The Premier League Transfer Window Review.

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The transfer window slammed shut at 11 p.m. on Monday night (sort of) and once again somehow three months of transfer activity was left to the last minute as clubs across Europe tried to get that one extra (or several in some cases) player that would take them to the next level.

I have always been of the opinion that all the clever and savvy workers of the transfer window get their work done in June (before the window opens), July and August (before the season starts).  However as I have already said, inevitably most clubs leave it to the last minute to get their transfers in (with very few exceptions).

Nothing really changes from year to year when the transfer window is about to close; inevitably Sky Sports News will big it up to be more exciting than it actually is, some idiots will jump about behind reporters and give the camera the fingers and Jim White will get super excited over very little because he has been given a pack of Haribo Tangfastics and an espresso before going on air.  It is the same formula every year and for some reason it works.

The review is going to be pretty simple; it will break down each club in the Premier League’s signings and how that will affect their league position and whether or not the club has done good business.  So let’s get started.

 

Arsenal

When Arsenal were beaten by Villa on the first day of the season almost any who watched football would tell you that Arsenal needed to spend that money they bang on about having all the time because they are being left behind.  Since then Wenger has steadied the ship and shock horror actually managed to break Arsenal pitifully low transfer purchase record (Sylvain Wiltord for £13 million in 2000 [yes teams like Sunderland had a higher transfer fee paid record than Arsenal, not that you could tell from their league positions]).

Ins:  Yaya Sanogo (free), Mathieu Flamini (free), Emiliano Viviano (Loan) & Mesut Ozil (£42.5m)

Outs:  Gervinho (£8m), Chamakh (free), Arshavin (free), others of varying insignificance.

Arsenal didn’t lose anybody of importance; all the players that either left or were sold never managed to develop into the players Wenger was hoping for.  On the flip side, Arsenal brought in Sanogo who is very much one for the future and will have a limited impact on the first team this year, Viviano is really just there to give back-up depth in nets and Flamini who wasn’t good enough for Arsenal when they were actually good but all of a sudden after five years away, he’s good enough even though he hasn’t improved as a player (after finding himself released from AC Milan because he wasn’t good enough for them either).  Flamini very much seems like the desperation signing that everyone thought Arsenal was going to be partaking in before the window closed, and that is what he is.  I’m not saying he is an awful player, but he isn’t that good.  He does give Arsenal a holding midfield type of player that is more capable of tackling than most of their other central midfielders, but he isn’t good enough to start and should very much be a stop gap type of player.

The big signing of course was Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid for an Arsenal record £42.5 million, hold on did I just say that Arsenal spent lots of money all on one player?  Surely I meant to say that they got him on a free transfer or something?  No?  Wow, who saw that coming?  I certainly didn’t.  Ozil is quality (read that again, it said QUALITY) player; he is the sort of player that Arsenal have been criticised for not being able to purchase anymore.  Ozil is in his prime, is a starter for the excellent Germans and is arguably one of the best attacking midfielders in the world.  In recent years you haven’t seen superstars move from La Liga to the Premier League (usually the other way about) but in this case he has.  It is a very good signing…..but (wait for it) they overpaid for him (by at least £12.5m), don’t they have a guy called Santi Cazorla who is pretty damn good and plays the same position? (I imagine one is being played out of position, and I get the feeling it isn’t going to be the record signings [poor Santi]), he is very inconsistent (shows up in about 1 in 5 games and is unplayable in those but it happens to rarely) and I’ve heard people say that he is the best no.10 in the world but if he were the best no.10 in the world, would Real Madrid be selling him?  The answer is no, they are selling him because they believe that he is surplus to requirements and they obviously don’t think that he has developed into the player they thought they were buying all those years ago.  It sounds like I don’t like this signing, which is not the case I do; however when a club has so many holes to fill (I wrote about it here) to use a lot of that money on a position that you are actually quite strong and not fill the gaps that are more concerning (defence and up front) is papering over the cracks.

Have Arsenal improved their squad?  Yes they have, Flamini gives them more depth in midfield and Ozil is a quality player that will instantly make them a better team, I see 4th on the horizon.

 

Aston Villa

Ins:  Libor Kozak (£5m), Jores Okore (£4m), Leandro Bacune (£3m), Aleksander Tonev (£2.5m), Nicklas Jensen (£2m) & Antonio Luna (£2m)

Outs:  Nobody of significance (squad players at best) although Bent (Loan) left….yeah nobody of significance

Hm…..I don’t really think I am educated to give my opinion on any of these players because to be honest I don’t know very much about them and have never seen any of them play (outside of sparingly since they joined Villa).  I will say this however, Villa didn’t lose any of their side from last season (mainly Benteke) and it was a young side.  This season is setting up to be a marked improvement on last year, and with a number of cheap additions to the squad I expect Villa to do well in Lambert’s second year.

Have Villa improved their squad?  Yes I think they have, they have more depth and that is vital (and was a major issue last year) if they are to push on from last season.

 

Cardiff City

Ins:  Gary Medel (£9.5m), Steven Caulker (£8m), Andreas Cornelius (£7.5m), Peter Odemwingie (£2.5m), Kevin Theophile-Catherine (£2.1m) & John Brayford (£1.5m)

Outs:  Nobody of significance

Cardiff were the best equipped (in my mind) of the promoted clubs this season, and they have also had the best (of those clubs) dealings in the transfer market.  Gary Medel is surely too good for Cardiff if it weren’t for the fact that he was a total lunatic (there’s a reason he’s nicknamed pitbull).  Steven Caulker is an England international and has good potential (possibly future of centre back position with Phil Jones) and I really don’t understand why Spurs sold him in the first place.  Cornelius is only 20 but Cardiff obviously saw enough potential in him to pay £7.5m for the Danish hot prospect, and he will get plenty of chances in a Cardiff side that lacks a standout striker (sorry Fraizer).  Odemwingie is a weird one, because if you get the Odemwingie that was making standout appearances for WBA then you have signed a very good player, although then again you might get the odd Odemwingie who takes drives to London try and leave you club.  Is he worth £2.5m?  Not based on his conduct at WBA but then again I guess it is relatively low risk when you might receive a good player who is proven in the league in return.  Good window for a club that I see doing very well in their first season ever in the Premier League.

Have Cardiff improved their squad?  Obviously yes, they have added at least two first team players who are going to contribute straight away and also added some other nice pieces.

 

Chelsea

Chelsea’s biggest signing during the transfer window was Jose Mourinho who made his long awaited comeback to the team that he ‘supposedly’ loves……

Ins:   Willian (£30m), Andre Schurrle (£18m), Marco van Ginkel (£9m), Christian Atsu (£3.5m), Mark Schwarzer (free) & Samuel Eto’o (free)

Outs:  Courtois (Loan), Marin (Loan), Romeu (Loan), Atsu (Loan), Moses (Loan), Lukaku (Loan) and many others who are insignificant.

If you had broken down the Chelsea team at the end of last season, you would have commented that they had a wealth of attacking midfielders but were weak in defence and up front.  Naturally you would then assume that most of Chelsea’s transfer activity would relate to and fix those areas; well if you did then you were wrong.

