The strife is o’er! The battle won! Another transfer window is done!
No more bean counting, no more criticising football directors we won’t hear about again until this January, no more 8 x 14 pieces of printing paper with the words “SPEND SPEND SPEND” in red.
And so time to pick up the debris from yesterday’s panic sale and see how did everyone did yesterday:
Arsenal- Arsene Wenger may have left it late, but Wenger may have wiped out years of transfer window animosity should the £42.5 million 24 year old Mesut Ozil live up to his billing. The one concern is that idea of a play-maker of his quality getting bumped out of the Real Madrid line-up by the high-priced Gareth Bale, who finally signed for the £86 million fee reported months ago, seems absurd to the point where weary Gunners might ask themselves, “What’s wrong with him?”
Arsenal also picked a goal keeper in Emiliano Viviano on loan from Palermo (he spent last season at Fiorentina). They didn’t pick up the much-touted defensive midfielder though, and many fans might wish they had never known about a reported late bid for Barcelona’s Javier Mascherano.
Manchester United- Can you say total garbage bag? However, a little perspective never hurt anyone (except people with extreme vertigo possibly). If Moyes had made a single successful bid for Marouane Fellaini three weeks ago, got him, and then said they were pretty much done (their current squad won a PL title remember), a few might have shrugged their shoulders and said, “Let’s wait and see.”
Throw in several weeks’ worth of failed twofer bids toward Everton that included Leighton Baines, paying £4 million above Fellaini’s reported buyout clause at Everton, rumours of big signings for Fabregas and Bale that came and went, plus a failed attempt to get full-back Fabio Coentrao because Real Madrid wouldn’t file the paperwork and a last gasp bid for Athletic Bilbao’s Ander Herrera that collapsed amid allegations of “imposters” attempting to negotiate on United’s behalf, and, well, it doesn’t put Moyes in the best light. Although your edumacated United supporter knows the real man to blame is club chief executive Ed Woodward, who failed to fill the shoes of a departed David Gill.
Although maybe it really was all just bad luck, in the end. Fellaini’s pretty good too, you know.
Everton- Transfer Deadline Day’s real winners. Roberto Martinez and Bill Kenwright teamed up to bring in Gareth Barry and Romelu Lukaku (!) on loan from City and Chelsea respectively, pick up Wigan’s James McCarthy for £13 million, and then sell Victor Anichebe to West Brom for a reported £6 million to add to their fee for Fellaini. All in a day’s work I suppose. While the cynic might say Everton is just a less-crap Wigan now, I would counter that any club not top-heavy with forward’s would cut off their knee caps for Lukaku alone. So huzzah to the shopkeep!
Other Big, Panicky Deals
The only other Big One was Real Madrid further off-loading talent in the wake of getting the frankly insanely over-valued Bale, which meant Kaka is now back at AC Milan! Which is kind of depressing if you think about Milan’s history with ageing Brazilian midfielders. He took a pay cut to go there too, but no reliable fees cited.
Deals that You Won’t Notice Until You’re Watching Football One Saturday and You Say To Yourself, ‘Oh, that guy plays there now?’
Fabio Borini’s misery continues as Liverpool loans the lonely forward to Sunderland. Paolo Di Canio’s team also managed to get Andrea Dossena from Napoli. Meanwhile Barry Bannan moved on from Aston Villa to Crystal Palace, and Peter Odemwingie, who got famous for his vigilante drive to QPR from the West Midlands to force a transfer that one time, has now gone and driven all the way to Cardiff for £2.25M. Benoît Assou-Ekotto is now at Shepherds Bush following a loan from Spurs to QPR and, sadly, Kei Kamara has left Sporting Kansas City for Middlesborough. No more free burritos in our time.
Lisandro Lopez loaned from Benfica to Getafe.
Libor Kozak to Aston Villa from Lazio for about 7 million.
Why? You should know, man.
Mark Ogden has a list of 5 lessons from the transfer market. Number 1 is interesting: “While Arsenal and Manchester United were left with a day of frantic dealing on deadline day, the likes of Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur were reaping the benefits of employing a director of football. At City, Txiki Begiristain ensured the majority of the club’s business was done early and decisively, with deals for Fernandinho and Jesus Navas lined up before the summer. Franco Baldini performed a similar job at Spurs, but while Joe Kinnear’s disastrous return to Newcastle United highlights the downside of the role, United and Arsenal may have acted more quickly with a buffer between manager and chief executive.” [Telegraph].
Mark Payne excoriates Manchester United for their transfer window problems: “After Sunday’s limp performance at Anfield, the club needed to act. Monday had been a frantic day, not least because of the absurdly byzantine manner in which the Herrera transfer had to be conducted. The good news was that he was desperate to play for United and there were reports that he was taking a pay cut to do so. United officials were left standing around with a cheque book waiting to leap over a technical hurdle until the last minute. And they failed.” [ESPNFC]
And Arsenal supporters comment on Ozil going to the Emirates: