Posts Tagged ‘transfer window’

Transfer Window Hits and Misses

04/02/2010

The January transfer window just passed saw the lowest spending since 2003, a whole £140m less than last January’s whopping £170m. Clubs have been certainly feeling the pinch and seem to be much more careful with their money. While it’s far too early to judge here are some thoughts on who could be hits and who might be misses.

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The Free Transfers

I think Sol Campbell to Arsenal is quite astute and judging by the game and a half he’s played thus far, he looks like he can still cut it in the top flight. Certainly a better option than Mikael Silvestre! Over in Manchester, I was less convinced by City’s signing of Patrick Vieira. I think it will be difficult for him and there will be games where the pace is too much for him. That said, he’ll bring a lot to that dressing room and should be good for cameos where games are being closed out.

sol campbell arsenal

Beats playing for Nott's County.

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The Loans

With money a bit thin on the ground, some of the most interesting deals were loans. Landon Donovan looks to have fitted straight in at Everton and I think he’ll do well for the remaining time he’s over here. Senderos from Arsenal is also a good move – the Swiss has stagnated a touch but people think he’s rubbish just because Drogba messed him a few times. Name me a central defender that hasn’t struggled against the Drog.

Bolton have got a couple of good youngsters in Weiss and Wilshere from Man City and Arsenal respectively. Wilshere in particular could be an instant hit if his cameo Carling Cup appearances are anything to go by. Basturk is one of those players who was once good on Football Manager but I’ve never seen him play enough to comment in real life. Fat Sam had a decent track record with signing older creative types at Bolton and the Turk could be sneaky good for Blackburn.

Maxi Rodriguez will be rubbish for Liverpool and Amr Zaki will be rubbish for Hull. Fellow Egyptian Mido might surprise a few people at West Ham. With a £1K a week wage he’s motivated to prove people wrong if nothing else.

wilshere bolton arsenal weiss

I can't decide whether he's disgusted to be holding that shirt or if he's just very cold.

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The Cold Hard Cash

The biggest signing was Man City getting Adam Johnson for £6m+. An interesting one this, he’s done well in the Championship this season but I don’t see where he’s going to fit at Eastlands right now. You have Bellamy and Petrov both playing on the left and they’re both playing very well. One for the future me thinks, but he’ll have a great mentor in Petrov who is an excellent left winger.

After much of the window saw both Porstmouth keepers being linked with moves away to the same clubs, it was eventually Asmir Begovic who left, joining Stoke for £3.25m. He was wanted by Spurs too but apparently legged it from the hotel they were putting him up in. I do wonder whether he will displace Sorensen, they seem kind of at the same level to me. It’s a good signing for next season though.

Elsewhere Victor Moses should get lots of opportunity to prove he’s worth £2.5m at Wigan given that Jason Scotland has yet to score this season, while Benni McCarthy should score enough to justify his £1m move to West Ham. Sunderland have got a good prospect in Matt Kilgallon for £2m.

Birmingham had lots to spend but only got some squad depth in the end with Michel and Craig Gardner joining for £3m each. They’ll be useful, nothing more nothing less.

adam johnson

As good as Stewart Downing. Maybe.

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Harry Redknapp’s Wheeling Dealing Transfer Merry-Go-Round

Let’s face it, Spurs deserve a whole category of their own. Any team with Harry Redknapp in charge is always likely to make deals but when you cross it with Spurs’ odd transfer policy you’re bound to get some baffling deals. First up, they bought Younes Kaboul back from Portsmouth for about £5m (less if you count what Pompey still owed).

This is by my count the fifth player they’ve bought back in about 18 months (Keane, Defoe, Crouch & Chimbonda the others) and they’d probably save themselves a lot of money if they didn’t destroy careers in the first place. Kaboul has improved but won’t play when everyone is fit, so as usual lots of foresight there. Two right backs (Naughton and Hutton) went out on loan leaving them with only Corluka.

eidur gudjohnsen spurs

Come on Harry, let's not play games. You know you want me.

Gudjohnsen was brought in on loan. I’m not sure about this one, it kind of depends where he plays. He certainly hasn’t been a striker for a few seasons now but is a decent player. I get the feeling Redknapp is addicted to buying players he once liked the look of. Lets be honest now, they don’t really need Gudjohnsen do they, but Redknapp just couldn’t say no to a bit of sexy loan action.

The one striker leaving was surprisingly not Pavlyuchenko but instead Robbie Keane who left on loan to Celtic. You don’t normally loan your captain out do you, but by the sounds of it they were constantly changing the price of Pavlyuchenko. No doubt the same happened with Bentley which is why he’s still there too.

harry redknapp

Buy me Harry, no buy me!

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So overall nothing that exciting happened, and as usual the bullshit rumour brigade was full of exactly that – bullshit. There are a few decent signings but you sense everyone is saving their dollar for some post World Cup bingeing. Because of course that’s when the best value can be found…

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T.

Weekly Photoshop – Football vs the Big Freeze

12/01/2010

Greetings, greetings. I hope you’re all on your way to de-thawing. It’s been a bit cold in recent times. Britain’s big freeze was the theme of this week’s Photoshop gallery in the Guardian.