First off I’d like to say that I love the signing of Mark Schwarzer, a player who is still good enough to start in the league and will make an excellent back up to Cech.  Atsu was clearly signed for the future (hence why he was sent out on loan directly after signing), van Ginkel is also one for the future but will have more of an impact on the first team.  I like the signing of Schurrle, because he gives Chelsea width (something they lack) and is also a very good player, who was an established veteran of the Bundesliga in a very good Bayer Leverkusen side.  Paying £18m for him is an absolute bargain and was a great get for Chelsea.  However that is where it ends for me in praising Chelsea’s transfer dealings (here we go, you ready for this?).

Why did Chelsea sign Willian?  A player that plays in a position that in no way did they need to fill, fix or improve depth.  Chelsea now has six players (Willian, Mata, de Bruyne, Hazard, Schurrle and Oscar) who are all vying for three positions in the starting line-up, plus they let Moses (who had a very good year last season) go on loan to Liverpool because there was too much competition.  So why in the hell did they sign Willian?  Was it just to piss off Spurs?  Because it sort of feels like it was, because he was in no way needed by Chelsea.  I think Willian is a good player (not a £30m player though) but he was a luxury in a team that still lacks so much up front (hello Man Utd game, 4-6-0 WTF?) and has serious question marks defensively.  Anyway Chelsea managed to fulfil their silly transfer dealings by signing a player that has been sitting in insignificance in Russia for the past number of years, because he would rather receive a big pay cheque than gain prestige (sounds like a nice guy).  Yes Eto’o has once again found himself at a big club (who knows why).  What does Eto’o bring to the club?  Well he brings attitude issues, dressing room disharmony and your brightest young striker being loaned out to Everton (so good for his amazing season, ay Chelsea fans).  What are the positives about Eto’o?  Well he was free…..hm……the last time he was good (Inter Milan) Mourinho was his manager, but then again that was three years ago and this is not the same player as then.  Regardless of the fact that I think this is a bad signing, if there is one manager who can get the best out of an old player that is past his best, it is Jose Mourinho, and he is going to have to hope he does because Chelsea have only three recognised strikers (Torres, Ba and Eto’o), and they all suck (good luck with that).

Have Chelsea improved their squad?  The answer is yes, but if the question was have Chelsea improved their first team?  The answer would be no because the players they have signed aren’t better than the players they already had in these positions.  They have however improved the manager, because Benitez sucks and Mourinho doesn’t.  Third all the way bayby!!!!!

 

Crystal Palace

Ins:  Lots and lots and lots and lots (aka too many for me to be bothered listing)

Outs: Wilfried Zaha, Nothing of significance

It doesn’t really matter who Palace signed because they are going to get relegated regardless of what they do (unless they signed amazing players……which they didn’t).  Gayle looks like he has potential but £6m was a steep price to pay.  Bannan is a good passer and will fit beautifully into the Palace first team, excellent passer and set piece taker (bit like a thin Charlie Adam).  Chamakh is rubbish and he will fit in well with the other Palace players because they also on the main are shit as well (for this level).  Look all you crazy Palace fans that came and gave me lots of abuse for saying you sucked, well you do suck and when you are signing players who played for Reading (the worst squad in the league last season) and they’re some of your biggest signings, you have relegation written all over yourself.

Have Palace improved their squad?  Hard to tell because they weren’t very good to begin with and they still aren’t very good; so I’d say maybe marginally but not noticeably (doesn’t help when you sell your best player, Zaha).  20th is calling and Palace is singing the tune, enjoy the Championship next year guys!

 

Everton

Ins:  James McCarthy (£13m), Arouna Kone (£6m), Joel Robles (£2m), Antolin Alcaraz (free), Gerard Deulofeu (Loan), Gareth Barry (Loan) & Romelu Lukaku (Loan)

Outs:  Marouane Fellaini (£27.5m) & Victor Anichebe (£6m)

Wow Man Utd should take note and listen to Everton on how to handle the last day of the transfer window, because they aced it.  Prior to the window closing they had signed Kone and Alcaraz from Wigan as well as Deulofeu (really hard name to spell), nothing to get excited about.  However throughout the window speculation had been rife about them losing their two best players (Baines and Fellaini) to Man Utd, and if they were to lose these two players their squad would not be anywhere near good enough.  Going into the last day of the window they stood firm over Baines (poor Baines, Utd were never going to pay £20m for a 28 year old left back regardless of how good he is) and were willing to let Fellaini go for the right price (£27.5m apparently).  Well Utd came in with the sufficient bid for Fellaini and Everton didn’t faff about and went straight out and got their man in James McCarthy (the best Scottish talent in 20 years, that doesn’t represent Scotland internationally….).  Now they overpaid for McCarthy but did so because they really wanted the player and were willing to pay that little bit over the odds because of that (are you watching Utd).  This was then followed up with the excellent loan signings of Barry from City (although not good enough for City, he could have an excellent impact at Everton) and Lukaku from Chelsea (just look what he did at WBA last season, and then look at how well Everton’s strikers played last year, great signing).  Put on top of that, somehow Everton were able to get £6m for that big lump Anichebe and you get the perfect formula (the Heisenberg formula) for a transfer deadline day success (ARE YOU WATCHING UTD!?!?!?!?!?).

Have Everton improved their squad?  Yes they have; despite losing arguably their best player (I would say Baines is their best) they have also improved their first team.  McCarthy is a better scheme fit (to Martinez) than Fellaini, Barry will be a good anchor and Kone and especially Lukaku will give Everton some much needed striker goals.  I think they are set for a big year.

 

Fulham

Ins:  Maarten Stekelenburg (£4.76m), Scott Parker (£2m), Darren Bent (Loan), Adel Taarabt (Loan) & others.

Outs:  Schwarzer (free), a bunch of ordinary

I still am not sure how Fulham managed to sign Stekelenburg, why weren’t Arsenal in for him? (why is Julio Cesar still at QPR?  So many questions, not enough sensible answers).  Parker, Bent and Taarabt all add quality to the Fulham first team and are all good signings, but Fulham haven’t done enough.  After looking like they were going to have no problem staying up this season, I am beginning to doubt that.  The squad is too old, and although that means you have lots of experience, it also mean that you don’t have that youthful exuberance that only young players possess.  The perfect mix for a team like Fulham is half youth and half players past their best that can still do a job; just now Fulham only have the second half, and that is very worrying when they are contesting a long season.

Have Fulham improved their squad?  Yes they have, but they are ignoring the long term future by signing players who are past their best and this will come back and haunt them in the long run if not by this season.

 

Hull……something

Ins:  Tom Huddlestone (£5m), Ahmed Elmohamady (£2m), Allan McGregor (£1.8m), Curtis Davies (£2.25m), George Boyd (free), Yannick Sagbo (£1.5m), Maynor Figueroa (free), Danny Graham (Loan) & Jake Livermore (Loan)

Outs:  Corry Evans (£750k), lots of others

Unlike their other highly likely fellow relegation candidates (Palace), Hull have managed to make (for them) quality signings.  Boyd and Elmohamady were at the club  last season (on loan) but the real improvements have come with Hull’s other signings; Huddlestone is way too good to be playing at a relegation struggler (should be at a mid-table side), McGregor has already shown his worth so far this season and is a bargain at £1.8m, and Hull have also done very well in the loan market, picking up Livermore (who will compliment Huddlestone nicely) and Graham (who showed capabilities in Swansea’s first season in the league).  When you consider the additions that Hull has made, plus the fact they lost none of their significant players, it is a good transfer window.

