All the dodgy doings you might have missed on deadline day

By Tony Attwood

I’ll come to the dodgy and indeed the very very dodgy in a moment, but first, a headline from the Daily Telegraph.  “Arsene Wenger failed to land a single player before the window shut – despite links to a host of stars across Europe.”

Yes, well, considering that Mr Wenger had already signed two players, had said that he was not going to sign anyone else unless someone unexpectedly came on the phone with a must-have offer, and the fact that we have recently achieved the equivalent of two new signings with Bellerin and Coquelin, and have picked out another very interesting up and coming in Akpom, the recent months haven’t actually been that bad for us.  Oh yes and we bought Alexis in the summer.  But still, the Telegraph can’t resist.

But now, let’s do the dubious business of the week.

West Ham United told Senegal that Diafra Sakho was injured and so couldn’t go to the Africa Cup of Nations, but then he had a miraculous recovery and played on 25 January in the FA Cup.  People are upset.

I get the feeling West Ham think they can do anything, and certainly their trick of getting the Olympic Stadium for £15m is quite a reason to think that way.  When you consider the office of the London Mayor put in a vast sum of tax payers money, Newham Council loaned £40m of tax payers money and around £20m of tax payers money came from the government committee that finds uses for Olympic they have done ok.  The original stadium itself was paid for by… UK taxpayers.

Building the stadium cost £517,000,000.  That was paid for by… the British taxpayer.

So, pull of that load of tricks and yes you might think you can walk on water.

Senegal told Fifa about their man and Fifa cried foul.   Under the rules the Fifa Players’ Status Committee has to request the association to which the club belongs to declare any match(es) in which the player took part to have been lost by the club concerned.”  WHU would get kicked out the FA Cup.

West Ham argue that Sakho could not participate at the Nations Cup because his back injury made it impossible for him to get on an aeroplane. But seemingly a six hour round trip in a car to play in the FA Cup was ok. Senegal call this behaviour arrogant and insulting.  We call it West Ham.

WHU have made matters worse by saying that their player’s injury was actually caused by medical maltreatment by the Senegalese medical team last time he played for them.  They don’t like that.

Moving on, on transfer deadline day five players moved on loan from Newcastle to Rangers, increasing the feeling that Rangers is now the nursery club of Newcastle United

Former England Under-20 midfielder Gael Bigirimana, Midfielder Haris Vuckic, Swiss defender Kevin Mbabu, English defender Remie Streete and Northern Ireland cap Shane Ferguson all went north west.

M Ashley owns Newcastle, and 8.9 per cent of Rangers and is barred from buying more shares, so he keeps giving Rangers interest free loans, in order to keep them afloat, and of course maximise his interest.  In return Rangers are giving another 26 per cent of its club shop business to Sports Direct, who now hold three quarters of that business.  The loans are secured against the club’s training ground and various other properties.   So if Rangers go pop, Ashley gets the property, and Newcastle get their loan players back.

And here’s another.  Remember Alexander Hleb?    One of a number of players that Arsenal have sold to Barcelona with the player saying, “It was Barcelona – how could I resist?”  This transfer window he left Konyaspor (who cancelled his contract) and went to the Turkish team Genclerbirligi SK.

He played for us 130 times before moving in 2008 but the deal never really worked for him.  He played just 19 league games for Barcelona before moving to Stuggart, then onto the almighty Birmingham City, Wolfsburg, Krulia Sovetov, BATE and then on to Turkey.

In 2009 he said, as we’ve published before, “Of course I regret leaving Arsenal.   I was playing every week for one of the most exciting sides in Europe… for me, leaving was not a good move.”

So it goes.  But moving on…

In Spain, like Greece, they have a new political order – in Spain the rising power is Podemos.  Spain was given €41bn by the EU to help it sort itself out, but sorting itself out it is not, as Barcelona and Real Mad continue spending other people’s money as fast as ever.  But maybe not for ever.

The European Commission is still looking into illegal funding to Real Mad from Madrid City Council concerning the land swap we’ve mentioned here many times before and now we hear an EC decision is pending.  If Podemos wins the forthcoming city council elections it says it will cancel the deal, irrespective of what the EC says, as the land swap was palpably not good news for tax payers.

There’s not been too much about this in the UK papers, any more than there was about Greece’s change of political style until it happened, largely because UK papers like the old order and find it a bit too confusing to think that we too have our own new order party in England – the Greens.  Man City and Chelsea might look on in some concern if they ever got into power here.

No old establishment political party would take on Real Mad because it has fans all over Spain.  It is like a government on its own.  But Real Mad’s ability to avoid paying tax makes many other people angry, and the simple fact is that more people either hate Real Mad or don’t care about them, than support them.  That is true of every team.  So the new political boys are starting to stand up.

