Arsenal – We have money available, but with the news that we have apparently signed the Brazilian forward 16 year old Wellington Silva for £3.5m and seemingly we are about to buy a second young lad from the same country, that might be it. There is still all the talk that we need a new goalkeeper, centre back, two midfield protectors for Cesc, and a couple of forwards… but we are near the top of the league with half the team injured. The financial position is that if there was another Arshavin, Henry, Pires, Walcott or Ramsey available, the money is there – no doubt about that at all. But the Sun says we ain’t buying Chamakh, so that’s that. But the Sun also says we will buy him in August, so now we know. The Mirror says we will buy Dzeko and Gignac.
I think we should start a story that says we will buy Herzog Splangzghy from Serbian side Dynamoz Spartakk. He is a wonderful 20 year old centre forward who can also play in goal.
(Actually do you remember that story the Sun made up about how we signed a Brazilian goalkeeper only when he arrived we discovered he was only the same height as Arshavin… It must be time for another story like that).
Aston Hold Your Head. With an American backer who didn’t do a Liverpool some funding is there. But there is something self-defeating about Villa. Just as that tactic of going down with an ankle tap and then holding your head to get play stopped is ultimately negative, so was the business of putting out a youth team in the UEFA Cup last year. They will probably be in the second group of three (fighting for 4th to 6th place) but it depends how much they really want 4th. I suspect they will sign O’Flannagan from East Belfast Harp Midloathian.
Birmingham Who Owns You? Not Mr Yeung who is the figurehead, but there’s a lot of Chinese money lurking in there somewhere – there was talk of £40m for transfers at one stage, but then it quickly got downgraded. They want to push on, and that means a major set of additions to a squad so they can challenge for 4th to 6th next year. The Mirror reckons it is Michel and Craig Gardner, but the Sun says they want McLean from that high flying outfit Peterborough. I’d go for several Chinese players no one has heard of.
Bluckburn R. No reserves, losing money, half empty ground. Sell, pay off some debt, and leave a few pennies to buy an unknown motorcyclist from the Virgin Islands. As about to sign the Torquay United reserve coach (that is the bus, not the man).
Notlob W. No manager – but maybe when they get one he’ll be promised a few pounds. The funny thing is they got rid of the manager because he was too negative. And this the club managed by Allerdyce. Will sign Rotational O’Fowl from Limerick Botticelli.
Plucky Burnley. No money, but the word “plucky” is now officially in the title.
The KGB in Fulham. The whole issue is totally confused. All the loan money has become shares owned by one man who could get his money back by slowly selling them. They say they are now debt free, and looking to move into profit by reducing costs including salaries, but that would be contradicted if they went out and bought another ex-Arsenal player by spending another £50m of Mr A’s cash. If they do spend and so have another loss making year, where do they hide that new debt? Does Mr A create another load of shares? Given that 2010 was the year of “breaking even” and the year of being “debt free” it would seem a curious moment to spend a lot. And the manager said they would spend nothing, which presumably means spending £10bn. Expect them to buy four Italian refs.
Ever “what gives you the right to turn down our planning application” ton. Losing money, no reserves, planning application for building flats on the old training ground turned down, planning application for new stadium turned down, relationship with council a total PR disaster, they are broke and going nowhere, and now have the great idea of asking the council to support them in finding a new ground. Will probably now try and buy the council.
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Fulham Al Fayed. If the owner wants to put money in he could, and apparently Harrods did rather well out of the Boxing Day sales, but I suspect he is knocked out with what Roy Hodgson has done. In fact I’ve got no problem in admiring what Hodgson has done. Might buy that guy from Roma, I’d tell you who it was (cos he played against them in the Europa and I watched it) but I have forgotten his name.
Hull Spitty. Totally in debt, bust, broke and out of their depth. They are sinking fast and not only can’t survive in the EPL they might not survive much longer at all. But the Sun says they will take Man Arab’s Caicedo on loan and then flog him down the pawn brokers.
