The Lead

Not to mix metaphors, but it’s been kind of a wet fart of a silly season.

We’re two days from the deadline and we’ve got is a Mario on his way to AC Milan or—incredibly (unless you’ve seen Quagliarella try to score of late)—Juventus. As has become the custom, Jim White may as well set up camp outside Harry Redknapp’s car window, as the self-effacing Wheeler ‘n Dealer is the only one trying to be funny this Winter window.

The one semi-respectable move has been for Spurs, who rushed the deal to secure Lewis Holtby six months ahead of schedule (and with a £1.5 million price tag) to replace the mega-knacked Sandro. Yet even this move has failed to satisfy the clacking pundits, as evidenced this morning on ESPNFC:

As has been well documented, Spurs have no cover in attack if Defoe gets injured while Adebayor is at the African Nations Cup and, even so, his form has been patchy at best this season. Long-term target Leandro Damaio from Internacional could be an option while Braga striker Eder is also a viable target, but while Holtby’s addition is a good one, there is still more work to be done before AVB can start to dream of the Champions League next season.

Jermain Defoe is the team’s top scorer in the Premier League, yes, but he’s a single goal ahead of Gareth Bale. Moreover Clint Dempsey may be enjoying his spell on the wing, but he can do the forward stuff as well, and his five goals do count. The notion that in a side playing 4-2-3-1 you need your strikers to score is old fashioned.

Obviously in a perfect world Spurs should buy all the players, but the fact of the matter is Spurs are rocking a .651 Total Shots Ratio in the Premier League at the minute. For context, here’s the Premier League table by TSR from last season.

The point of significance here is that Spurs’ PDO, which roughly measures the amount of luck—positive or negative—a team has enjoyed, is 968. As 11tegen11 pointed out a while ago, PDO averages around 980-1020. All this means is that there is room for improvement for Tottenham before the end of the season.

What happens between now and then is anyone’s guess, but AVB need not transmogrify into Dirty ‘Arry to satisfy the chattering classes of professional transfer market pundits.

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Coloccini will remain with Newcastle for the rest of the season.

QPR eyeing Crouch and Samba.

Wenger not a fan of government involvement in football.

Juventus and Milan possible destinations for Balotelli.

QPR’s Anton Ferdinand loaned to Turkish side Bursaspor for the rest of the season.


Verratti not leaving PSG for Roma.

Conte slapped with a two-match touchline ban for confronting referee.

La Liga

Espanyol’s Verdu would rather stay in La Liga than transfer to EPL.

Reports linking Kaka with Russian side Anzhi.


Hamburg confident Song-Heun min will renew contract with the club.

Hoffenheim’s Salihovic out for around two months.

Bit and Bobs

Brilliant scorpion kick by Ricardo Fernandes in the Cypriot league.

Keita offers to pay his Mali teammates bonuses.

Beckham joins Arsenal for fitness purposes only.

Scholes has his car stolen.

Thanks to Alima Hotakie for compiling today’s links.