Have Hull improved their squad?  Yes they have because they added quality that wasn’t there last season and have added maybe four starters to their first team.  Although Hull have gotten better, I still don’t see them really doing anything but getting relegated (at least you’re better than Palace).

 

Liverpool

Ins:  Mamadou Sakho (£18m), Iago Aspas (£9m), Simon Mignolet (£9m), Luis Alberto (£6.8m), Tiago Ilori (£7m), Kolo Toure (free), Aly Cissokho (Loan) & Victor Moses (Loan)

Outs:  Andy Carroll (£15.5m), Stewart Downing (£6m), Jonjo Shelvey (£5m), Pepe Reina (Loan), Fabio Borini (Loan) & Jamie Carragher (Retired)

It hurts me so much to say it (because I’m a Utd fan) but what a transfer window Liverpool have had.  It isn’t even about the players they brought in (I’ll get to that in a minute) but also the ones they got rid of; dumping the deadwood of Carroll, Downing, Borini, Reina and Carragher (sorry Liverpool fans he was well past his best [now we have to put up with the worst accent in football every Monday night….yippee….]).  The only player that Liverpool sold that I could questions is Shelvey, who I though looked like a good player and definitely had a future at the club.

It is a clear sign of how well you have done when they go to your stadium/training ground with two hours to go and everyone at the club has left (just in case you didn’t know, it means you’ve done pretty well).  Sakho is a French internationalist (capped 14 times) and is only 23 who only found himself surplus to requirements at PSG because they throw money at everyone and Sakho needed first team football to be called up for the upcoming World Cup; he could be the rock in the heart of Liverpool’s defence for the next 10 years, great signing for the future and for now.  Mignolet was arguably the best keeper in the league last year (he wasn’t, it was De Gea, Mignolet was second though), to pick a quality keeper like Mignolet up for £9m is a bargain and is another quality signing for now and the future.  Ilori and Alberto are good signings for the future and I doubt will have that much of an impact on the first team squad this season.  I don’t think Aspas is that great a player, but £9m in this market is buttons, so even if he does fail it isn’t that big a deal.  I have never been a fan of fatty….sorry Kolo Toure, and I don’t really understand why Liverpool signed him.  Oh well you can’t win them all, and to be fair he has started the season well, but even shit players play well sometimes (just ask anyone that plays for Crystal Palace).  I’m not quite sure what the point of signing Cissokho was (Jose Enrique is a better player) but Victor Moses is a really nice pick up, and if they have an option to buy clause then it is another piece of excellent business.  Oh yeah, they also managed to hold onto their best player, not bad indeed.

Have Liverpool improved their squad?  Yes they have, quite considerably; it isn’t just that they have improved the squad, but they have also added players that have the potential to contribute for the next 10 years, that’s called forward thinking and it is how you are supposed to run a football club.

 

Manchester City

Ins:  Fernandinho (£30m), Stevan Jovetic (£22m), Jesus Navas (£17m), Alvaro Negredo (£16.4m) & Martin Demichelis (£3.5m)

Outs:  Tevez (£10m), Maicon (£3m), Barry (Loan), Santa Cruz (free), Bridge (free) & Kolo Toure (free)

Similar to Liverpool, City got rid of a lot of deadwood this season (so many players that never played but had big wages and bigger egos [I’m looking at you Tevez]).  City smartly did most of their business early on in the window and picked up four players before adding Demichelis later on (after recognising they had a lack of central defensive cover).  The Demichelis signings is clearly a squad signing (because he is slow and past his best) but he plugs a gap in an area of concern and is a smart signing.  Jesus Navas is a nice pick up for £17m and will give City the width they were severely lacking last season (although there are questions about his size, lack of versatility and homesickness).  Alvaro Negredo was a bit of an odd signing because he is almost the exact same player as Dzeko, and you can’t really see them playing together because they do the exact same thing (so far this year he looks better than Dzeko, let’s see how it develops).  Stevan Jovetic was another odd signing because I don’t see him currently being able to start for City and contribute to an acceptable level; if he was signed to play a squad role then he is a very good signing, but if that is not the case he is not a great signing (then again I am probably being harsh because he is only 23 and could develop nicely if given the chance, but will he be given that chance to develop?  I guess we will wait and see, currently I doubt it).  Fernandinho is the worst of the signings; not because I think he is a bad player (before this season I had barely seen him play at all) but because a guy that is 28, played the majority of his career in Ukraine and has only been capped 5 times for Brazil, doesn’t scream £30m player.  He still has time to prove that his transfer fee is legitimate and he is that good, but I have seen him play three times and each time I have thought to myself that ‘this doesn’t look like a £30m player’, in fact he doesn’t look like a £15m player.  Maybe it is too quick to judge him, but when you have such a big transfer fee you are always going to be scrutinised to a greater degree.

Have City improved their squad?  Yes they have, they are a much better team, with a much better manager and with much less baggage than they did last year.  Things are looking up at City and the club is beginning to be run in a more professional manner.

 

Manchester United

Ins:  Marouane Fellaini (£27.5m) & Guillermo Varela (£2.4m)

Outs:  Nothing

Let me sum up to you in one word Utd’s transfer window conduct, embarrassing.  How about another word?  Shambles.  Another one?  Pathetic.  Yes the once savvy transfer kings Manchester United had a transfer window that everyone connected to the club will want to forget.  Utd wanted Thiago, and then they didn’t as he was signed by Bayern.  Utd wanted Fabregas, but he never wanted to move in the first place.  Utd teased signing Ronaldo and Bale, but in the end never came close to do either.  Utd were all set to sign Herrera but weren’t willing to pay a measly extra €6m (approximately £4.5m) so the deal fell through, but not after three men who may or may not be connected to the club (who knows based on how Utd have conducted themselves throughout the window) made a further mockery of Utd.  I know what you’re thinking ‘surely there wasn’t more stupidity?’ well you would be wrong, because Utd with seconds left of the window seemed to have gotten Fabio Coentrao on loan from Real Madrid with an option to buy,  you are now thinking ‘wow great business, he is one of the best left backs in world football, great signing!  What’s that?  You didn’t get the paperwork through in time?  Jesus Christ you guys are fucking idiots, how did you get to run a football club?’  To be honest you could also add the whole Baines thing in here but to be fair to Utd a 28 year old left back isn’t worth £20m regardless of how good he is.

Well onto the positives; Utd didn’t lose any of the players from their 11 point margin championship winning side (even Rooney stayed somehow).  Surely this is a positive?  Well no it isn’t; guys like Bebe (who got loaned out), Macheda and to a lesser extent Anderson and Nani (because Utd didn’t get anyone to replace them) were all deadwood and were supposed to be sold, yet all are still at the club.  Utd got Fellaini though, surely that is a positive?  Well no not really when you consider that a month ago you could have gotten Fellaini for £23.5m but instead Utd ended up paying £27.5m……good business guys.  Now consider that, not only does it clearly show that Fellaini was at best choice five, it also makes you scream into your hands and pull out what is left of your hair (not much after this transfer window and the last two games) as you question ‘so you’re willing to go an extra £4m for Fellaini because of your own stupidity, but aren’t willing to go an extra £4.5m for Herrara?’  It really begs belief, because with such stupidity you have to question what is going on at Utd and what is the future going to be like?  All very worrying.

