Hold the front page! Something happened at last. The earth didn't exactly move for me, more of a tremor than an earthquake but enough to wake me from my transfer window slumbers.
Didier Zokora finally left us for Sevilla for roughly the amount that we paid for him so the accountants as well as many fans will be happy. He left us for the same reason that he turned down Chelsea, amongst others, to join us , to be sure of first team football and enhance his International prospects as he approaches his peak. The arrival of Palacios has certainly threatened his first choice status with us.
The fans who thought he wouldn't take us to the next level, by which they mean Champions League, will be pleased. They only saw the name Zokora and 'headless chicken' inextricably linked, like Huddleston and ' lacks mobility'. He played 134 times over three years and failed to score, which endeared him to some.
He was probably as bemused as me by the rapid managerial changes but never failed to give his wholehearted effort for the team and remained loyal in his interviews to the club. His athleticism was widely praised but his other skills were not at the same level. He was a 'model pro' according to reports.
His performances this season certainly improved particularly his passing and the reduction in those exhilarating runs which in his early days with us excited only to deceive. He was man of the match on this forum several times in mid season. He was very effective at right back, memorably against Ronaldo, and played at centre half with some success. Although Palacios is more effective in midfield he would have been a useful squad player. I note that Wilson has inherited the curse of Freund and Zokora and has also failed to score.
Loyalty, effort, flexibility and a decent level of ability are not freely available in the Premiership, particularly for less than £10 million, and I would have liked him to stay but his International ambitions seemed to have made this impossible.
Two good things arise from his departure: firstly our feud with Sevilla over Ramos seems to have been settled; and secondly it makes the departure of Huddlestone less likely.
At least he leaves behind a couple of memorable songs. He played his football in the right spirit and I hope that this is not a sign that the successful squad that developed in the run in last season is to be dismantled in the delusion that we can achieve Champions' league status in one mighty bound. This has undone us before and may well again.