Sky Sports News didn’t lie to us. It was all happening in the transfer market yesterday. Though for large parts of the day fans of people reporting of not a lot and reporters stood outside empty training grounds would have been in their element, in total over £200m was spent on player transfers in the UK. If you weren’t able to sit glued to the TV all day yesterday, here’s what happened.
Inside the last hour before the window slammed shut there was the hum of activity at Motspur Park. Eider Gudjohnsen signed a loan deal until the conclusion of the season while Eddie Johnson made the trip to Preston where he’ll stay for the next 92 days. Upon the clubs announcement of the later on Facebook the comment ‘Thank God’ was numerous and among the nicest ones posted. While earlier in the day youngster Marsh Brown went on a months long stay to MK Dons. And with Sidwell and Kakuta signing earlier in the window it seems a pretty solid month of business for the club.
Away from the Cottage and that lot down the road were splashing the cash again last night, even after reporting a £71m loss for the year. An interesting figure is that, not including any money spent on paying Ray Wilkins off, the blues have shelled out £35.6m in compensation to coaches and managers over the last four years.
They coughed up £21m for defender Luiz along with a massive £50m for the services of Fernando Torres yesterday. This being the same Torres who, not even a month ago went on record as saying:
“More than ever, we need to stick together…My head is in Liverpool and on helping to save our season. I am a professional and I always fulfill my deals. I haven’t considered leaving, although in football that always depends on the club”
And but three short weeks later had done a complete turn about, and showing all the class you’d expect from his new club said, in a parting shot:
“This is the target for every footballer – to try to play for one of the top clubs in the world and I can do it now. I have to be very, very happy as I am.
Andy Carroll signed a new deal at Newcastle in the Autumn and said at the time:
“I’ve signed a five-year contract and I’m delighted with that. This is the club and the city for me, and always will be. If somebody told me that I could stay here for my whole career then I would be delighted”
With his gaffer saying at the start of last month:
“We will give the answer to any club that contacts us this month that Andy is not for sale. I can’t say strongly enough that Andy will not leave this window”
And then, a week later, reiterating it (Can you see where I’m going with this yet?):
“They can put together whatever they like. He is not for sale. I am going to say it one last time, he is not for sale”
It writes itself really, he upped sticks yesterday and moved when Liverpool, flush with all this cash they’d just received, splashed 35 million of those pounds on him, who’ll be leading their line alongside fellow new boy Suarez.
And although Carroll claims he was forced out of the Norf-east Club Pardew disagrees and feels his head was turned by a big fat old pile of wonga.
“Personally, I’m disappointed. He’s a lovely lad, and I really like him, but it was his decision, and you can’t change that. Was this about football? That’s what you have to ask. I don’t think it was.”
The Barcodes brought in the tasteful Stephen Ireland on loan to bolster their midfield, but missed out on Southampton’s Puncheon, who although starting to make his way to the other St James Park instead found himself at the Sea-side with Blackpool after their offer was guzzumped.
A stalwart of last minute transfer day deals is ‘Arry. And despite him claiming he wasn’t in the market to do any business it turns out he’d tried a trademark last gasp bid for Blackpool’s Charlie Adam, only to be thwarted by the clock.
“Daniel was dealing with it…I think it was about four minutes to 11 and it looked like we were going to pull it off…we needed a couple of signatures from a couple of shareholders and we ran out of time.”
Leaving White Heart Lane was Robbie Keane making a transfer deadline day move for the third consecutive season. This time it was just the short hop to join Wham on loan. On loan? Hang on, what was it ‘Arry said on 14th January?
“I think West Ham wanted to loan Robbie but he’s not for loan, it wouldn’t be a loan anywhere. We couldn’t loan him out again – he went out on loan last year. So if somebody wants him, they’re going to have to buy him now.”
Talking of West Ham, remember when they pulled out of the deal to sign our new number 7 Steve Sidwell back in the middle of the last month? Karren Brady explained why in her Sun column:
“In the end it was decided that, with 13 midfielders and most of the injured about to return, we couldn’t promise him regular first-team football”
Well, the ‘Ammers tied up the deal to sign Middleborough’s midfielder Gary O’Neil last Tuesday and over the weekend Swansea went public with the news they’d rejected an offer for their Midfielder, and ex-White, Darren Pratley from them.
Of course there were loads of others around the country, a full list being here if you fancy a squizz.
In what’s becoming something of a habit for me, other than about twenty minutes of five live straight after the match, I caught absolutely no football results other than ours at all until this morning. So if like me you were busy being a social butterfly or you’re some kind of hermit, I thought I’d be kind and give you the gift of a weekend roundup.