What makes this worse is that all these idiots are blaming David Moyes for this, read my words (or lips if you can imagine me saying this) David Moyes is not the man who puts in bids or negotiates contracts, the man who does that is Ed Woodward and he has shown his blatant inexperience for this role.  David Moyes tells this man what players he would like to add to his squad and Woodward is supposed to oblige and go out and get them.  I personally don’t see this faffing about being allowed to happen if Fergie was still in charge, but he has more clout than Moyes (not really Moyes’ fault).  The loss of David Gill (a man that used to receive a large amount of abuse from the Utd fans) seems to have had a larger effect than it really should have (wasn’t Woodward shadowing Gill all these years?).  When you look at this, is it really a surprise that Fergie just happened to go at the exact same time as Gill?  I don’t think it is.  Woodward is going to have to learn very quickly, because this kind of conduct is not acceptable at Manchester United, and to be honest he should be a candidate for the sack if this farcical behaviour continues.

Have Utd improved their squad?  It is so ironic but the answer is yes.  Utd didn’t lose any players and added Fellaini (who is a good player, which I don’t think I’ve mentioned) who will give them that nastiness in midfield that they have been sorely lacking.  However Utd really needed a midfielder who could pass the ball in the middle of the pitch (a Herrera type…..why wasn’t he signed?) and somehow still managed to not sign anyone.  I thought all Utd needed was one big signing and they would be deserved favourites for the title, Fellaini isn’t a big enough signing for this to be the case.  Fellaini and Coentrao, Baines or Herrara would have been, but it seems that would have required Utd to have been competent.

 

Newcastle United

Ins:  Loic Remy (Loan)

Outs:  Perch (750k) & lots of mediocrity

If it weren’t for Newcastle, Utd would have had the most shambolic transfer window, but thanks to good old Joe Kinnear (who makes Ed Woodward look competent) Newcastle managed to have another stinker start to the season, not exactly what Alan Pardew needed.  They didn’t really lose anyone but the only player they added was a player that didn’t want to join the club 6 months ago but is stuck joining them now because nobody else wants him (good business Joe).

Have Newcastle improved their squad?  I guess, but barely.  You almost get the feeling that Kinnear has went out his way to not sign anyone so that Pardew gets the sack and he can take over, dark days ahead for Newcastle fans.

 

Norwich City

Ins:  Ricky van Wolfswinkel (£8.5m), Leroy Fer (£7m), Gary Hooper (£5m), Martin Olsson (£2.5m), Nathan Redmond (£2.2m), Javier Garrido (£1.275m), Carlo Nash (free) & Johan Elmander (Loan)

Outs:  Holt (£2m), Vaughan (£1m), Barnett (£500k), others

Norwich are one of many teams who broke their transfer record fee this season, with the signing of van Wolfswinkel from Sporting Lisbon.  With the signing of van Wolfswinkel and Hooper, Norwich now have a legitimate striking force that will strike fear (although probably not) into opposition defences.  No longer will Norwich have to rely on the labouring runs of Grant Holt (a man who looks like he would run faster to the chip van than he does into an oppositions defence), and instead they have players who are good goal scorers.  The signing of Leroy Fer is also a very clever signing and it will give Norwich a stud in the middle of the pitch (have to wonder why nobody else wanted him).

Have Norwich improved their squad?  Yes they have by dramatically improving their strike force with three new players, as well as adding an excellent player into their central midfield, they will be easily safe this season.

 

Southampton

Ins:  Pablo Osvaldo (£15m), Victor Wanyama (£12.5m) & Dejan Lovren (£8.5m)

Outs:  Nothing really to talk about.

Southampton only signed three players this transfer window, but they managed to sign three players that will instantly make their first team better.  They probably overpaid for all three players, but if you want to add quality to your team you need to overpay sometimes.  When you consider that Southampton also didn’t lose any of their players from last season, overall a very good transfer window.

Have Southampton improved their squad?  Yes (fell like I’ve said that a lot), they have added three first team players that will make them a better side instantly.

 

Stoke City

Ins:  Erik Pieters (£3m), Marko Aranutovic (£2m), Marc Muniesa (free), Oussame Assaidi  (free), Stephen Ireland (Loan) & others

Outs:  Nothing of significance.

When you are serious candidates for relegation, you need to have a belter of a transfer window to take yourself a couple of steps higher to safety; however these are the hardest steps to take.  Stoke haven’t spent much money (especially in comparison to previous years) this transfer window but have brought in a number of players that could have a positive effect on the team this season.  The biggest problem for me about Stoke and their transfer window is that they needed a striker that could score 15+ a season, they didn’t get that, they also could have done with signing a midfielder who could pass the ball and although Ireland has joined he can never stay fit.

Have Stoke improved their squad?  I think they have, but not to the extent that would make me feel comfortable if I was a Stoke City fan.

 

Sunderland

Ins:  Jozy Altidore (£6.5m), Emanuele Giaccherini (£6.5m), Charis Mavaris (£3m) & so many other players that I can’t be bothered listing them.

Outs: Mignolet (£9m), Sessegnon (£6m), McClean (£1m) & others.

Here’s the thing about Sunderland and their transfer window, it doesn’t really matter what they do (and they needed to do a lot) because they have a lunatic managing the team.  Essentially what I am saying is that Di Canio doesn’t know what he is doing and it amazes me that he would be allowed to have a job never mind manage a football club.  Sunderland lost probably their best player in Mignolet and their only players with something a bit special in Sessegnon and McClean (who I know didn’t have a great year last year).  It also doesn’t help when so many other players who didn’t leave the club are clamouring to get out of the club because they realise that there is a crazy man in charge who keeps saluting at them inappropriately.  Did Sunderland bring in good player though?  It isn’t that they brought in bad players, it is more that they brought in ordinary players, and for a team that needs better than ordinary to avoid relegation, that isn’t good enough.  For instance there is no way that Altidore is a £6.5m player, because he just isn’t that good and has shown that previously in this league.  Another concerning sign for Sunderland fans will be the fact that Sunderland signed so many player, not only because it means your squad can’t be that good but it also means that 16 (or that’s how many I counted) players have to gel with the players already at the club as well as amongst themselves, something that is no easy feat.

Have Sunderland improved their squad?  No they have not (first time I’ve actually wrote that); they have lost their best player and have added regular players to their squad.  It is usually a sign of desperation when so many players are signed in one window, and in this case it is a sign of desperation.  If Sunderland were a ship they would be shooting off their flare guns with reckless abandonment because the ship is going down…..to the Championship.

 

Swansea City

Ins:  Wilfried Bony (£12m), Jonjo Shelvey (£5m), Jordi Amat (£2.5m), Jonathan de Guzman (Loan) & others.

Outs:  Ki Sung-Yeung (Loan) & others

I loved what Swansea were able to do in the summer; they picked up Bony who can link up perfectly with Michu to make a deadly strike force and they made the great signing of England international Jonjo Shelvey for a paltry £5m (which in the football market is like a packet of Smarties to you and me).  Laudrup has improved his first team with these two signings and has made further additions to help the squad get through the tough European calendar.  They didn’t really lose anyone either, with Ki clearly being surplus to requirements.