What Real Mad and the council did was a land swap in which in which two wholly different parcels of land worth wildly different amounts of money were “exchanged”.

If the deal is declared illegal Real Mad will lose totally; they’ll get nothing back.  If the new comer political party takes power in Spain, as the new boys did in Greece, they too could attack Real Mad whose methodology is simple: the top players signed for the top fee and paid the top wages, lowest possible tax (if any).

The political dimension however is that unemployment is 25% and that is where the special treatment of Real Mad and Barcelona starts to look not just dodgy but socially appalling.

None of the old political outfits will ever challenge Real Mad and Barcelona, but the EC and/or Podemos could.  And that could be most interesting.

Anniversary of the day

  • 3 February 1996: Arsenal 1 Coventry 1 meant four wins in 15 in the Rioch year.  In the 11 games ending with this match Arsenal had scored 12 goals.  The contrast between this regime and the year that followed was stark indeed.

All the anniversaries of each day are published on our home page

Classic untold

How the press let us all down by failing to expose the FA for what it is

What are they smoking at FA hq?


26 Replies to “All the dodgy doings you might have missed on deadline day”

  1. OT but very funny.
    Google ‘dodgy’ and lo and behold you get…..
    ‘Spurs’ dodgy defence had thrown away a 2-0 lead’
    Same on Oxford Dictionaries.

  2. Speaking of Hleb… I don’t know if that has been mentioned before but he is/was ambidextrous (I saw him taking corners with either foot). One of the signings that I was mostly excited about.

  3. Previously Licadisical and now Doggy – 2:0 to the spurs indeed. Well it will be good to follow the Real story till it hatches

  4. Samrat,
    “is there any insight as to how chelsky keep selling players at an inflated price?”

    I have also thought the price of some of the chavs sales seemed odd to say the least.

    Based on nothing other than a hunch I would imagine the Russian has a hand in this somewhere.

  5. Please can you explain how Chelsea manage to obtain such high prices for the players that they sell. Probably difficult to know for sure but I would love to see some theories.

  6. Walter and Mrs B,

    Come on, come on – I’m chomping at the bit to read about your travel and experiences regarding your trip to Arsenal. Snippets from the group you travelled with would also be welcome. Photos, testimonials – come on, hurry.

    I don’t mind if you dissect it into multiple articles, but I want it now!
    Pretty please.

    Please excuse me, Tony.

  7. Whether or not Chelsea’s sales are ‘inflated’ (either on paper or reality) we may discover over time. One thing is certain – they are now firmly set on the path of recycling the revenues, now declared illegal by FFP, in the classic money-laundering style.
    They cannot buy without selling for at least as much, using amortisation (perfectly reasonably) to be able to register ‘profits’ or at least a movement towards self sufficiency promised five years ago.
    The fact that they are now considering changes to Stamford Bridge – declared as uneconomic by them some years ago – shows how much change to their business plan they have been forced into. They are certainly capable of making it work but others who are also trying to redevelop stadia seem to be finding player turnover and cost cutting a far more difficult thing to achieve. Getting the seller, buyer and player all in agreement about a move seems a lot more difficult for Liverpool and Spurs.

  8. Sakho has already missed the Liverpool game, probably the United game, but I get the feeling his suspension will be over probably when they face us or Chelsea the week before.

    OT: Not exactly transfer related, but the Independent, Express, Daily Star, and the Mirror all reporting that Chuba Akpom has signed a 4 year extension or is very close to. I hope it’s true, he looks like a great young talent!

  9. Jerry
    It is also widely reported that Coquelin has agreed a new contract and it will be signed soon. To get both him and Akpom signed up would be good news indeed.

  10. Tony,
    With the “socialists” being exposed as frauds, most notably in France, Syriza and Podemos take us back to where the real left should be.
    They call them the “radical left” but they are rather the “progressive left” and I hope more of the same happens throughout Europe.

  11. I don’t usually enjoy dabbling in politics but it is interesting to see the ^progressives^ on the left starting to be paid attention to. In North America, the far right fundamentalist extremist Republicans have a false sense of power. However when we look at Hilary Clinton’s numbers against their `best and brightest`, they are easily blown away and she leads their best candidate by 24 points at last reporting.
    In Canada, the right wing conservatives are well behind the Liberals in the polls and if this stays true, the next government here could be a coalition of the New Democratic Party (similar to Labour in the UK) and the Liberals…..which would be a great thing for our country!