Liverpoodle. The banks want a big lump of their loan back each year, all the money for the new stadium has long since been spent, no one seems to want to buy the shares and take on the debt, and it really is a two man team. They certainly don’t have a penny to buy anyone unless they can sell or get a new source of cash, although the Sun says they are going to sign van Nistelrooy, and the Telegraph adds Rodrigez from Ath Madrid. The full crisis won’t come until they have a year without entry into the Champs League. If that is next year, then they are in really deep trouble. Oh yes and they are going to buy Thierry Henry.
Still a big year for anniversaries for them. 20 years since winning the league, 25 years since Heysal. Will probably buy 10 journalists to keep both stories out of the press.
Manchester Arab. The last manager was a disaster, the way the club runs its affairs is a disaster, the squad is a mishmash, and the new manager might not be quite as good as is thought (given the way in which he won his 3 Italian championships). But they have money to burn. “If it moves, buy it,” is the motto, although even this might be broken if they buy our Sol, who I loved as a player but is now by all accounts slowing down.
Anyway the Excess says they will sign him and Subotic, and Upson. But you have to admire any club that can make Mark Hughes “manage” (I use the word lightly) a match, knowing that as soon as it is over he will be sacked. Nice one. They might buy the whole Rangers team, as they are in a worse state than Portsmouth, what with the bank already running the show.
Manchester IOU. Huge crisis in defence with everyone injured (so its not just us that has that problem) and Sur Alex F Wurd saying he won’t spend, probably because the lenders are getting a bit fed up not getting any interest paid on their debts. As long as Sur A is still there he might bully some more cash out of the owners, but the fact that even he could not get his hands on the money from C Ronaldo suggests that even his screaming ranting and raving might not make money available.
Apparently they are going to sell Rooney to Real Madrid (The Star)
Portsmouth Arrest Warrant. Arry’s being investigated on financial matters. Storrie’s being investigated. The club is being investigated. The last owner but one is being investigated. The players are not being paid on time. The club is not allowed to buy anyone anyway because they haven’t paid for the last load of transfers. The owner has never been near the club. Is this all a coincidence?
All these people proclaim their innocence and I have no evidence to suggest anything otherwise. But as a club Portsmouth has gone, and the best they can hope for is minus 10 points in the Championship next year. According to the Guardian they are now offering the players’ internal organs for sale in order to raise some cash. Plus Kanu’s soul. Football Rumours says that they are about to be bought by an Indian Karaoke billionaire.
Stoke Throw. No money anywhere. And if Delap breaks his arm they have no tactic either. Will buy the Olympic Javanese juvenile javelin champion. (Is there a word for champion that starts with a j?)
Steve Bruce’s Sunderland. I think we have to admit that like Hodgson Bruce is a good manager, who also seems to conduct himself decently, and get his team to work miracles. I don’t know where Nial Q keeps getting the dosh from but there is probably more available. Maybe he could lend me a fiver?
The Tiny Totts. Arry will always buy and buy and buy, until someone stops him, but now even the eternally spending Totts with their eternal profits declared year after year, seem to have had enough. But still the Excess has them buying Micah Richards. Also having seen Arsenal buy Brazilians the Totts will copy, and the Times has them buying Sandro.
They are at their highest position in the league since the Battle of Trafalgar, so you’d expect a club that has bought and bought and bought to give it one more heave-ho to get into 4th spot. Yet actually the top dogs are saying “no more purchases.” Something odd going on, so no change there.
West Iceland Untidy. Total bankruptcy. They owe everyone money, their owners owe everyone money, assets are frozen (which when you think which country owns the bank that owns the club is slightly amusing) and they are dead in the glacier. In a sense I feel sorry for Zola because he always seems a decent guy and he certainly doesn’t deserve a club as dreadful as Three Stops from Barking.
Wigan (anyone got a nickname for Wigan?) They claim to have a couple of pounds to spend, but I can’t imagine where it comes from.
Wolverhampton Wobbleyou. As the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy said of Earth: “Mostly harmless.”
So all in all this could be the quietest transfer window ever
Read MAKING THE ARSENAL. It’s jolly good.
(c) Tony Attwood 2010
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