Have Swansea improved their squad?  Yes they have with two excellent signings which will allow them to push on from another solid season in the Premier League.

 

Tottenham Hotspur

Ins:  Erik Lamela (£30m), Roberto Soldado (£26m), Paulinho (£17m), Christian Eriksen (£11.5m), Vlad Chirrices (£8.5m), Nacer Chadli (£7m) & Etienne Capoue (£9m)

Outs:  (some guy called) Gareth Bale (£86m), Caulker (£8m), Dempsey (£6m), Huddlestone (£5m), Parker (£2m), Assou-Ekotto (Loan) & others.

Well, well, well, well, well (not a Motherwell song).  Spurs were just a bit busy in the transfer window, weren’t they?  Nobody spent more than they did, and nobody brought in more than they did, remarkably almost breaking even for their transfers overall (go figure).  First I will deal with the players Spurs sold; how they managed to get £86m for Bale is beyond me.  It isn’t like Bale isn’t a good player (he’s one of the best in the world) but you can’t honestly tell me that he is worth more money than Ronaldo when he left Utd and went to Madrid (he isn’t, at that time Ronaldo was the best player in the world, Bale is not).  If I were to evaluate Bale and give him a price that I think he is worth, I would say around £50m, £36m less than Madrid paid.  You have to applaud Daniel Levy who has once again shown that he is one tight bastard and knows how to eek every penny out.  I don’t really understand the selling of Caulker when Spurs don’t really have that much depth at central defence.

On to the big stuff, the signings and oh god was there lots of them.  There is good signings, bad signings and ugly signings…..actually there are only good signings (damn Spurs work their stuff well).  Let’s break it down by saying that Soldado was exactly what Spurs have lacked the last few seasons, Paulinho looks like a steal at £17m, Eriksen is an absolute steal at £11.5m (why weren’t Arsenal and Utd in for him?) and Chadli and Capoue also look like good value for money (haven’t seen Chirrices play but even if he does suck, it isn’t like he cost much).  The only blot on the Spurs copy book is Lamela, who they have paid well over the odds for (probably Bale’s fault) but he does give them another striker and makes them a better rounded team.  Spurs have not only gotten better at a number of positions, they have also gotten younger, which in the long run is vital if they are going to push on and possibly challenge for the league in future seasons.  The AVB revolution continues.

Have Spurs improved their squad?  Incredibly after selling by far their best player they have gotten better.  They have improved their squad vastly (more than any other team) and this will help them not only challenge in the Europa League (which I think they will win) but also for fourth position.  The biggest criticism I can have of Spurs is that they lost a player that was truly special, one who could do something out of nothing, and have not really been able to replace him.  However eight very good players is better than having one outstanding player.

 

West Bromwich Albion

Ins:  Stephane Sessegnon (£6m), Victor Anichebe (£6m), Nicolas Anelka (free), Diego Lugano (free), Matej Vydra (Loan), Scott Sinclair (Loan), Goran Popov (Loan), Lee Camp (free) & Morgan Amalfitano (Loan)

Outs:  Odemwingie (£2.5m), Fortune (free) & others

Can’t help but feel WBA have failed to add to the success they had last season; missing out on the loan signing of Lukaku was just the tip of the iceberg.  Sessegnon is a good signing because he adds creativity and quality to the WBA attack, however beyond that I just don’t get the signings.  Vydra is a stab in the dark (he did well in the Championship but that means very little), they signed a bunch of players on loan which is useless for the long term future of the club (none of who will be starters either), they vastly overpaid for Anichebe (£6m? what were they thinking?) and why the hell did they think Anelka was a good signing?  The only thing Anelka brings is selfishness and chaos (the guy was set to retire on a whim before the season started); very odd signings from WBA, at least they didn’t lose anyone (other than Lukaku of course, who they never actually had).

Have WBA improved their squad?  Not really, when you look at it they had Lukaku last year and now have Anichebe, not what I’d call an upgrade.  The only signing that has improved the first is Sessegnon, and that is not enough to say that the squad has improved.

 

West Ham United

Ins:  Andy Carroll (£15.5m), Stewart Downing (£6m), Adrian (free) & Razvan Rat (free)

Outs:  Nobody of significance, unless you think Carlton Cole is good, which if you do then….I don’t know what to say.

God this is a long list and it is finally finishing (thank god, for me and you); West Ham brought in Carroll (who was there last season) and Downing as their two big signings (Liverpool rejects).  I like both the signings and think that the step down will be good for both of their careers and they should both do well under Allardyce (because of the style he plays).  However that doesn’t take away from the fact that West Ham grossly overpaid for both players,  Liverpool were just wanting both guys off the books and you can’t honestly tell me Andy Carroll is a £15.5m player (some idiots paid £35m for him once, hahahaha).  That is the major concern for West Ham that they blew their entire transfer kitty on two players that they could probably have gotten for half the price, I doubt it will come back to bite them in the arse but you never know.

Have West Ham improved their squad?  Yes but not as much as they should have.  Really only the signing of Downing is a major new addition to the squad, in a squad that is lacking good depth.

 

Overall

It is interesting to note that the only teams that I would say lost players of importance were Spurs, Sunderland and Everton (and sort of Palace although Zaha left last January technically).  Spurs and Everton have become better teams because of the money they received from the players they lost (Sunderland didn’t), but I am pointing this out more because it shows a trend that Premier League players aren’t that desirable (even the English clubs weren’t really buying from each other).  It also shows that English players/Premier League players are massively over-priced, and then the FA wonder why youth players aren’t being developed, that’s why, because they are too expensive (well that and too many old dumplin’s that are well past their best [I’m looking at you Fulham]).  It shows a worrying trend for the Premier League (and England), who are now lacking quality players (after losing Bale) and not really developing home grown talent.

 

Top 5 signings.

  1. Eriksen (Spurs)
  2. Shelvey (Swansea)
  3. Stekelenburg (Fulham)
  4. Mignolet (Liverpool)
  5. Fer (Norwich)

 

Worst 5 signings.

  1. Altidore (Sunderland)
  2. Fernandinho (Man City)
  3. Anichebe (WBA)
  4. Carroll (West Ham)
  5. McCarthy (Everton)

 

Top 5 transfer window teams.

  1. Liverpool
  2. Spurs
  3. Norwich
  4. Hull
  5. Southampton

 

Worst 5 transfer window teams.

  1. Newcastle
  2. Sunderland
  3. Palace
  4. Man Utd
  5. WBA

 

So now that the transfer window is closed (and I’ve seen the teams play a few games), here is what I think the league will look like in comparison to my prediction in the preview.

 

1st— Man City                            0

2nd— Man Utd                           0

3rd—Chelsea                              0

4th—Arsenal                              +1

5th—Spurs                                 -1

6th—Liverpool                         +2

7th—Everton                           -1

8th—Swansea                         -1

9th—West Ham                      +1

10th—Villa                              +3

11th—Southampton             +5

12th—Cardiff                         +2

13th—Norwich                      +2

14th—WBA                            -5

15th—Newcastle                -3

16th—Fulham                       -5

17th—Stoke                          +1

18th—Sunderland                -1

19th—Hull                              0

20th—Palace                         0

 

As I’m sure you can see, I have changed my mind with all but five of the positions (although to be fair I have always thought Arsenal would finish above a Baleless Spurs but wrote this about their current squads and at the time Bale was at Spurs, so I’m counting it as seven).  The amount of changes I have made isn’t really surprising because it is so hard to predict the mid-table that often it is just a guessing game (might as well through a dart at a wall with your eyes closed [this is not recommended for children and should only be partaken when intoxicated]).