Many of the members of the press have picked up that we as a crowd weren’t too keen on Wolves brand of football, many reproducing a selection of our songs aimed at the team and their gaffer. Many of us feared for Bobby when he went down, especially with the stretcher and oxygen being brought straight over to him. While reports are that he also suffered some ligament damage meaning his spell on the side lines could be extended by a few months, the Daily Star give us hope that he can’t have been that bad as he was busy ordering some Krispy Kreams as he was carried out of the Cottage.
McCarthy didn’t see much wrong with his tactics saying “We tackle properly and we’re going to continue doing the same.” However the 74 fouls they’ve committed in four games so far this season (averaging 19 a game stat fans), and in the last two matches they’ve managed to collect 12 yellow cards and a red card too. No, not much wrong there then Mick.
A gentleman behind me at the Cottage on Saturday said that the referee was so bad he’d consider throwing something at him. Somebody up at The City of Manchester Stadium went one better than considering it and did indeed wazz a bottle at Diouf (surely if there was one player you are allowed to throw things at without retribution he’d be right up there on the short list?) The Guardian certainly felt he may have, at least in some way, brought this on himself:
‘El-Hadji Diouf, reverting to type, was bare-chested as he walked towards the tunnel, the last man on the pitch, waving to the home supporters, getting a kick from their disappointment … a one-man cabaret. Feelings were running high and a plastic bottle was thrown from the Colin Bell Stand. Diouf smiled some more and started kissing his biceps, right then left, whooping with malicious pleasure.’
Over in the East London Slums West Ham are doing all they can to beat Wigan to that coveted bottom relegation spot with a whimpering defeat to Chelsea. Already on minus ten goal difference Bongo Dave is pinning his hopes on the club having a good October to get clear of trouble. Well, they’re pretty much guaranteed the points off us as always I suppose… Looking back it’s hard to see how any of us imagined, with Green in goal, we stood any chance at the World Cup. Even West Ham fans turning on him, and we all know that they are the self appointed best fans in the world…ever!! Perhaps Chelsea bagging another three points and their seventieth goal of the season may go some way to reassuring the BBCs Steve Claridge who mused ‘I was not entirely convinced by Carlo Ancelotti at Chelsea last year.’ Yeah, winning the double at your first attempt would leave you with some doubts…
A team you could file under ‘The Club That Keeps on Giving’ are Spurs. They achieve mediocre success, lose to a team called Young Boys, lose to Wigan, players getting injured left right and centre and then struggle to a draw at West Brom. I’m certainly looking forward to their European (mis)adventure this season.
Seemingly on a one team mission to make me look like a tool, Blackpool notched up another three points. Their ‘keeper Gilkes having a blinder and starting calls for us Fabio to nick him from under the Scotch teams’ noses.
Elsewhere Wigan, who beating is usually like taking pennies off of a dead mans eyes, took a point off of Sunderland, Everton left it late after Rooney bottled it and Bolton got beat by the Arse with the help of another cracking referee.
Possibly the last time I'll use the nickname but... Paul CanJetSki made his Reds debut this weekend.
Konch made his debut for Roy’s Liverpool as they scraped a draw against Brum. Roy seems to have caught the ‘I’m at a big club so am perfectly allowed to contradict myself’ syndrome many of the Big Four© gaffers possess. Talking about Mascerano bullying his way into a move “But it’s a selfish situation when they want something and then expect the club and me to bow down and accept they’re going to get their way.”
Whereas, flash forward a few days, when Konch, who told Sparky he wouldn’t be renewing his contract with us should we not let him move to the Scouse didn’t see too much wrong with it, “he was in the last year of his contract and he made it clear that if they [Fulham] didn’t let him go he wouldn’t sign a new contract. That was useful for us because otherwise it would have been very difficult to get him”
So the transfer window slammed disappointingly shut last night. No major moves of note, and who would have thought Sunderland would have been the big spenders? With a total of around £250m spent by top flight clubs this transfer period this has been the quietest since 2006.
At the Cottage we bode farewell to Konch and waved a friendly hello to Lauri Dalla Valle and Alex Kacaniklic from Liverpools reserve side. Now, the Observer claim that these signing are somewhat of a coup for us, but who exactly are they?
