DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 13: Mark Schwarzer of Australia kicks the ball in anger after conceding his side's fourth goal during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group D match between Germany and Australia at Durban Stadium on June 13, 2010 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
The Mark Schwarzer speculation took up the entire summer. I thought the transfer rumors last summer regarding Brede Hangeland were bad. The Schwarzer stories were definitely worse, and more prevalent. As a fan it was difficult to see the potential of one of your players going to another team. Arsenal were definitely interested as they made a couple of bids for the Australian goalkeeper. In the end though Schwarzer did not leave this transfer window for Arsenal.
Let me first say that I don't blame Arsene Wenger and Arsenal for pursuing Schwarzer. They were trying to improve their club. Schwarzer is an excellent goalkeeper, and would have helped the Gunners. Arsene Wenger was doing his job by trying to upgrade his club.
I applaud Mark Hughes for doing his job as manager of Fulham. He could have given into the pressure of selling Schwarzer. Instead, he put his team first, and rejected the offer from Arsenal.
I know Arsenal, and their fans could be disappointed that a deal for Schwarzer was not made. I wouldn't blame the Fulham manager for not making the deal. He was looking out for his club, just like Arsene Wenger was protecting Arsenal when Barcelona came knocking on the door for Cesc Fabregas.
Both managers I think did the right thing for their clubs. Why make a deal if it is not going to be a benefit for your club? Both Mark Schwarzer and Cesc Fabregas are currently under contract with their teams. Both Fulham and Arsenal did not have to sell their players. I think the only way either player should have been sold if it actually improved their clubs.
I will give you an example of a situation that I think could be a benefit to both teams in a deal. Fulham just made a transfer agreement with Liverpool for Paul Konchesky. Fulham got back two young players, Lauri Dalla Valle and Alex Kacaniklic plus cash from Liverpool. Fulham gave up a quality left back , but got back a striker and a winger with potential. I think it is a fair deal. Both sides could end up benefiting from this agreement.
Also, Mark Hughes handled this deal with Liverpool correctly. He brought in a replacement left back Carlos Salcido before making the agreement with Liverpool. Now, Fulham could actually have upgraded their club from the way Hughes handled this situation. Fulham now have cover at left back along with 2 young players.
Now, I would have been fine with Fulham letting Schwarzer go to Arsenal if Hughes could have found a replacement. If Arsenal and Fulham put together a deal similar to the Konchesky agreement, I would have been on board. I think the main problem was Hughes could not find a replacement for Schwarzer. Why would you make a deal if it is going to hurt your club?
I think Hughes did try to find a replacement, and was unsuccessful in finding a quality goalkeeper. I think he was using this as an opportunity to improve his club. If he found a replacement for Schwarzer, and got something decent from Arsenal, I think Mark Schwarzer would have been playing his next game for Arsenal.
The potential deal of Mark Schwarzer going to Arsenal did not happen. I don't think you can blame either team in this situation. Both managers were trying to improve their clubs.
Arsenal and their fans can now move on. I think the Gunners are going to have a very successful season. I picked Arsenal to win the League, and I have seen nothing to make me change my mind.
Fulham and their fans can now move on as well. I think Fulham are definitely going to contend for a spot in Europe next season. In my opinion Mark Hughes has upgraded the team, and the future looks bright.
In concluding, the Mark Schwarzer situation showed me a great deal about two managers and their teams. Arsene Wenger and Mark Hughes are both going to do what is right for their clubs. Even though this deal for Schwarzer did not happen, I think both Fulham and Arsenal have much to look forward to this season.