I said that all Utd needed was to make one big signing to be my favourites, but Fellaini isn’t that big signing that was required (although Fellaini- Coentrao or Baines would have been enough).  I have decided that Stoke will finish above Sunderland after they have had a good start to the season, and I further realise that Sunderland under Di Canio is a total mess and are going nowhere fast.  I think Liverpool are deservedly higher up (2 positions higher) because they have started the season well (although not 9/9 points well) and I really like some of their signings (especially Sakho [beast], Mignolet and Moses).  Villa and Southampton have both impressed me so far this season and I feel once their new signings settle in (especially at Southampton) it will reflect on their league position.  WBA have plummeted down the table because I have become seriously concerned about who is going to score their goals (Anichebe signing didn’t allay my fears).  Fulham are beginning to look older and older to me and that has also become a serious concern of mine, even though I like their signings I fear that near the end of the year if they are in trouble, the old guys might not have the energy or desire to get them out of it.  Newcastle have dropped down for obvious reasons; one because they didn’t sign any players and two because the club is an utter shambles and there is a good chance of Joe Kinnear taking over (shame they have good players).

 

Teams who raised the most.

  1. Southampton +5
  2. Villa +3
  3. Liverpool, Norwich & Cardiff +2

 

Teams who fell the most.

  1. WBA & Fulham -5

3 .   Newcastle -3

 

 

So there you have it the long winded and hard to read without crying Premier League transfer window review.  What did you think of the transfer window?  How do you think it will affect the league table?  Let me know and leave a comment.  I am going to bath my fingers in ice because man is not meant to type so much for such a long period of time.

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Author: bm23reviews

I watch TV and sports then write stuff.....that's about it.

32 thoughts on “The Premier League Transfer Window Review.”

      1. I know it’s like an addiction, you’re like ‘I’ll just write a little bit more’ and then you realise it is 6 am and you should probably have went to bed a few hours ago.

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    1. Well if you were an intelligent man (highly questionable [oh no I used a bracket within a bracket and a regular bracket :O]) you would realise that a bracket adds additional information but isn’t necessary to the piece. Confusing I know.

      Why would I use the term soccer? Ah you are trying to insult me by saying I’m an American….good insult….(that’s sarcasm by the way [oh no I used another bracket!])

      Also the gotten thing, I don’t really see what the deal is, I also used the term stud at some point I’m surprised you didn’t get your knickers in a twist over that.

      Thanks for your constructive criticism….(that is also sarcasm [damn I did it again! I can’t stop!])

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  1. please stop linking to this on bleacher report. this article offered no insight and was frequently astonishingly inaccurate. arsenal overpaid for Ozil by at least £12.5 million? are you having a laugh? he’s one of the 15 best players in the world and to you he’s worth less than willian or fernandinho? come on mate

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    1. again, just to provide evidence of how little you know, how is Ozil “arguably” one of the best attacking mids in the world, who shows up in only 1 of 5 games? he has more assists than anyone in Europe since 2009, and his teammates were devastated when they lost him. The Ozil-Ronaldo combination has yielded more goals than any duo in the world in that span. Ramos said that he was the last player on Real that should be sold. also if you had watched Arsenal play at all last year, you would know that for the majority of the season, Cazorla played on the left and had the freedom to come inside if he wanted to, and that’s exactly what is going to happen now. Ozil right behind the striker, and Santi flanking him. do your homework next time mate.

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      1. Again I am not sure you really read what I wrote and have left a comment in a blind rage because how dare I disagree with anything a pundit would say or say that Ozil isn’t as good as people are making out. Again I said that he is only playing to his maximum ability in 1 in 5 games, so that means the rest of the time he isn’t playing consistently enough. Of course his teammates are gutted he left, he is a good player and a nice guy but you cannot seriously tell me that he wasn’t surplus to requirements at Real.

        Your Cazorla comment is a bit silly because if you had watched Utd play at all last season you would have said that Shinji Kagawa was a left winger, when clearly he is not, the same could be said of Cazorla who was forced out of position based on a necessity. I don’t need to do homework, I’m sure if you had asked most people what position Arsenal need to improve the least they would have told you attacking midfield, yet that was pretty much the only position they did something about.

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    2. First off, in what was is it an astonishingly inaccurate piece? You brought up one thing that you believe to be inaccurate and then followed it up with something inaccurate of your own. If you had actually read the whole thing (which you clearly did not) you would have read that I think that Fernandinho was nowhere near worth £30m, nor is Willian (although I didn’t say that when I wrote it).

      One of the 15 best players in the world? Obviously it is all a matter of opinion but I would say that Aguero, RVP, Bale, Ronaldo, Casillas, Alonso, Messi, Iniesta, Fabregas, Falcao, Thiago Silva, Vidic, Buffon, Vidal, Reus, Gotze, Hummels, Robben, Ribery, Lahm, Kompany are all better than him and you could argue that guys like Kroos, Rooney, Suarez, Gundogan, Xavi, Isco are better as well. I like Ozil I think he is a very good player but Arsenal overpaid for him, and that is shown by the fact that no other team put a bid in for him at that level.

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      1. Ok we’re just gonna have to disagree here I suppose. First Cazorla was more effective on the left and drifting inside. That’s when Arsenal was getting their best results, and Jose Mourinho said himself in the last few days that Ozil is the best number 10 in the world. But Xabi Alonso, Fabregas, and Buffon are better? No. Just no. I didn’t know we were still in 2008. Xavi was flat out average last year, you know it. And if you’re saying that Reus, Gotze, Gundogan and Kroos are all better, that would mean Ozil is Germany’s 5th choice CAM, which is curious considering Joachim Low admitted to structuring the squad around him.

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      2. I agree with you in terms of I doubt we are going to agree on this, and I know it sounds very harsh but I do think that Ozil is a quality player and by having him in the first team Arsenal are instantly better.

        I also think we both know that the German’s internationally are not the best gauge of who the best German players are, because after all Podolski and Klose were never out of the team a few years ago when they couldn’t get a regular game at Bayern, and are still major parts of the team despite the fact that there are now much better players (I do think both guys turn it up for Germany compared to their club play and deserve their place in the national side though).

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  2. I am clearly an Arsenal fan, but my judgments on Ozil are not biased, seeing as how I’ve been watching since his Werder Bremen days, and also my opinions seems to be shared by pretty much every football analyst. That said, the only players in the world I can surely rate higher than Ozil right now are Messi, Ronaldo, Ribery, Thiago Silva, Falcao, RVP, Ibrahimovic, Robben, Schweinsteiger, Suarez, and Iniesta, with Mata, Toure, and Bale in the discussion. In saying that, I’m being more than fair

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    1. I haven’t got a problem with that because if I were an Arsenal fan I to would be extremely excited by the signing. I also don’t have a problem with the players you have said are better than Ozil (some of which I missed) but then football is all about opinions, and just because I don’t agree with other football analysts doesn’t mean my opinions are not valid. I really do think that Ozil is a quality player, but I just don’t think he is what Arsenal needed and they did pay over the odds (which sometimes you need to do to get quality players). As a side note I for instance think that Ibrahimovic is probably the most over rated players in the world, and I know that this isn’t maybe the opinions of everybody, but that is ok.

