Monday, 1 September 2014

Deadline Day Fun!

By far and away the biggest transfer deadline day story; Harry Redknapp, in navigating his way through a path of journalists, did not wind his window down. On the subject of his own wheeler-dealing (hopefully he's not reading this), Fabio Borini is rumoured to be on his way to Loftus Road for a reported £10m from Liverpool. Injury prone? Check. High wages? Check. Over 30? Not by a long shot. The 23-year-old is a good prospect who could yet make it in England, judging by his part in another Houdini act last season at Sunderland. However, with QPR's general dealing remaining exclusively to big names, it remains to be seen whether they will be suited to a relegation battle. Big-money additions, Leroy Fer and Jordan Mutch, are both highly regarded, but both suffered the drop last season. Fer in particular received mixed reviews from Norwich fans on his ability to track back and work hard.

One player who is more than willing to put in the donkey work for the greater good is Danny Welbeck. News of an imminent loan move to Arsenal is being greeted with some howls of derision by some Arsenal fans, who after seeing their club spend an unheard of £40m on Alexis Sanchez, are frustrated at an apparent signing that they feel to be beneath them. How dare they resort to signing a fourth-choice Man United reserve? In reality, it should not be that simple. Welbeck has always had the utmost potential, and has been unfairly regarded as an unsexy English clogger. He has an excellent burst of pace, and possesses the kind of explosive attributes that the always silky-smooth Arsenal attack misses in the absence of Theo Walcott (not that Welbeck would ever catch Walcott in a 100m race). Adding that to Sanchez, Sanogo, and Podolski (with Giroud and Walcott still to return), Arsene Wenger would be happy with his options, given the formidable array of attacking midfielders they possess. Big names and big money do not always equal success.

Having said that, Man United's summer spending is beginning to resemble a child blindly (no pun intended) swinging at a bountiful pinata. Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria, Daley Blind, Ander Herrera, and now Falcao, must be leaving David Moyes seething with jealousy, despite the glee he must at least somewhat be feeling at Louis Van Gaal's underwhelming results to date. The Dutchman's selection headaches will be reaching migraine proportions when he jots the names down on paper, but at least Tom Cleverley looks to be one name he can rub off the list of mediocrity, as he seems to be close to a move to Aston Villa.

As a Newcastle fan, what began as an exciting summer sprinkled with actual signings rather than know-nothing directors of football, has fizzled out into one that still requires further reinforcements, particularly at the back. Mike Williamson has performed admirably at times, but should not be a first-choice any higher than the relegation battlers. Steven Taylor's career at the top level has passed him by, and captain Coloccini is beginning to show his lack of pace as he approaches his mid-30s. Alan Pardew is past his sell-by-date and working for an owner who doesn't care about the club beyond its useful function as a cash cow. The only progress from last season will be in a downward direction unless serious changes happen at both board and dug-out level.

With three hours to go at the time of writing, there is still the chance of Wenger ensnaring Messi, as the Barca galactico is taking part in a charity match that the Frenchman is attending. In Wenger We Trust. Until he doesn't spend a trillion billion pounds on a striker that is. Happy deadline day!

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