  12. Okay, ManU has another FA Cup game to play. I can work with that.

    The end of the season is approaching (we are past half way). There are 15 games remaining. One game in February has been rescheduled, which complicates analysing stuff.

    Chelsea is leading. Leicester is hopeless, and I think relegation is going to be a fight between the bottom 5. Who knows, maybe WBrom and Sunderland are going to tank it and challenge for the bottom? I think CPalace and above is probably going to be okay.

    What does Chelsea have left?

    I am going to say that Chelsea could likely go through the motions and probably pick up 30 points. The teams it has to play which may require more than trivial planning are home to ManU, home to southampton away to Arsenal, home to Liverpool and away to WHam. I think Chelsea could reasonably expect ties in all of those games by parking the bus, except away to Arsenal. So, I’ll guess Chelsea might reasonable expect 31-34 points, to finish 84-87 points. For the 15 games at this point, they are currently +371 on points over those they have to play, and +531 in terms of difference, in goal difference.

  13. Leicester has -221 points versus the teams in the 15 games it has yet to play, and is -254 on goal difference to them. Of the teams thaey have to play, are Chelsea, ManCity, Southampton, Arsenal, Spurs and WHam (6 teams). Just considering teams less than 11 points above them, that are -33 on points and -28 on goal difference (7 teams). They need nominally 23 points to reach safety (40 points), they would probably need to win all 7 of those games. Aston Villa is the only bottom 5 that they don’t have to play in the last 15 games. Let’s assume they tie against the teams that are now bottom 5, and they win against the teams that probably won’t have to fight to avoid relegation. That’s 15 points, to their current 17 is 32. They are going to find 8 points against Newc, Swansea, WHam, Spurs, Arsenal, Southampton, ManCity, Chelsea? It seems unlikely.

  14. Next up is QPR at 19 points, needing +21 to reach “safety”. Who did (almost?) nothing in the transfer window, and whose manager has retired (to get a knee operation).

    The are -196 on points to the teams in the next 15 games, and -290 on goal difference. Restricting things to the teams less than 11 points above them (7), they are -19 points and -42 on goal difference. They have Chelsea, ManCity, Southampton, Arsenal, Spurs, Liverpool, WHam and Newcastle yet to play. Like Leicester, that have 3 or their bottom 5 neighbours to play, and because both sides have to fight, it is hard to predict anything other than draw. If they win the other 4 (from the <11 point critieria), that is 15 points added to their 19, which is 34. Leaving them 6 short to make up against the 8 teams named at the beginning of this paragraph. Their only away games are to ManCity and Liverpool. The presumably easiest games is home to Newcastle (-11 on points, –12 on goal difference). See a win there for QPR? Me neither. To get 6 points, all as ties, it is likely their only losses can be to ManCity and Chelsea.

    None of this is impossible for any team yet, it just doesn't look likely.

  15. Hull I think is paying the price for making it to the FA Cup final last year, and ending up the English team nominated to the Europa League. This probably cost them on the injury front, my hope is that their players learned something from the extra games they played in Europa. Same points as QPR, +5 on the goal difference to them.

    Leicester and QPR only have 8 teams with more than +10 points they have to play in the last 15, Hull has 9. Of the seix in the fighting zone, four are in the bottom 5 (along with themselves). Like QPR, they are looking to find 21 points to get to safety. If from the other 4 at the bottom, they only get ties, that is 4 points. If the other 2 are wins (because they have less to fight for), that would be 10 of the needed 21. So, they are expecting to get 11 points from Chelsea, ManCity, ManU, Southampton, Arsenal, Spurs, Liverpool, Swansea and Stoke. Tying all of those games isn’t enough, they need all ties plus 1 win at a minimum.

  16. Was the individual most affected by Walter’s presence at the match apprentice Taylor? 🙂
    Or can we give the credit to the whole of the Untold review team and Keith Hackett too for all the belated penalties?

    Thanks for sharing

  17. Burnley is occupying the first sopt currently outside the relegation zone, but they don’t have much supporting them. Burnley only has 5 teams less than +11 to them, two of which are in the bottom 3. In their last 15 games they are -213 on points and -317 on goal difference (Hull was -210 on points and -220 on goal difference).

    Of the 10 teams with more than 10 points better points than Burnley has that they have yet to play, they play first through eighth.

    They are in better shape than Hull, in that they only need 20 points, as opposed to Hull’s 21.

  18. Who else is down in the basement? Only Villa, with the worst goal difference in the EPL with 15 games to go.

    To their last 15 game opponents, they are only -156 on points (much better than Burnley or Hull), and they nearly equal Burnley with a difference in goal difference of -304. There are only 7 teams with more than 10 points they have yet to play (Chelsea, ManCity, ManU, Southampton, Spurs, WHam and Swansea). They only need 18 points to find comfort (Burnley needs 20).