Just three Premier League games survived the weekend, as local councils did their best to ensure they couldn’t get sued for people falling over. In what now has become an almost weekly occurance, it’s another effort taking the piss out of Liverpool. That’s without even mentioning Tom Hicks Jr

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Rafa Benitez Liverpool transfer

As Britain's transport system ground to a halt, one man tried desperately to ensure that flights from Liverpool to Naples and Moscow still went ahead...

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More can be found here including lots of Drogba diving/tobaganning.

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T.

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Weekly Photoshop – Franck Ribery

16/07/2009

Everyone’s most in-demand Frenchman is this week’s theme. Franck Ribery is currently coveted by a host of major clubs, not least Real Madrid to complete their attacking foursome, Man Utd to replace Ronaldo and Chelsea as they need a marquee signing. It’ll be interesting to see if Bayern Munich end up selling to anyone, as they’ve been quite stubborn about it so far. Anyway, I did a couple this week so here you go:

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Harshly, Ribery's face is unsuitable for viewing by minors

Harshly, Ribery's face is unsuitable for viewing by minors.

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"Ach, I'm sure there was someone else I was meant to sign" - Fergie's memory gets a bit hazy in his old age.

"Ach, I'm sure there was someone else I was meant to sign" - Fergie's memory gets a bit hazy in his old age.

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The rest of this week’s gallery can be found here.

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T.

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Old ones can be found here.

Summer Silliness

13/07/2009

Excuse the lack of posts recently but it feels like not much has been going on. Not much that’s worth writing about at least. A few things have caught my eye I suppose.

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Fergie shuts his pension chequebook early

Hmm, think I’ll take this with a pinch of salt. Apparently after signing Wilson Palacios (must stopped getting them confused) Antonio Valencia (3 league goals last season), Gabriel Obertan (1, yes one) and Michael Owen (8), Fergie reckons that’s enough to replace the 23 league goals from Ronaldo and Tevez last year. I’d be amazed if he doesn’t buy another top player to head into the new season and I think the fact that he was after Benzema suggests he knows that Rooney, Berba, Owen and the two youngsters aren’t enough. Aguero has been mentioned in certain circles and mischievously Torres in others. The former is much more likely to be honest but someone of that ilk (proven international, capable of the spectacular, consistent goalscorer) is certainly needed at Old Trafford.

Hands up who's here to replace Ronaldo. Oh...

Hands up who's here to replace Ronaldo. Oh...

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Micah Richards has man swine-flu

Consummate professional Micah Richards was shocked to find he had swine flu. Good to know he thought it was alcohol poisoning at first after presumably getting absolutely battered on his summer holidays in Ayia Napa (how classy, I wonder if it was a package holiday).  Here’s hoping he passed it on to Craig Bellamy…

Yep, that will clear up the sore throat.

Yep, that will clear up the sore throat.

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Man City after Adebayor

and Tevez and Terry and Eto’o and Lescott and… Now I do believe you can only play 11 players at once but that’s not stopping City trying to sign three more strikers to go with the eight (I guess Jo has gone though) they have already. From an Arsenal point of view, I think we’d be letting Adebayor go cheap if the price is £20-25million. If a 28 year old John Terry is worth £30m then so is a 25 year old Ade. Add in the rich tax that bumps up the price further for any billionaire and I think it would be some good business for Arsenal. I jest slightly of course but I think if City are going to throw silly money around and Adebayor plans to play like he did last season then he is welcome to leave. He wouldn’t improve their team nearly as much as Terry would though.

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David Bentley smacked upside the head

‘England star’ David Bentley was punched while having a meal with his pregant fiancé. Now I wouldn’t quite agree with The Mirror’s assertion that he’s an England star. Let’s be honest he not even a Tottenham star. A bit harsh that he’s just sitting there and his partner had to see it all too but it seemed to be quite a well executed attack, with bills already paid and getaway cars at the ready. Maybe they were just trying to coax him out of his season long period of poor form. Personally I would have done it to whoever decided that paying £17m for him was a good idea in the first place! Though as you can see in this exclusive reconstruction maybe he was asking for it…

Before you ask I couldn't find him doing this in a Spurs shirt

Before you ask I couldn't find him doing this in a Spurs shirt

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T.

Wayne Bridge. £12 million. Really?!

02/01/2009

And you're sure it's me they bid £12 million for?

 

And you're sure it's me they bid £12 million for?

 

So, Man City begin their attempt to single-handedly revive the British economy. Bridge is a decent player and will probably do quite well at Man City but that’s a lot of money for a 28 year old third choice left back. How do we know if he’s still any good? He’s barely played for the last few years. How can he be worth £5 million more than when Chelsea signed him five and a half years ago? I thought January brought discounts, not price rises…

Just for reference, some other notable left back fees:
Abidal/Barcelona: £10 million
Cole/Chelsea: £5 million + William Gallas (I’ll let you judge his worth…)
Evra/Man Utd: £5.5 million
Clichy/Arsenal: £250K
Maxwell/Inter: Free

 

T.