      I respect your opinions on Ozil and in many ways I hope you are right because the Premier League needs more teams like Arsenal and less teams like Chelsea and City. I used to love the rivalry between Utd and Arsenal, it used to be for me the biggest match in England between the two biggest clubs, I think it is now a shell of its former self and I’d like to see it return to prominence.

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      1. Understood, and I do agree wholeheartedly with this comment. Regardless of how we may rate a player individually, I think we can both agree that it’s a big moment for the EPL and hopefully a sign of things to come.

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  3. Great article mate i really want to read more of your stuff 🙂
    But do you think that man city would have profited from signing Sakho??

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    1. Thanks, I was surprised that City didn’t go in for Sakho to be honest, imagine Kompany and Sakho in the heart of City’s defence, it would be imperious. Also imagine how much Sakho would improve with playing next to Kompany, I think Liverpool have gotten a steal and City and Chelsea (who I also think could have benefited from him) have missed a trick.

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  4. Agreed on many I’d have to say.

    However, like the other guy that defended Ozil, I have to say it was a masterstroke for Wenger to sign him. Ozil is someone I extremely highly rate and actually is quite consistent in my eyes. It’s just that when he played for Real he didn’t have to be the no. 1 guy which he was more than happy to accept. So for him, it wasn’t necessary to be the genius and the go-to-guy like he is for the German international team. It could have seen that he didn’t stand out all the time but he was always smooth and rarely had a bad game for the given expectations of him.(Usually Ron gets all the beating when Real wasn’t playing)

    I really think Ozil can thrive with the partnership of Cazorla because Cazorla is actually a much much better player in an off ball situation. He finds the holes quite neatly and makes tons of clever runs. He also has a bang on his foot and sense for those nice little zone breaking passes. Arsenal will have a lethal attacking force once they click. As a fellow United fan I have to remind you of the past Rooney and Tevez partnership which many of us doubted in the beginning since they were too much of a similar players.

    Also, the biggest problem Arsenal had wasn’t actually in other areas I believe. It was that they couldn’t give Cazorla enough of a resting time. Sure, Wilshire, Ozil, Cazorla can all play that role, but finally Arsene can rotate some players that actually can play football.

    And with the United discussion, I do feel the agony and am also quite angry that we didn’t get Fellaini early on, because for me he was the only business that actually needed to be done in this market, but in a very timely fashion so he could also glue in swiftly. That didn’t happen, but oh well we have him now which is much better than the opposite.

    We United fans all have to keep in mind that our team is still a very very young team and our young ones have also improved. Rafael was easily the best RB last season and De Gea as every faithful United fans have hope turned up. Johny is as solid as a rock and from what I’ve seen Johnsy is also developing nicely.(at least he make meaningful runs now+he was already quite good when he joined). I haven’t seen much of him lately, but Smalling is still a very good prospect and deals the ball very delicately. Fabio also needs to get some game time.

    Lots of people still have doubt on Ando, but he looks the fittest this year. I’ve never seen him look so fit and hungry(not food). Ando alone might not be a decent addition but he and Clev got a wonderful partnership together. They both have great energy and likes to pass and run. I just hope Moyes would remember the short period of time that those two really excited us when they played together. I think it is a key they play together since they seem to understand each other well and sort of balance each other’s game. Also, Kagawa has never been really used properly last season, but we all know he is super quality. Actually one of the world’s best judging from his performances at Dortmund.

    Then we have our two wingers that are recovering from a slump last season in the name of Valencia and Nani. It’s funny how so many people forget Valencia was voted as our best player two years ago and Nani was a very consistent performer before the injury plagued last year. They just need couple of games to up and running. I’ll put Zaha and Young as our wildcard. Zaha could easily destroy the small teams defense and Young usually does well in games that don’t have too much at stake.

    If not played out wide Danny will also turn up and Chicha will also provide those all important goals as usual.

    The only thing we need to stay away is playing Giggsy too much. I love him to death since he was the reason I started to watch the prem in 1992(Don’t like him as a person anymore though). However, he now looks really past his prime when it comes to playing in a competitive prem league. Surely, he’ll still present those occasional brilliance of his past, but he became to clumsy. Can’t pass and panics when he has the ball in the middle. I think he should be restricted into a squad player that only starts from the bench.

    I think with Fellaini in the picture, we are one of the teams that have no weakness in the squad and plenty of depth at the sametime. It won’t be easy like last time but as you also suggested we should be one of the three title contenders and for me the closest of them all(could be biased eh? 😉 )

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    1. Thanks for the comment (it was almost as long as the post). I’ve had a lot of abuse over the Ozil thing, and I don’t know if I made it clear enough but I do think it is a good signing for Arsenal. I also agree that Arsenal do lack creativity and don’t have the best depth at certain position, but I felt that a striker and a centre back were more required. Now I don’t understand why Wenger couldn’t have bought both and Ozil, but they didn’t. I also agree that Ozil could flourish under being the main man, and the Ozil Cazorla partnership is surely going to be one of the league’s most exciting.

      As far as Utd are concerned, I agree that people seem to be talking about Utd having an old squad but don’t seem to be looking at the actual squad which is in fact very young. I agree with a lot of the things you said although I am still surprised to see Nani still at the club (and with a new contract), Anderson still at the club and Young still at the club. However all three (especially Nani) have shown that they have the ability to be top notch players. If Moyes can get Anderson fit and playing then he could easily fill that role that Herrera would have, although I am doubtful that Anderson can stay fit. I think Utd are better than Chelsea, an are only a touch behind City in terms of who is going to win the league. It is not beyond this Utd side to actually win the league, they are more than capable. Also I agree Giggs needs to be relegated beyond the bench, how he has played so much this year is beyond me, his performances have been lackluster and he is too old to play a whole match now. Give a younger guy a chance, because Utd have this guy called Kagawa that is pretty good but doesn’t get played….maybe someone should tell Moyes.

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      1. Yep Arsenal could have added depth in their forward department, but to be honest I think Walcot is actually quite good in that position as well. Especially if he gets some passes from Ozil. Also, Podolski plays much better in the center and it made me wonder why Arsene wouldn’t play him there. Could be that it was too hard to drop his fellow French man

        And yes they really need a good solid CB. I don’t buy the Koscielny hype and Mertesacker might be good but his apparent weakness will be a problem for them in the long run. He might not even be able to go against the likes of Redmond(Super talent if you haven’t watched him yet. great pace). So that should be troubling for Arsenal. Also, they should have gotten Julio Cesar as well. Szczesny doesn’t look ready for me now. Like you said they should have done some more business.

        But, if it was Ozil or a ST, CB and a GK, you always go for Ozil. Simple as that. My guess was Arsene spend all his energy on convincing Ozil to come, which is based on the fact that Ozil himself told the media he joined Arsenal because Arsene gave him the whole blueprint of his role and future of the club.

        And for Giggsy thank god I have someone else on board. Also, Kagawa needs to play in the center. Maybe he can learn one or two things from his fellow Asian brother Ji how to play in the middle with less muscle? Or we might even see a Fellaini and Kagawa combination in the future. Who knows.

        With Ando, yes it’s always the big question whether he can stay fit, but this time around he looks quite lean and I believe all the ankle injuries had something to do with his weight. He is explosive yet was overweight all the time. I really hope it’ll be different because he is unplayable on his days.

        Nani I have no worries. As soon as he takes over Young’s left flank, he should be alright.

        With the case of Young, oh well he could be sold or as I suggested used for lesser teams now that Januzaj will go on a loan. Or by a miracle he might find his Aston Villa form back again or even his Watford form. His first season with us wasn’t actually too bad and he has some qualities(holding the ball, best crosser in the team, nice curler on his right foot). I think his problem is his mental part. He seems quite weak there and often falls when under pressure.

        The great part for being a giant club like United is we can afford the luxury to bet on the odds. I totally understand how you feel about those three, especially with Ando. However, we have the cash to burn and I’ve heard Woodward is about to close the 10 year 1 Billion kit deal for us. So why not give those 3 another season and if they fail we move on to Zaha, Lingard, Januzaj, Powell(maybe). So all is well for now and as you said we do look stronger than what others say.

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      2. I agree with pretty much everything you said, which doesn’t happen very often….maybe I don’t feel well….who knows

        The better question I feel for Arsenal is why couldn’t they have gotten Ozil and a cb, gk (I know they got one but a better one) and st? There clearly is the money for it, so why didn’t it happen?

        I also think that Redmond looks like an extremely exciting talent and is at a perfect club in Norwich to develop his skills.

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  5. yeh it does look quite strange to me as well. I thought Cezar was Arsenal bound for certain. Also, Sketelenburg? That guy went to Fulham for penny money in this market. so many unanswered questions are in the air I guess. Anyways it was a good read and well done for writing the whole thing. cheers mate

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  6. Great article.

    But i have some questions for you. You once said that Liverpool were one of the worst teams to ever win the Champions league (Liverpool fan here). I have to say that I can’t agree with you. This liverpool weren’t the best squad and weren’t the most experienced, But they proved that with will and determination you can accomplish everything. I would like you to explain why you think that they were one of the worst.

    I think Liverpool can push for a top 4 finish but Arsenal have a better midfield and Spurs have more depth. But if Man United continues to play like they did against Liverpool the could slip down the table. I also would like to have your opinion on the Manchester-Liverpool game

    I’m Belgian and I’m really happy with our national squad. Scotland didn’t play badly but they lack creativity up front.

    I would love it if you could give an answer to all of my questions. Thanks.

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    1. Thanks man.

      I think that Chelsea were the worst team to ever win the Champions League, prior to that I would have said Liverpool. The reasons for that are that every club excluding these two have had a team that you would say was either the best or arguably the best in the competition. You would also look at their squads and go ‘wow that was a good team’, even the Marseille, Porto and Ajax wins. I think Liverpool were closer to the other winners than Chelsea (who are easily the worst), and deserved their win that year after one of the best comebacks in football history. Pretty simply I think they had (apart from Chelsea) one of the worst first teams and squads of all the winners. Alonso and Gerrard (and to a lesser extent Carragher) apart the rest of the team wasn’t of Champions League winning quality.

      I really think that Utd’s downfall is being touted too early, yes there has been a lack of creativity in the past two games but to be honest, this could be the team just struggling to gel together with the new manager. As far as Liverpool making top 4, I really don’t think they will. I think it is a season too early for them and they should be really looking to finish 6th or maybe 5th at very best. I think that if Liverpool are smart then they should be aiming to recreate what Borussia Dortmund have done in Germany. As in create a team with young, talented and hungry players and build accordingly to make them play like Liverpool want to play.

      The Liverpool-Utd team was one of those odd situations where Liverpool scored early and then basically defended the rest of the match. In doing so they did very well defensively. Utd also defended very well but very much lacked any creativity in midfield to open up the Liverpool defence. That leads you to the question about why Giggs and Young started, as well as why Kagawa and Zaha weren’t on the bench. Moyes got his tactics and mainly his squad selection totally wrong. It was weird in the sense that (and this sounds bad because it sounds like I am taking away from Liverpool’s result but) the result had more to do with Utd’s lack of attacking prowess than Liverpool’s excellent play. A fair result should have been a draw but I couldn’t really complain about Liverpool winning because Utd never looked like scoring and Liverpool did defend very well. As a Utd fan the past two games have been very frustrating, which I am sure has come across in the answer.

      I agree as far as Scotland goes, we clearly lack attacking options, which is odd because we do have some good young attacking players, but they don’t seem to recreate their club form for Scotland. Being Belgian you should be really happy with your national team, it is clearly the way a small nation should be organised and how to develop young talent.

      Hopefully I answered all your questions adequately, if not or you want me to expand on anything else just leave another comment.

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      1. Worst teams to win the Champions League? lol, come on.. how about they were the most underrated teams to win it those years after everyone else ballsed it up in the competition.. you don’t win a competition by being a worse team, but you can win it the best of a bad bunch. I believe Bayern were 16/1 last September to win the CL, I think they were about 4-5th favourites in that respect before the games started, so you can put them in that bracket too? Or no because they have amazing players or out performed like Liverpool/Chelsea did?

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      2. It’s weird how much people seem to pick on this comment because I think it is definitely true. If you look at all the winners of the Champions League, back to when it was re-branded in 1993, I think Chelsea were by far the worst team to win the Champions League. Whether that be that they had the worst squad, were the furthest away from being the best team in Europe or were the most undeserving of the champions, in general I think they were the worst. It’s all irrelevant because nobody will ever be able to take the win away from Chelsea or their fans.

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  7. Hey buddy, well I was kinda confused by your Utd write up.. you say they wouldn’t pay a measley £4.5 million more for Herrera.. but moan about paying £4 million more for Fellaini? Hmmm, and yes I am aware there was a clause BEFORE you bought him, but just seems kinds dumb to contradict yourself like that, maybe check in future before posting?
    Thought your article was otherwise well put together and read all of your ones above it too, appreciate most of what anyone has to say is usually a high % of opinions but for the most part it was informative. Just a few pointers, some of the NFL players you used initials for etc, someone wishing to build up an interest might not know.. I have a average knowledge of the NFL and like to watch games from time to time but would have loved proper names, I can understand it may be a chore, especially if you have a vast knowledge but might help people understand better.
    Also, I can see you made some great efforts for the bigger teams and then stopped caring/got tired writing about the shittier teams lol, this does kinda show quite prominently and I know not everything can be perfect, but just a few pointers I feel could improve your writing in the future, If I was to score what I’ve read, probably a good 7.5/10 overall 🙂 keep up the good work!!

    Like

    1. Thanks for compliments, they are appreciated.

      Sorry if the Utd thing came across as confusing (sarcasm doesn’t always work very well when you type it) but I was trying to say that Utd were willing to pay an extra £4m for Fellaini but were unwilling to pay an extra £4.5m for Herrera, which didn’t really make sense especially when you consider they could have gotten Fellaini for less if they had been more competent.

      The NFL thing I hadn’t even realised I had done, but will look out for it in the future thanks.

      As far as the lack of writing on the smaller teams goes, it is easier to go in depth with the big teams and they are also easier to predict, whereas the smaller teams are much more interchangeable so they are harder to write about.

      Thanks for all the feedback, it’s much appreciated.

      Like

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