My Two Hundred Dinars: The Footballing Christmas

Posted on September 3, 2013

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For whatever reason, the footballing transfer window extends a few weeks into the season, coming to a close at the very beginning of September. Why it extends into the season, heck, why it ends at all, is beyond me, but there we go. In these days of big money and razzmatazz, Sky Sports did their usual job of going positively batpoop about the whole thing, resulting in a days worth of programming and visiting reporters at stadiums backed by some very sad people with little excitement in their lives. But my opinion of them is irrelevant, what is more important are the actual transfers. Let’s have a look at some of them (or lack of, in some cases).

The biggest, most expensive final day deal was Arsenal’s £42.4m signing of Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid. Gunners fans had been clamoring for a big name signing all summer, but even the most hardened of Gooner would have maybe considered a player of Ozil’s quality just out of reach. The squad still seems brittle though, and the increasingly schizophrenic opinion of manager Arsene Wenger will go through many more ups and down. Still, Ozil’s arrival is a much needed boost for Arsenal, especially with neighbors Tottenham seemingly spending money at will. By the way, a government owned club paying £85m for a football player whilst their nation has its largest ever number of unemployed young people? Poor form Real Madrid, poor form Spain.

Up until the signing of Ozil, you could argue that Arsenal fans would be the most frustrated. You can’t argue now that that particular mantle has been left in the palms of the Old Trafford faithful. Sure, Marouane Fellaini is an okay buy, but you can’t argue that even he is David Moyes’ midfield Plan C at best, after missing out on Fabregas and Alcantra. £27.5m seems a lot though, especially when you consider the £23m release clause that expired merely two days before. Bad, bad business.

The opposite of bad business is good business, and that is exactly what Everton have done. Fellaini gone for £4m than he should, and getting £6m for Victor Anichebe? Masterstroke. Add to that James McCarthy coming in from Wigan, a loan deal for Gareth Barry and the same for Romelu Lukaku, a player who really should be having a breakthrough year at Chelsea. Liverpool as a city had a good transfer window, with city rivals Liverpool bringing in real quality. Mamadou Sakho is a football manager legend, to say the least, and Victor Moses is another great loanee. What is going on at Chelsea?

The rest? Stephane Sessegnon will be a quality signing for West Brom and a big loss for Sunderland. It does however add fuel to my choice of Di Canio to win (or lose?) the sake race on our sweepstake. A long season ahead for the Black Cats I think. Crystal Palace got the striker they wanted in Cameron Jerome, and the same can be said for the other two promoted clubs. Peter Odemwingie actually moved this deadline day, to Cardiff City, where as Gedo returned for another stint at Hull.

Really though, this transfer window and deadline day is all about those who didn’t move. Wayne Rooney remains at Manchester United, Luis Suarez still divides opinion at Liverpool. Leighton Baines didn’t follow Moyes to Old Trafford, Tom Ince stays with Papa Paul at Blackpool, and good lord we managed to keep Jordan Rhodes at Ewood Park. So, despite £140m being spent yesterday alone, it wasn’t really as exciting as Jim White would like you to believe.

£24m for Robin van Persie still looks like an insane bargain.

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