With snow covering most of England the usual has happened and the entire country has more or less ground to a halt at the first sign of some slightly unusual weather (God knows what would happen if some really severe storms hit). As a result of no public transport in most parts of the country, the already busy road network overloaded, which means the transfer window has been slightly extended so clubs can complete medicals etc. provided they had sent the relevant paperwork to the FA and Premier League before the 5pm (GMT) deadline.
So there may be more transfers still to be announced (Arshavin?) but here’s my take on the winners and losers of the transfer window at the time of writing.
Manchester City: Yes the missed out on Kaka but I’ve no problem with them thinking big. They also missed out on Santa Cruz but they did improve their squad. They overpaid for Wayne Bridge but he’s a definite upgrade for them and Craig Bellamy and Nigel de Jong will do well. Getting rid of Jo to Everton on loan also improves the squad!
West Brom: Upgraded in positions that needed it badly. Jay Simpson may well be the catalyst they need to escape relegation. Marc-Antoine Fortune looks like he’s a good player and they signed two more players in the last two days on loan.
Stoke: Needed another threat up front and James Beattie definitely fits the bill. Matthew Etherington, if he can overcome his off-pitch problems is a dangerous winger who can provide Beattie and Fuller with the service that will go a long way to staving off relegation.
Tottenham: Splashed the cash on Defoe, then Keane. It will be interesting next season when both are fit as they are very similar players that I’m not sure will play well together. Wilson Palacios is a good signing and Carlo Cudicini is an upgrade on Gomes in goal.
Bolton and Wigan deserve an honourable mention as they have also made improvements to their squad.
Portsmouth: Lost Diarra and Defoe and with the club reportedly in financial trouble, the money raised from these sales was not available for new players. Pompey are in a real tailspin and look likely to go down based on current performances.While Jermaine Pennant may turn out to be a good signing, Angelos Bassinas is not the player they need and they have only signed two unknown quantities in Gekas and Pele to replace Defoe and Diarra. Pompey are in real trouble and Tony Adams may be the next manager to go.
Liverpool: Let me get this straight. You buy a striker for 20 million, treat him like crap then sell him 6 months later for 12m? Then don’t replace him? The deal may have been a bit more palatable if Aaron Lennon had been thrown in to sweeten the deal but this is bad business by Liverpool. If Torres re-injures his hamstring (remember, there’s a Spain game soon), Liverpool’s title hopes will rest on the goalscoring prowess of Dirk Kuyt (not scored since November) and David N’Gog (scored 2 career goals). Oh.
Newcastle: Kevin Nolan is a good signing and Ryan Taylor will do well (at least he won’t score against them anymore!) but the Toon completely failed to strengthen where it matters, with them losing Michael Owen and Joey Barton to injury and Charles Insomnia in the Ryan Taylor deal. Their defence is poor and their strikeforce contains Shola Ameobi. If that’s not a reason to worry, I don’t know what is!
Tottenham: Managed once again to win and lose at the same time (much like on the pitch!) Jermain Defoe comes, plays well then gets injured, maybe for the season. Whilst they got Keane, they missed out on Quaresma, completely failed to upgrade the circus that is their defence (Pascal Chimbonda is not an upgrade!) and have many players in the squad that they tried to get rid of and failed, leaving their futures uncertain(Bentley, Jenas, Giovani dos Santos, Darren Bent).