The Twelve Points of Christmas

30/12/2008

A special festive double edition of the six pointer.

 

1. The most important player in Liverpool’s title challenge is Steven Gerrard, but then perhaps we knew that already. Rafa’s 4-2-3-1 formation with him in behind the main striker has allowed him to not worry about defensive responsibilities and Hollywood balls so much and instead concentrate on getting into the box and scoring. He is in his best run of form of the season and has five in his last five plus a few assists thrown in for good measure. Such was Liverpool’s superiority over Bolton and Newcastle, he even got a twenty minute breather in each game. Gerrard has ensured the absence of Torres has not been missed (too much) and means his team heads into 2009 with a three point lead at the top. 

Going out tonight?

Going out tonight?

 

2. How many goals must Arsenal be winning a match by before you can say the three points are safely theirs? The game against Aston Villa showed that like against Tottenham at home, a two goal lead is not enough. Having soaked up a torrent of Villa pressure in the first half, they went on to grab two good goals out of nothing. But, despite playing an experienced back five including Toure, Gallas and Silvestre they still could not hold on. This was because despite the guys at the back, what was really lacking was the experienced defensive midfielder who would have noticed that Zat Knight had gone up front and dropped back to mark him. After the heady days of three clean sheets in their opening four games, the one against Portsmouth on Sunday was just the third in the sixteen games since.

 

3. Talking of Portsmouth, is Tony Adams cut out for management? Given how often he talks about the Arsenal job being his ultimate aim I sure hope so. But, having just sold his best player to Real Madrid and with four straight defeats, he faces a battle to avoid a relegation scrap – though seeing as Portsmouth are only three points off 18th maybe he already is. Jermaine Defoe seems to be on his way in the transfer window, and the elder statesmen that have served Pompey so well look to be done (I’m looking at you Sol). Given the lack of money at Fratton Park , could Portsmouth afford to get rid of Adams and bring someone else in? If results continue the way are, could they afford not to? 

The lower his arms, the less success he has

The lower his arms, the less success he has...

 

 

4. Wigan win three in a row and climb to seventh. Such is the congested nature of this season’s Premier League.

 

5. Middlesbrough lose three in a row and drop to seventeenth. Such is the congested nature of this season’s Premier League.

 

6. Harry Redknapp’s self-proclaimed wheeling-dealing skills will have to be out in full force in January. After the initial buzz following his appointment, Spurs’ recent form has been poor and only goal difference keeps them out of the bottom three. A striker is obviously a priority, although Defoe is seemingly off somewhere else, and Bellamy seems overpriced. A left back would also do nicely. That said I’m certain Spurs are always in need of a left back. Even if they signed Evra, Cole and Clichy they would probably find a way to still be in need of one.

I'm not insinuating anything...

I'm not insinuating anything...

 

7. Gerrard is on fire for Liverpool, Lampard is scoring again for Chelsea but what of Ronaldo and Man Utd? Whilst they are grinding out tight 1-0 wins, he has not scored since November 15th despite five games against bottom six clubs. Is his motivation there? Is he injured and /or exhausted after playing non-stop for a year and a half? Or is he just biding his time till the business end of the season. Fergie will hope it’s the latter.

 

8. Here’s a good stat. Remember West Brom’s great escape three seasons ago where they became the first club to avoid the drop when bottom at Christmas? It started off with homes wins against Man City and Spurs. Their last two victories after being well adrift a few weeks ago? Home wins against Man City and Spurs.

 

9. Why does Abou Diaby get booked for celebrating his goal with the Arsenal fans against Villa whereas Robbie Keane does not for running the length of the pitch with his hand to his ear when scoring against the Gunners? Remind me which of these two events is more likely to incite the so called crowd trouble which is always given as the reason for these silly bookings.

It's ok, I won't get booked as I'm already on a yellow.

It's ok, I won't get booked as I'm already on a yellow.

 

10. The Drog is back. Expect more impressive goals over the coming weeks.

 

11. It always happens at Christmas, someone has a bit too much to drink and gets into an argument.

 

12. So with half the season gone, the Premier League takes a break for a couple of weeks and makes way for the FA Cup third round. Expect weakened teams for the big boys as they rest some of the stars that have made this the most open season in many a year. We have a genuine three team title race with two more not far behind. For the first time in four seasons someone new looks likely to break into the monopoly of the Champions League spots while there is a very good chance a big club could go down. Man City, Spurs and Newcastle should all be very worried as the promoted teams (Hull mainly) have showed it’s possible to be ambitious and go for wins against established sides. This has resulted in a level playing field where ten points separate Wigan and West Brom. As always, the transfer window will be vitally important and it will be a case of whose signings can adapt the quickest. Bring on the second half!

 

T.

Weekly Photoshop – Football and the Credit Crunch

11/12/2008

This week we look at how the credit crunch may affect football. Even the richest owners may not be unscathed.

 

Big Phil won't be getting any presents from Abramovich this transfer window...

Big Phil won't be getting any presents from Abramovich this transfer window.

 

More here

 

T.

 

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