So the footballing world continues to ignore the depressing financial realities the rest of Earth lives in, presumably by plugging it’s ears and whistling merrily, as a cool £485 million was splurged in this transfer window. Now I love the undeniable excitement of transfer deadline day as much as the next man ( unless that next man is Jim White – man, he’s keen) but this might be the time that the bigwigs have a rethink about the leaky transfer window. On the final day a ridiculous 93 deals were done. Although this makes for cracking entertainment it undoubtedly leads to panic buying and some clubs being left threadbare (Everton, I’m looking at you).
Our north London neighbours, stung by the humiliating trouncings dished out last weekend, were predictably heavily involved. Arsenal’s panic buying resulting in them paying over the odds for the poor man’s Fabregas, aka Mikel Arteta, to replace the real deal and deciding the best plan for a leaky defence was a Brazilian left back for whom the art of defending has been omitted from the instruction manual. Meanwhile the professor’s principles on youth have been quickly jettisoned now the natives are restless as they loan out the promising Henri Lansbury and replace him with 31 year-old Benayoun. More on which later. Time will tell if loaning Bendtner to Sunderland as the clock ticked down and signing the Korean Park Chu-Young was a Wenger masterstroke. Out of interest for future reference may I present the current form of messrs Rosicky, Chamakh, Djourou and Arshavin and let you be the judge. Meanwhile Spuds sign old boy Parker, who to me was slow in his twenties so he must be going backwards by now, but is a no nonsense pro who can put a tackle in and play a bit. This would have been a decent purchase, with a reasonable transfer value for once, if it wasn’t for the rest of the Premiership biding their time on deadline day to shaft them. It’s been well documented that Spuds needed to shift some players to draft in another striker. However, the other clubs simply waited to call their bluff and seven first team squad members were pillaged at the death with little funds (what’s with all these loans?!) and even less time in the window to reinvest. They did manage to keep a disgruntled Luca Modric (who’s ‘head has been turned’ like something out of the Exorcist) and lost out on a reported £40 million for their troubles. Great work from Levy, please keep it up.
At Chelsea we had our own bit of last minute excitement with the solid purchase of Raul Meireles, a nice addition to the centre of the pitch. I already like the fact that he’s picked up Robbie’s number 16 shirt, they are similarities with Di Matteo and the Portuguese. A good eye for goal, an all action approach and a slick passer, he should fit in very well. Whether he’s the answer to our creativity problems doesn’t ‘Mata’ as for the key signing in that department has already been made. Personally I can’t wait for the pun filled, poor quality fleet street headlines our new number ten will generate– ‘Juan nil’, ‘Mata Goal!’ ‘No Mata’ etc. There was some slightly disappointing loan deals from our end, Van Aanholt looks a terrific footballer to me and it’s a shame he’s been farmed out to Wigan when he’s shown enough quality to push Cole at left back. I can see the logic in it though as Bertrand will now contest that place and it’s a position we’re somewhat oversubscribed in. I was also looking forward to seeing Kakuta’s pace in the side this year so the loan was a surprise. Hopefully he can progress as much as Sturridge did and can push for a first team place in 2012. On the plus side we did, thankfully, keep Studge, McEachran and Bertrand, who I think, alongside the boy Hulk Lukaku, will get a good number of games this season. Benayoun is a strange one, maybe it’s a wage bill that dictates or Mata’s arrival, but I can’t see the value in loaning him to Arsenal and improving their waning side. Yossi has guile on the wings and in the centre, he’s good option to have, and he would have done us another season as we wait for the inevitable Modric saga to resurface.
Much of the summer dealings appeared nonsensical, mainly why do so many clubs leave it so late to try and pick up a bargain? It’s like a crazed department store on Christmas Eve, with Sam Allardyce and Steve Bruce wrestling over a knocked down tie and cufflinks set. As we’ve seen already AVB talks a lot of sense and if he’s a strong advocator to reform the window, so that it closes before the matches actually begin, I’m inclined to believe him that it’d be a worthwhile change. As long we can keep the excitement of deadline day, completely with the shouty Jim White, flashing tickertape of regurgitated hype, and endless interviews through Harry Redknapp’s car window. I’ll be happy.