Following this week’s earlier article on transfer deadline day now seems a suitable time to look at the summer window as a whole and check out the winners and losers and who to keep an eye on for the coming season.
Champions Class – They say that you are best strengthening at the top rather than to get to the top and Manchester United have certainly followed that this summer. Whatever you think of “Old Red Face” Ferguson, he is the master at buying and selling at the right time. Effectively selling Ronaldo for £80m in 2009 has allowed Phil Jones, Ashley Young and David De Gea with plenty leftover to service the Glazer debt…
Trouble Ahead – Last time out, we suggested not a lot happens at Everton on transfer deadline day. We apologise Everton fans. We jinxed it. This year was worse at Goodison Park. With barely minutes remaining on the clock, Everton were forced to sell their one world class talent in Arteta to Arsenal with no time to find a suitable replacement. David Moyes must be tearing his ginger hair out! Surely it is time for him to move onto bigger and better things. There is always a team that goes down that is considered too good for relegation. Maybe, just maybe…
Transfer by Numbers – The wind of change at Anfield has been dramatic. John Henry looks to replicate his success with the Boston Red Sox using statistical data for talent acquisition and the number crunchers in Liverpool have splashed the cash well bringing in Henderson, Adam, Downing and Jose Enrique. Kenny Dalglish eased the problem of having 4,289 midfielders in the squad by shipping Raul Meireles to Chelsea and amusingly Joe Cole to ply his trade in France. Completely conforming to the stereotype of Brits travelling badly, Cole will apparently commute from London to Lille daily. That’s the spirit Joseph. Don’t want any of that foreign muck do we?
It’ll be a Long Old Season – Once considered a crime of treason in North London to criticise anything Arsene Wenger does, Le Professor is now trading off past glories and has quite simply made a pig’s ear of it. Nasri and Fabregas should have been jettisoned months ago and players like Cahill, Jagielka, Mata and Given should have been bought in along with the last day raids for Santos, Mertesacker, Arteta and Benayoun. Too little, too late for a title tilt and maybe even Champions League qualification is a stretch too far.
Le Toon Revolution – Just when you think all is calm on Tyneside. A summer that started in a blaze of signings from the continent , Pardew bought in young, good value prospects to bolster his squad along with Cabaye who lead Lille to the French title last season. All seemed well. Then the fallout. Talismanic captain Nolan leaving along with Enrique and of course Joey Barton. Barton’s criticism on Twitter lead to his exit to QPR and with the money acquired in January from the Carroll sale still sitting in the bank (which fans were promised would be reinvested), the Geordie Nation will be braying for blood at the first sign of trouble. Given the good start, we would suggest that is probably due next week.
Shock of the Summer – With most neutrals beginning to look at Manchester City in much the same way they did Chelsea during the early Abramovich days, there was one story unfolding behind the scenes that no-one predicted. Not the recruitment of Aguero and Nasri. Oh no. Not Tevez staying in Manchester after vowing never to return. Hell no! It was of course Owen Hargreaves joining Mancini’s team. After years of what seemed like career ending injuries and having his contract ended with cross town rivals United, the unemployed Hargreaves took to YouTube to prove his fitness with a series of homemade videos. Finger crossed for Owen because pre-injuries, he was the best English player in his position around.
By Conan Jal