With the January Premiership Transfer window a thing of the past, and a few days under our belt to evaluate the various fatal errors of judgment our clubs made, we thought it a good time to start telling the professionals what they did wrong. Below is a full list of all the Ins and Outs of January along with our opinions and a very unscientific and grading system. And remember, a “C” is “average” not “crap” as you were told in school.
And, of course, we want your opinion:
1) Club you support
2) How did your club do this window?
3) What grade would you give your club?
Grade: undisclosed (let’s see how they like it)
Stars&Stripes says Clint Dempsey is first class
Larsson is easily the best signing in the whole window. Easily. Not only because United needed him, not only because he’s a top striker, but mostly because no one else thought to ask. Fergie loses a point for bidding 20 million on Overrated Hargreaves (United need to fire all their scouts if they can’t find a player to do dirty work for less than 20 million), but gains a point for not increasing the bid when it was rejected.
Bit of a dead wood clear out at Boro this January, with Ugo Ehiogu and the Romford Pele both being cut loose, and Massimo “most disappointing striker named after a pasta shape” Maccarone going on an all expenses paid one way trip to Siena. Mathematically that’s a bad deal, as he cost Â£8million plus all those years of wages and Boro get nothing in return. But his departures could be a symbolic end to Boro’s bad old ways where they overpaid for second-rate stars.
It’s easy to look at the Toon’s current team and think it needs strengthening but that’s forgetting they have an entire teams worth of players nursing injuries. Giuseppe Rossi never really got a chance so probably best for everyone that he was on his way (Man Utd have now loaned him out to Parma). Oguchi Onyewu is exactly the sort of big no-nonsense central defender Newcastle have needed for, ooh, about ten years now. He’s sort of like an American Sol Campbell, only without all the mental problems and sillier hair.
Harry Redknapp’s always been good at getting himself out of trouble with the transfer window (remember last season?) but what to do when his team are already flying high? Fernandes had to go thanks to his insane loan deal, but there was still time to add some extra quality and ensure Pompey qualify for Europe. But who to sign? Why, Djimi Traore of course! Wait, that can’t be right… The loss of Fernandes and the addition of Traore mean Portsmouth have a worse squad in February than they did in January. In fact, signing Djimi Traore should guarantee any transfer window a big fat “F”. So here it is.
No harm in going back to unofficial feeder club Cork City one more time for Alan Bennett, and we’ve heard Greg Halford is decent. Not sure if Michael Duberry’s got what it takes any more, but Steve Coppell’s no fool. Since everyone’s unproven, Reading get a shrug of the shoulders and an ‘eh…’.
Busy busy busy. Warnock has cleared out the Championship players who couldn’t cut in the Prem, and replaced them with Championship players who may or may not be able to cut it in the Prem. Only time will tell, but we suspect Stead’s glut of goals for Blackburn were a fluke.
For the 900th window in a row, Spurs don’t bother with that left winger. The list of players leaving is better than the list of players coming in, so regardless of who Tottenham still have their squad is weaker.
We’re going to look at this as meaning Watford are resigned to going down. That in mind, auctioning Ashley Young off for Â£9.65million is good business. But without him, and with Marlon King injured and no quality strikers brought in (all respect to Steve Kabba), all hope is lost.
West Ham United
Well, the squad needed freshening up, and Curbs has definitely done that. But in hindsight the signings have two distinct odours. There’s definitely an air of “this is the first time I’ve had money to spend” about the way Curbs threw cash at a greedy Lucas Neill, and a distinct stench of panic buying about paying big money for Matthew Upson just before the window closed. So he gets an A for the players that have joined to help stave off relegation, but loses points for the lack of savvy with which the window was conducted – including that rumoured 18 million bid for Bent.
Wigan are in trouble, no doubt about that. Emile Heskey just doesn’t have the firepower to stave off relegation, but Julius Agahowa and his superfast piston legs might just have what it takes. He also joins fellow Nigerian Obafemi Martins as the two Oldest Young Men in the league, if Agahowa turns out anywhere near as good Wigan might just stay up after all.
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