, or respect.

twitter / WillieGannon