    WBrom, Sunderland and Crystal Palace have zero or 1 point advantages on Villa, but they all have demonstrated a significantly better chance of generating goal difference than Villa (or Burnley, QPR, Leicester).

    My guess is that Leicester is gone, and that QPR, Hull, Burnley and Villa are going to fight over which other 2 are going to be relegated.

  19. That is too much data about other teams. Let’s look at The Arsenal.

    The Arsenal is +188 in points to our remaining opponents in the last 15 games, and +326 on goal difference. We have Chelsea, ManU, Spurs, WHam and Liverpool as far as above us, or by some estimate the same as us. We play 4 of the bottom 5 teams, who will be scrapping for whatever they can get, with WBrom on the last day of the season. BY my reconning, we play 6 teams who will end up mid table, and hence “have nothing to play for”. As if that statement is ever true. Supposedly Chelsea only play 5 teams “with nothing to play for”.

  20. Southampton picked this season to start punching above expectations, and they are still here punching. Selling off way more players than expected at the beginning, and doing this well, the entire gang at Southampton should take a bow (not just the players, all the staff, the youth system, the executive). You have done well. Sorry, I am not going to wish this happens in the future, but I am biased.

    Southampton are +192 in points to their last 15 opponents and +347 in goal difference. They have Chelsea, ManCity, Spurs, Liverpool and WHam to play in that group. They have all 5 of the teams fighting the relegation battle. Hence, they only play 5 teams “with nothing to play for”.

  21. The press has been saying for a while that ManU are contenders for the EPL title. Today, with them beating Cambridge in their FA Cup replay, many of those “experts” are now saying that ManU has given up on the EPL title and is now going to concentrate on the FA Cup. And maybe Arsenal might pose a challenge. Or Liverpool. Or the tooth fairy.

    Fate has gifted ManU a significant number of points already this season, they are due for a change. In their last 15 games, they are +170 to their opponents on points, and +278 to their opponents on goal difference. For technically being in 3rd place, they are in a much worse position than Southampton and Arsenal.

  22. ManCity is +284 on points and +394 on goal differenceover their remaining opponents. They play all 5 of the bottom 5. They play 5 teams “with nothing to play for”. They play ManU, Southampton, Spurs, Liverpool and WHam.

    The 284/394 is significantly better than Arsenal’s 188/326. But, Arsenal just showed the league, how to play ManCity. And for the lower teams (and Moaninho), park the bus is always an option. And there seems to be a Toure sized hole in their midfield.

    My inclination is that Arsenal gets about 36 of the remaining 45, I can reasonably imagine/hope 40-42. Getting 42 would give us 84. And I am guessing that Chelsea gets 84-87. I think it unlikely we win the EPL this year. I think we have a reasonable chance at second. I think Top-4 is very likely.

    I would still classify 4th as a successful season. And maybe something clues the press and the FA into the idea that PGMO is trying to warp the system, and perhaps next year is a level playing field for the EPL.

    The press has already declared ManU winners of the FA Cup. It would be nice to see Arsenal finish higher than ManU in the FA Cup as well, and if that means winning it, so be it. If it is to be close, I would just as soon see Arsenal play ManU in the final, as I really don’t like what appearing in the FA Cup final did to Hull. They never had the squad for it, and they got burned.

    And we still need to see out this Champion’s League season.

  23. Just in case I haven’t created enough disturbance 🙂 I am going to try my take on the Christmas Salt Beef recipe.

    I bought an orange, and relieved it of its zest. I added that zest to about 3/4 kg of “berry sugar” and sealed the jar. The zest has some moisture (and some organic liquids), and so it will try to turn into a block of solid sugar if left alone. So, every once in a while I shake the thing. This is to make the orange zest sugar.

    I bought a head of celery and some salt. I finally cut most of the celery, and sprinkled salt (from the nominally 1 cup the recipe calls for). This is in recognition that the recipe calls for optional prague salt, which is a mixture of nitrate/nitrite and table salt. It will take a while for the salt to extract most of the juice from the sliced celery.

    At some point, I will have my (salted) celery juice, salt, and orange zest sugar. At that point, I need to find beef brisket. Some places in Canada sell brisket, Grande Prairie doesn’t seem to have any. I will ask the local butcher, if not perhaps the local slaughterhouse will have some. Mind you, I may not have beef brisket, it could be buffalo, elk, deer or something else.

    I am supposed to cure the sliced brisket for a week.

    I’ll let you know when I get there.


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