Dalla Velle is a young Finnish forward. He played in the Reds Youth team which reached the final in 2009. According to media reports there was some interest in the past from both Barcelona and Ajax in signing him. For a youth system which has seen both Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen pass through it in recent years, when a Liverpool Academy scout says “I would say he is the most natural finisher in the history of our academy,” you should probably take note. Finnish sports magazine Urheilulehti has named him as “ultimately one of the most talented Finnish players of all time” (and we’ve seen Shefti Kuqi play so that’s high praise!)
Sweedish youngster Kacaniklic joins Fulham. Gel suppliers in Putney rejoyce.
Kancaniklic is a Swedish left winger who also played in the Youth Cup final time in 2009. “Alex is a clever, close dribbler whose delivery of the ball into the box is very good.” said Liverpool Academy Manager John Owens. Promoted from the academy to the reserve side after just two years it was thought on Merseyside that he has what it takes to make the step up to Premiership level football.
Christopher Buchtmann in his Liverpool days.
Who remembers the last hot prospect we got from Liverpool? Christopher Buchtmann. Signed by Roy he was trumpeted as being something special for the future. But as is somewhat traditional with Fulham’s young players he didn’t live up to what was promised. A year younger than Dalla Velle, Buchtmann signed an 18 month contract with us in January this year but left us without much noise being made in the summer for him to return home to Germany. Incidentally, where he plays at Koln alongside former Fulham fans favourite Pierre Wome.
And with that we say goodbye to Paul Konchesky, and my friend Jon (who has a little Bro-mance for him) will shed a little tear.
Don't panic! It's just PK and his serial killer-esque eyes who have departed for Liverpool.
One of the few signings by Lawrie Sanchez to be regarded as decent, Paul signed for the Whites in Summer 2007 from West Ham for £3.25m. His time at the Boleyn was cut short with the arrival of Alan Curbishly with whom he’d had a falling out with at Charlton. But their loss was our gain. After muffing up on his debut up at Hull, Konch went on to make 97 appearances for the club and scored two goals. His first being a thunderbolt of a goal, his first for the club, against his old team West Ham in January 2009.
Paul has moved to join up with Roy up at Liverpool for a fee of between £3-4million pounds on a four year deal. Joining Fulham from Liverpool as part of the deal are youngsters Lauri Dalla Valle and Alex Kacaniklic.
If you believe the hype which started on 1st July on Sky Sports News HD (as I believe it’s now compulsory to call it) Transfer Deadline Day is the most exciting day in the world. Oh yes, even more so than your birthday. And Christmas! If you are unable to be in front of either a computer or their excellent news service all day tomorrow you may as well not bother being alive, because boy o boy, it’s going to be exciting!
They’ve recently refreshed all their graphics with all the bells and whistles and as if Sky Sports ever need an excuse to wheel them out the next 48 hours will be it. If you love text flying across the screen, yellow tickers and graphics showing how many games players have played against goals scored, you my friend are in for a treat!
Charlotte Jackson can barely contain her excitement in HD. And who could blame her?
The news that some squad player from a mid tabled Premiership side joining Rangers or Celtic will receive all the bells and whistles of flashy montages and tables showing their playing history. When the yellow bar pops up on the bottom of the screen and Millie Clode’s face is blocked out by a banner exclaiming BREAKING NEWS (in HD I expect, Sky do love to remind us of it), we’ll all take a sharp intake of breath. Who is it? IS it the Schwarzer to Arsenal/Given to Fulham move happening at last? Is it City spunking another £30million on a mediocre quality player? No. All it’ll be is the ‘amazing’ news that Stoke City’s academy player Zack Foster has joined Northampton Town on a month’s loan. And somehow they’ll spin this out for until Wednesday lunchtime too.
Will Konch depart for Liverpool? We'll find out either way tomorrow! And in HD too!
Every time the window is swinging its way shut it is built up in the press and on telly. And every time it’s a massive let down. When was the last time something amazing happened on transfer deadline day? We’ve traditionally been quiet with perhaps a loan signing going one way or the other at Motspur Park. But elsewhere it’s usually just as underwhelming. And why should this one be any different? This has been one of the quietest transfer periods since the window system started operating, although the papers were expectant over the weekend that we’re in for a real last minute burst of activity. They’ve suggested, Schwarzer and Paul CanJetSki are off from us with Given coming in, and amongst the less interesting clubs they reccon Rodwell, Carlton Cole, Robbie Keane, N-Zogbia and Asamoah Gyan could all have moved before tea time tomorrow.
Well, they’ve certainly hooked me in. Nobody expect a reply to any texts or emails tomorrow. I’ve booked the day off work and I’m looking forward to not moving from the telly all day long, after all Sky have promised me fireworks…