Thursday, September 1, 2011

Transfer Window Winners and Losers

I'm not really sure I've ever seen such a compelling transfer window. And by "compelling" I mean "can't-take-your-eyes-off-it-train-wreck." It started slowly and then gradually clicked up through the gears until it went plaid (that's a Spaceballs're welcome). I couldn't possibly sort through all of the moves, but there are a few teams and individuals who seem to be decided winners and decided losers. Let's start with the winners, shall we?


1. Owen Hargreaves - How does he keep doing it? I have no idea. Robbie Keane has to bugger off to the MLS because he just doesn't score that often anymore, but Owen Hargreaves gets signed by Manchester City even though he's literally made of pipe cleaners and tin foil. I can't wrap my mind around it. His medical at City must have been a song and dance number in which he routinely executes knee unfriendly movements to ABBA's Take a Chance on Me. Sneaky, sneaky Owen Hargreaves.

2. Chelsea - Chelsea seemed content to cruise through the transfer window with some great signings in Juan Mata and Romelu Lukaku...and then United beat Arsenal 8-2. I have to believe the Raul Meireles signing was an "Oh, shit!" reach for more cover in midfield with some creativity to boot. Still, Chelsea got younger in key positions. Juan Mata is going to be a special player at Stamford Bridge and Romelu Lukaku looks like Didier Drogba and a T1000 had a kid. Scary.

3. Manchester City - I don't really know what to say here. My head was spinning after City brought in Aguero and then they added Samir Nasri. City are like a real life Fantasy side now. Or maybe like that side your buddy has on FIFA '12 because he's been playing it way too long and has somehow managed to complete unrealistic transaction after unrealistic transaction and now you're on the ass-whooped side of your head-to-head matches and complaining that his team could never really happen. Well, it did.

4. Nicklas Bendtner - Nicklas Bendtner is a winner. Just ask Nicklas Bendtner. Finally, he seems likely to get a chance to score all of the goals Nicklas Bendtner claims Nicklas Bendtner is capable of scoring. Arsenal's pass-the-ball-six-times-in-the-box never seemed well suited to Nicklas Bendtner's game and I fully expect Sunderland to utilize him in more effective ways. And even if Nicklas Bendtner doesn't score all of the goals Nicklas Bendtner says Nicklas Bendtner is capable of scoring, Nicklas Bendtner will still be a winner in Nicklas Bendtner's book.

5. Fulham - Ok, ok, the season is not off to the best start. Let's be real though, at least we're not Arsenal and scoring away from home has never been our strong suit. Fulham made some great moves in the transfer window (namely Pajtim Kasami and Bryan Ruiz), but the best move they made was actually one they didn't make. Apparently, Arsene Wenger came scrambling for players at the last minute and is rumored to have made a bid for Clint Dempsey. Thankfully, Wenger was told to get bent for anything less than $16 million and we hung on to the only player in the side who seems to know how to score in all situations. Thank God.

6. Manchester United - Efficient. Addressed their needs. Signed youth but not projects. Got them in early. Look like a team. In short: Fuck you, United.

7. Bolton - Owen Coyle has quietly assembled a solid team that knows how to play proper football. He's been astute in taking advantage of loan deals on the transfer market, and this window was no exception. Gael Kakuta comes over from Chelsea and has every chance to pull a Daniel Sturridge and showcase his talents at The Reebok. Additionally, as much as I think he's not all that great, David Ngog could prove to be a quality signing for Coyle as well. I never thought he was Liverpool quality, but he could well be a useful player for a side like Bolton. Add to Ngog loan deals for Tuncay Sanli and Dedryck Boyata and Bolton look a very strong side. Also, Stuart Holden and his hair are not too far away from making their return to the pitch. I don't think Stu and his hair are quite to mancrush status yet, but they're getting there.

8. Liverpool - I love what Liverpool have done this transfer window. Adam, Henderson, Downing, Jose Enrique, Coates? Quality. I have to believe selling Meireles was not initially in the plans, but I admire that Dalglish isn't one to hang on to players if they want away. His side look cohesive, confident, and competent. How's that for alliteration?


1. Scott Dann - Really, Scott Dann? Really? Were you so anxious to get out of the Championship that you jumped to sign with a team headed straight back to the Championship? Really, Scott Dann? Please tell me you at least tried to fake an injury at your medical, Scott Dann. I have an image, Scott Dann, of you and Yakubu showing up at the kit man just after signing and sort of sheepishly looking at one another as if to say, "Well, it's come to this." Poor Scott Dann. Poor, poor Scott Dann. But speaking of Yakubu, what in the hell is Blackburn's medical like that Yakubu was deemed fit?!

2. Arsenal - There's no way you can tell me that Arsene Wenger's Master Plan was to wait until the very end of the transfer window and then scramble to sign Yossi Benayoun, Mikel Arteta, and Park Chu-Young. If you do try to tell me that, you're clearly an Arsenal fan and you're clearly just as delusional as you were previous to United waxing the floor with your innards. Yossi is past his sell by date and is clearly whoring himself out to every "Big 4" side in an effort to catch on somewhere...anywhere! Arteta has been a great player, but of the caliber to replace Fabregas? Not at all. Oh, and isn't he a little old for Wenger? Wenger likes his midfielders and French rap starlets significantly younger. And as for Park Chu-Young...well, it's the same as for the other two really. I think they're all useful players, but if I'm an Arsenal fan - And thank Jebus I'm not! - I'm thinking, "This is the answer to our 8-2 ass beating at the hands of United?!"

3. Everton - Royston Drenthe could be an exciting player. Let me rephrase...*ahem*...Royston Drenthe had better be one hell of an exciting player. Arteta and Beckford are gone and in typical Everton fashion, loan deals and small time signings are the order of the day. Remember a few years ago when Everton was set to be the side that broke the "Big 4" choke hold on the Premier League?

4. Wigan - Four words: Worse than last season.

5. Dimitar Berbatov - United clearly don't need your services at the moment. What's that? You scored 20 goals last season? Oh, so you did. Well, that's nice. Enjoy your spot on the bench behind Rooney, Chicharito, and Wellbeck. Talk to Michael Owen. I'm sure you guys can be friends. Patty cake?

6. Luka Modric - Luka is sort of like the guy who tells his girlfriend he's not sure he wants to be with her anymore and encourages a "break." In his mind, said break will see him work his masculine allure on all sorts of smoking hot feral sex goddesses. Women will literally be throwing themselves on him and he may have to go to a massage therapist twice a day to stay fresh for the debauching he's going to do every night. In reality, he spends one lonely night at an Applebee's bar and jacks off to internet porn when he gets home...then calls his girlfriend the next day and pretends nothing happened. "Hey, Baby! I never wanted to really leave...". Yeah you did.

7. Arsene Wenger - This feels a little like the beginning of the end for me. The professor has gone a bit mad scientist. I picture Wenger up in the middle of the night in an attic with "Next Big Thing" articles written about players from years ago. He's' shuffling them around his table a la John Nash from A Beautiful Mind trying to find some secret pattern that will unlock the location of the next Boy Wonder (hint: it's not Yossi Benayoun). Yeah, Arsene is pretty much bat shit crazy.

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