Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The end of the football January transfer window 2011

The debate will go on and on, should we have a transfer window in January? Who benefits from such a window and ultimately what does it achieve?
For me, the window showed how out of touch football clubs are with the rest of the world. There seems to be so much money sloshing around, you can argue whether its wasted money or not!
At the moment Torres handed in a transfer request at Liverpool, my immediate thought was why did he wait until the last hours of the transfer window? If he was unhappy why didn’t he say something at the beginning of the window? Fans paid good money for Torres shirts and some unfortunate ones probably bough them in January, is that fair? I appreciate players have careers to think about but surely they have a responsibility to their fan base as well!
Is Torres worth £50 million? Probably not but it seems to be a case of certain billionaires showing other billionaires that they still have a big wallet!
So who were the winners in this round of transfers? Firstly lets consider Darren Bent, 3rd highest goal scorer in the premiership over the last 5 years and sold for a what is now considered a bargain at £18 million. That seems like great business and has scored for Aston Villa already. He has experience and has shown he can score against the big boys.
Next we have Torres, £50 million to Chelsea, has been out of form for a good season now and prone to injury, wasn’t fit in the World Cup and it showed and hasn’t fired for Liverpool, but still considered the best out there.
Then we have Liverpool, the club with financial pressure, a striker that wants out, so they sell for £50 million and buy a striker for £35 million that has very little premier league experience, even less international experience and has outside issues with the courts. I think Liverpool did the right thing in selling Torres but to spend so much on someone that might or might not make it at top level seems slightly risky – other players have done well in the Championship and not stepped up to the Premiership, for me the second season for a striker is important, being unknown for a season is one thing but the second time around coaches will have analysed the player and worked out the strengths and weaknesses and will use that to try and stamp out the presence of a player. The best players still succeed but many fail.
And finally we have Newcastle, when Alan Pardew arrived he stated Carroll was discussed before his appointment and would not be sold. In the transfer window again we were told day after day by Pardew that Carroll was not for sale at any price, and in the end the Geordie fans were again sold down the river by Mike Ashley. Mr Ashley is probably smiling as he counts his cash but unfortunately Pardew can’t play a bag of cash up front at the weekend! So Chelsea have a new player, Liverpool sell and sign a new player and Newcastle have cash.  Although Newcastle have cash and probably got way above the true value of Carroll I fear that they will come out of this in the worst position. They always seem to get themselves sorted and make some progress then shoot themselves in the foot. They could have sold Carroll in the summer and found a replacement, but surely if the powers that be were always going to sell Carroll if the price was right why hadn’t a replacement been lined up? Why weren’t these so clever business people thinking ahead and planning for this exact eventuality – Liverpool did, maybe thats the King Kenny influence which they so badly needed!
Last night proved an interesting night with lots of fixtures up and down the land, my Yankee returned 3 results, the one i missed was Tranmere Vs Rochdale where I had gone for Rochdale, Tranmere scored in the 4th minute and Rochdale equalised in the 95th minute! I wonder what happened in between! So i returned a small profit which brings some welcome relief after a run of bad weeks.
I will post my fixture selections later in the week.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Martin – congratulations on the new-look site. Whilst the format has changed, it’s reassuring to read your continued weekly commentary on the recent trials and tribulations in football at the moment. It’s amazing to think that only eight years ago, when the January transfer window was first opened in the 2002/03 season, we were all getting extremely excited about the big money signings of Chris Riggott, Malcolm Christie and Michael Ricketts. Well, Middlesbrough fans were anyway.

    The combined cost of the three players was £8.5m, but they were by no means the only ‘high profile’ purchases that month. Cash-strapped Leeds were busy clearing their debts by selling Robbie Fowler to Manchester City for £6m and Jonathan Woodgate also left Elland Road and headed to St. James Park for £9m. Incidentally, he has only played 132 league games over the past eight years since – as many as that, I hear you cry?!

    There was money sloshing around even in those days, but what a difference a short space of time can make. £50m for Fernando Torres and £35m for Andy Carroll represents a huge outlay (and gamble) for both Chelsea and Liverpool, but January transfer window history could clearly teach both clubs a salutary lesson. Maybe the outlay on a tried and trusted striker can bring a modicum of success at times, however Carlo Ancelotti should note that Fowler hardly pulled up any trees after his big money move. Neither too did Woodgate for that matter.
    And then of course we come to the signing of the striker described using those overly used words, ‘bags of potential’. That is, of course, exactly what Liverpool’s record signing Carroll represents, but just speak to ‘Borough fans and ask them if either Christie or Ricketts’ potential was ever reached, considering the sizable outlay on them both. Strangely and similarly to Carroll, Ricketts also had one England cap to his name at the time of his big money move.

    So in terms of cash outlay, the two transfer windows simply cannot compare, however Messers Ancelotti and Dalgleish may just want to take note from the lessons of past footballing extravagance, albeit eight years ago. Certainly the latter will doubtless not need reminding that as January 2003 drew to a close, Liverpool's decline continued as they occupied eighth place, deepening fears that a side looking all set for title glory might not even qualify for the UEFA Cup. Does this sound familiar, Kenny?