So as the dust settles on another transfer window, managers awake from a spending hangover amid news story headlines of the second biggest spending total since the Manchester Emrites summer of ’08.
I found most news outlets to be pretty unreliable this time around. Perhaps it was because it went quiet for an hour and all the journalists lept onto whatever driftwood stories they could find. I heard that Edison Cavani was going to Manchester (it was a joke), Clint Dempsey was going to Liverpool (clue: he didn’t), and Scott Sinclair had grown some sense (he absolutely hadn’t).
All said and done, there wasn’t that one signing that really defines the window yesterday, but perhaps that’s because of the biggies that happened earlier in the window. So want to know who the hell that fool in goal is? Why your tall white center-mid is now a small, quick black guy? The back story of that player that seems to be playing completely different to the other 10? Read on…
Frustratingly silent for their fans, the Gunners made their key signings in the less manic stage of the window. Versatile midfielder Santi Cazorla moved from Malaga and already looks a class player in possession and attack. Lukas Podoloski, the youngest player to reach 100 caps for Germany I believe, has also refilled the attack with a left foot like a cannon. Finishing up the attacking threat is the tall Frenchman Olivier Giroud, a fairly unproven player who has a physical element to his play not dissimilar to RvP.
All good news until you see the outbox. Premier League 2011/12 players no.1 and no.2 Robin van Persie and Alex Song left for clubs that actually win trophies like so many other Arsenal greats. Mysterious striker Park Chu-young has gone on loan to Celta Vigo, speedster Ryo Miyaichi (one to watch) has made his second Prem loan trip, this time to Wigan, and forgotten man Manuel Almunia left for Watford.
After seeing the departure of goal-scoring goliath Alessandro Del Piero, Juventus were keen to replace him with either Suarez or van Persie. But instead they got pink boot wearing plonker Nicklas Bendtner, which is a bit like finding out the insurance doesn’t cover your house but they have found you a shoebox to live in.
Now for something less interesting. With all the panache of their mind-numbing manager, they signed Matthew Lowton from Sheffield United, Dutch international Ron Vlaar (say it in Dracula’s voice), and Christian Benteke from Genk. I don’t know much about him but he played for Genk so…
In an outbox the size of giraffe stables are James Collins, Carlos Cuellar, youth product Nathan Delfouneso on loan to Blackpool, and England tank Emile Heskey, who was released into the wild. Apparently the ‘Hesk’ was so angry that he went on a shooting spree around Birmingham. Don’t worry, no one got hurt.
The original big spenders were at it again this summer with a raft of expensive foreign luxuries. Lille playmaker and Joe Cole if he never had an injury impersonator Eden Hazard was purchased a while ago, with Werder Bremen playmaker and Joe Cole if he had some injuries but not as many impersonator Marko Marin following. They also picked up London 2012 standout performer Oscar, who would have a questionable physique were it nor for his Brazillian nationality.
Victor Moses made his way to Chelsea’s weak striker set, Thorgan Hazard joined his brother, and Spanish U21 international and Marseille right back Cesar Azpilicueta joined.
The outies were mainly just sent on loan to chisel away at the wage bill, they were (deep breath): the better version of David de Gea, Thibaut Courtois to Athetico Madric, Josh McEachran to Middlesbrough, Micheal Essien to Real Madrid, Thorgan Hazard straight back out to Zulte-Waregem, while Benayoun and Lukaku went to other Prem teams. Salomon Kalou and Jose Bosingwa were released into the wilderness.
Wouldn’t it be nice to spend as much as you want and never have to recoup any of it?
The Toffees bizarrely purchased Steven Pienaar back from Tottenham in some of the silliest business I’ve seen. They also splashed on Kevin Mirallas, a Belgium goal-scoring wideman, and promising Belgium youngster Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe on loan from Club Brugge.
Jack Rodwell left Everton’s midfield to join Man City’s bench to pay for this, as well as springy Australian Tim Cahill who went to New York Red Bulls. Also out were such forgotten names as Joesph Yobo, Marcus Hahnemann, and James McFadden, who I literally had forgotten existed.
Martin Jol may sound like he’s chewing on glass but he’s definitely brought some fine business to the Cottage. Hugo Rodallega and Mladen Petric were picked up for free from Wigan and Hamburg respectively, while Kieran Richardson and Ashkan Dejagah were brought from Sunderland and Wolfsburg to bolster the width. However the big move, and perhaps the best of the whole window was too cool for school striker Dimitar Berbatov for around five million.
This was paid for by the departure of many players who worryingly might have taken many goals with them: Clint Dempsey and Mousa Dembele to Spurs, Dickson Etuhu and Danny Murphy to Blackburn, Pavel Pogrebnyak and Andrew Johnson to Reading and QPR, and John’s brother Bjorn Helge Riise into the blue.
Reds fans were expecting something big on deadline day, or at least Dempsey, but when Brendan Rogers went home for dins at five it was probably an indication for them to lower their hopes. The man who is to pass completion as Carol Vorderman is to Sudoku, Joe Allen was signed before the season began, with Italian striker Fabio Borini coming from Roma, and Madrid benchwarmer Nuri Sahin joining on loan.
Unfortunately, Rogers picked up the tab for Dalglish’s spending and had to sell or loan most of the team. Out went to Dirk Kuyt to Fenerbache, Craig Bellamy to Cardiff, Alberto Aquilani to Fiorentina, Maxi Rodriguez to Newell’s Old Boys, and Charlie Adam to Stoke. Andy Carroll and Jay Spearing were loaned out to West Ham and Bolton respectively too. It’s going to be a long season for Liverpool as they end up relying more on Downing every day…
The Citizens were lightening their wallets again this window; Jack Rodwell came to enforce the midfield, talented Spaniard Javi Garcia come from Benfica to enforce the midfield, and Scott Sinclair came from Swansea to enforce the bench. Mature youngster and Fiorentina defender Matija Nastasic was swapped in exchange for some cash and the afro-ed baby dear that was Stefan Savic.
The real deal of interest came when old Bob Mancini pulled some strings and reunited himself with Inter Milan’s Maicon Douglas. For many years I would have had Maicon as right back in my world XI and although he’s had some injury problems he possess a great all-round game and I can’t wait to see him play. I can wait for Sky Sports to do a big Gareth Bale’s big night in Milan segment when City play Spurs though.
There were two batches of City players that left; those that were good and those that you’d forgotten about. The good ones included Emmanuel Adebayor to Spurs and Nigel de Jong who replaces van Bommel at AC Milan. The forgotten ones include Owen Hargreaves into the wild, Vladimir Weiss to Pescara, Roque Santa Cruz to Malaga on loan, Dedryck Boyata loaned FC Twente, and Wayne Bridge Brighton on loan where he scored a 25 yard screamer the other day. In between forgotten and good is Adam Johnson who moved to Sunderland to remember what it felt like to actually play.
Some fellow called Robin van Persie moved from Arsenal to United to become the posterboy of this transfer window. Although he’s obviously a great buy what with all the goals and all, it does leave me scratching my head a bit.
United’s defence is good so long as they’re all fit, and the midfield needs help in the middle to fill that all important ball winning role. In fact the only area that I thought was sorted was the forward line; Rooney, Chicharito, Welbeck, and Berba are all very good players. Sure RvP is better than three of them, but they are all still Prem/CL quality. Buying van Persie has given them a headache in the only place where they didn’t previously have one.
After teasing over Modric and Sneijder for the past season or so, Shinji Kagawa was signed in the creative midfield role. He was a big part of the Dortmund force that won the Bundesliga and is sure to be a success in the Premiership. Calm and considered on the ball with movement to match he should be plying the goals.
Out of Old Trafford were the aforementioned Berba to Fulham, Park Ji-sung to become QPR’s captain, Paul Pogba to Juventus, and Fabio also to QPR but on loan. Michael Owen also sits looking at a cobweb covered phone waiting for Brendan Roger’s call.
The Toon kept nice and quite like their fans wanted. They brought in only one notable player in the form of Vurnon Anita, a Dutch Antilles midfielder of the Ajax youth system.
At the other end they shifted a bit of weight with the departure of Leon Best to Blackburn, keeper Fraser Forster to Celtic, Danny Guthrie to Reading, Peter Lovenkrands to Birmingham, and Alan Smith (remember him) to MK Dons. Fans will just be happy they kept the Dembas.
Robert Snodgrass was the marquee signing this summer for the Canaries. The talented Leeds midfielder is long overdue a go at the top and is sure not to grab it with both hands. Sebastian Bassong also joined from Spurs and could provide the back line with a bit more dependability, but could also balls it up too. The much more reliable Michael Turner was purchased from Sunderland to that end, as was the loan capture of Javier Garrido from Lazio.
Balancing the bill saw Andrew Crofts leave for Brighton, Zak Whitbread move to Leicester, and Daniel Ayala loaned out to Nottingham Forest.
Part Two with the next ten teams will be here tomorrow.