10 top transfer stories and proof that spending money isn’t always the answer

By Tony Attwood

Just as Arsenal have risen from the bottom of the league after three games, right up to the top, so at the same time West Ham United have gone the other way around…

28 August 2021

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 West Ham United 3 2 1 0 10 5 5 7
2 Chelsea 3 2 1 0 6 1 5 7


to the bottom

22 August 2022

18 Leicester City 3 0 1 2 5 8 -3 1
19 Manchester United 2 0 0 2 1 6 -5 0
20 West Ham United 3 0 0 3 0 5 -5 0


What makes this a little bit annoying for West Ham is that this summer they have tried to copy Arsenal’s approach of buying players to get themselves moving up the table.

One year ago Arsenal had a net spend of £125m, while West Ham spent £48.5m.  Figures of course vary depending on who is reporting but both these come from the Guardian whose listing is generally considered quite accurate.

This summer Arsenal had a net spend of £90.7m while West Ham have spent even more at £97.2m.  So the question could be, how are WHU doing in copying the Arsenal approach.

Now we saw in the article When a club wins the first 3 games of the season, does it win the league? that clubs that win the opening games can indeed either go on to win the league, or sink into mid-table oblivion.   But what about clubs that fail at the start of the season, just as West Ham have done so far?

West Ham’s form in the last two seasons when they have come sixth and seventh has only been exceeded once in the Premier League when they came 5th in 1998/9 – a season when they were eighth in the league after three games.

But that could also mean that West Ham are due for another relegation – they haven’t had one of those since 2010/11, but they have finished 10th or below in seven of the last ten seasons.  Which does tend to suggest that simply buying players for lots of money as Arsenal have done in the last two summers is not a guarantee that the club is going to have some success.

But perhaps it is a little disturbing for them given that the last time they went down, after three games the league table looked like this…

Premier League table after close of play on 30 August 2010


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
15 Blackburn Rovers 3 1 0 2 3 4 -1 3
16 West Bromwich Albion 3 1 0 2 1 7 -6 3
17 Wigan Athletic 3 1 0 2 1 10 -9 3
18 Everton 3 0 1 2 1 3 -2 1
19 Stoke City 3 0 0 3 2 6 -4 0
20 West Ham United 3 0 0 3 1 9 -8 0


Indeed if you were to take a look at the full table, you would find that almost half the clubs in the league at that moment in 2010 are no longer there.   So once again we might draw the conclusion that just buying players is not a guarantee of success.    And yet that is what the media is suggesting Arsenal are going on doing – so since these jolly journalists can’t be that thick, they must be doing it on purpose – to try and get Arsenal to go down!

Here are just some of the headlines today (with translations from Journalese into Reality)

Journalese 1:Arsenal ‘ready to make second bid’ for signing – Next few days will be ‘decisive’ after Arteta ‘validated’ profile”.

Translation: Arsenal are ‘ready to sign Youri Tielemans, Leicester midfielder.

Journalese 2: Arsenal is talks to sign £29m star as Arteta targets 6th summer signing – report.

Translation: Arsenal to sign Pedro Neto, Wolverhampton winger.

Journalese 3: Romano claims Arsenal target is ‘one to watch’ as Man Utd are informed of ‘incredible opportunity.

Translation: “Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano is reporting that Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans is‘one to watch’ this summer amid interest from Arsenal.” (Yawn).

Journalese 4: Arsenal now willing to pay £35m to sign ‘outstanding’ player before deadline day.

Translation: Arsenal have identified Wolves winger Pedro Neto as their next target this summer, and are willing to pay £35m for the Portuguese.

Journalese 5: Not just Tielemans: Arsenal midfield ‘options’ also include ‘sensational’ 22 y/o ‘king’.

Translation: Arsenal are prepared to make another offer for Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans this week and also have other targets in mind,

Journalese 6:  New method emerges for Man Utd or Chelsea to clinch underappreciated €20m target; Arsenal bidding for one of three midfielders

Translation: Arsenal will make a second bid for Youri Tielemans in the coming week, while keeping Moises Caicedo and Sandro Tonali in mind as alternatives.

Journalese 7: Arsenal transfer strategy to land Pedro Neto practiced with £34 million deal.

Translation: Arsenal’s priority wide forward target is Wolves’ Pedro Neto. Discussions have taken place now for some time with information of these discussions only just coming to the surface.

Journalese 8: Arsenal’s mystery transfer target revealed: 

Translation: Pedro Neto,

Journalese 9: Old interview confirms Pedro Neto’s thoughts on Arsenal

Translation:When I was a kid, my favourite team in England was Arsenal,”

Journalese 10: Arsenal finally expected to table offer for midfielder target this week

Translation: Arsenal might sign Youri Tielemans this week.

The 2022 edition of the Journalese / English football dictionary will be on sale in all desperate bookshops next week.

6 Replies to “10 top transfer stories and proof that spending money isn’t always the answer”

  1. Kind of interesting to hear commentators at half-time MUNLIV saying Klopp has a big problem because he’s got no one on the bench….what’s wrong ?

  2. 9 players out including Thiago, Jota , Jones , Matip ,Konate , Nunez , The Ox ,Ramsey . Tom Cobley.
    and didn’t Rashford’s winner look offside

  3. Rashford’s goal was more offside than Jesus’ disallowed effort on Saturday.

    Tuchel has been charged by the FA for questioning the integrity of the referee after Chelsea’s game with Tottenham. Tottenham must have friends in high places.

  4. @seismic…agreed AND, though I haven’t seen replays, I was under the impression that in the build up to their first goal that ManU’s right winger was offside, too. The commentator noticed also, and remarked that the flag stayed down.

  5. For the Rashford goal, the issue, as the german commentator explained was that the shoulder of a Pool! player was the relevant reference point for the offside, not his feet.

    Well, the upside is that Pool! just lost the Invincibles trophy again.

  6. @Porter,

    yep, I know. I’m just surprised no deadwood journalist has come out of the woods to pound on Pool!, their coach and their medical team, explaining how their training methods, game strategy, etc were all wrong and a danger to their players the way they did when Arsenal were geting clobered under the lenient eyes of Riley, Dean and Co all over England week in, week out and Mr Wenger was the culprit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *