Things We’ve Learnt From The Transfer Window

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Things we’ve learnt from the transfer window:  a run down from each club.

Newcastle United Are In For A Long Season

After a poor effort last season, by manager Alan Pardew’s own admission, Newcastle desperately needed to add depth to a squad that lacked quality beyond their starting 11. Unfortunately, this is a target that unpopular new director of football Joe Kinnear has fallen well short of. The addition of French striker Loic Remy on loan from QPR will add firepower to a team that only managed to score 45 goals last season, but much more was needed to prevent another relegation battle. The one consolation from this mess is undoubtedly keeping hold of Yohan Cabaye, who will prove vital in the coming months, but their fifth place finish in the 2011/12 season is starting to feel like a very long time ago.

Franco Baldini Deserves A Statue At White Hart Lane

Clearly bolstered by the monumental transfer fee from Real Madrid for Gareth Bale, Tottenham’s technical director Franco Baldini and chairman Daniel Levy have made several major additions to an already strong squad. With Roberto Soldado, Spurs finally have a world-class striker for their stellar midfield to link up with and former Roma player Erik Lamela will also surely cause trouble. Whether all these new signings will link up together properly is another matter and they will still miss the goals and flair that Bale brought to the clubs, but Andre Villas-Boas’ team clearly don’t plan on missing out on Champions League qualification this season.

West Brom Go Slightly Insane When Under Pressure

It all seemed to be going quite well for Steve Clarke’s, as they looked to build on a strong finish last season by signing experienced striker Nicolas Anelka. Bringing in Uruguayan defender Diego Lugano will also be useful, bringing stability to a relatively average back line. Come deadline day, however, and the usually relaxed nature surrounding the way the club do business had completely vanished. In no universe is third choice Everton striker Anichebe worth £6 million and the decision to let Hull City get so close to signing Shane Long was a massive piece of poor judgement. The last minute attempt to re-sign Lukaku on loan from Chelsea seemed particularly rushed, desperate and out of character for the team. Though they should be safe from any sort of relegation, West Brom might need to re-evaluate their transfer policy in time for January.

The Premier League Is Struggling To Bring In Big Names

Though the overall cost of transfer fees in the Premier League reached new highs this summer, Arsenal’s surprise purchase of Mesut Ozil aside, there was a lack of proper star signings being brought into the Premier League. Arsenal seemed to get pushed back by every other major player in Europe, whilst Manchester United put far too much time and energy bidding for a clearly uninterested Cesc Fabregas. It also won’t have help Jose Mourinho’s sizable ego that Radamel Falcao avoided Chelsea’s advances in favour of recent promoted (and loaded) French side AS Monaco. It’s still the most watched league in the world, but, in terms of attracting the big names, the Premier League is playing catch up. 

Ozil Could Be The Last Piece Of The Puzzle For Arsenal

Arsenal fans could be forgiven for feeling slightly pessimistic about this season, with nearly all of their rivals strengthening significantly and Arsene Wenger’s unwillingness to part with too much cash costing them dearly. This made the team’s record signing of Real Madrid midfielder Mesut Ozil all the more sweet for followers of the club and all the more worrying for anyone else. Having lacked a star man throughout all of last season after the exit of Robin Van Persie, Arsenal finally have a player to build their team around. They ideally could’ve have used another striker to provide cover to Oliver Giroud, but they’ve undoubtedly ended the transfer window much stronger than they started it 

David Moyes Has A Lot Of People To Win Over

If replacing Sir Alex Ferguson, the most successful manager in British football history, wasn’t already the most unenviable of tasks, David Moyes is certainly not having an easy start to his career as manager of Manchester United. His first transfer window in charge of the club was fairly shambolic from start to finish, with their only major addition, Everton’s Marouane Fellani, arriving overpriced and with minutes to spare. Despite calls from fans and players to sell, holding on to Wayne Rooney will turn out to be a good decision in the long haul. It would be unwise to write them at this stage, but the odds of Manchester United retaining their title are beginning to stack up against them. 

The Promoted Clubs Aren’t Going Down Without A Fight

Despite all three clubs being tipped to go straight back down, judging from the ambition that they’ve shown in the transfer window, Cardiff City, Hull City (nothing will ever, EVER make me start calling them ‘Hull City Tigers’) and Crystal Place are all trying their hardest to silence their doubters and beat the drop. Between the three of them, the promoted clubs brought in 30 players. In particularly, Cardiff’s £8 million signing of promising England international Steven Caulker from Tottenham showcases their impressive spending power. Ignoring the disappointment of missing out on Shane Long at the last minute, Hull City can also being proud of getting striker Danny Graham on loan. Though a large proportion of Palace’s signings could be politely described as ‘risky’ (Dwight Gayle? Marouane Chamakh? Really, Ian Holloway?), all three club clearly intend to fight their hardest to stay in the Premier League.

Manchester City Want Their Title Back 

Having ending last season without a manager and desperately needing a new approach after a limp attempt at retaining their title, the 2011/12 champions have again spent big. Adding Alvaro Negredo and Stefan Jovetic to the team will make sure that an overflow of goals will be guaranteed, while Spanish winger Jesus Navas’ lightening pace will already be giving full backs nightmares. Coupled with the clear out of several underperforming players and former Real Madrid manager Manuel Pellegrini coming in to sort out the various issues surrounding the club and Manchester City’s (vast) fortunes are now immensely improving.

Mourinho Wants Evolution, Not Revolution

Despite their sizable resources, no signing Chelsea could have made this summer would have been bigger than the return of The Special One. Wisely, Jose Mourinho has chosen to merely reinforce his squad that he’s inherited, rather than reshape it in his own image. The devious £30 million capture of Shaktar Donetsk’s Willian from under Tottenham’s noses shows the club’s ruthless streak is still alive and well, though the money spent on new signing Samuel Eto’o’s huge wages could have been spent on getting a striker that wasn’t well past his prime. Now that the uncertainty surrounding the futures of key players Juan Mata and David Luiz is over for now, Chelsea will be a force to be reckoned with this season.

Liverpool Will Dominate Merseyside Again

After a few seasons that were defined by poor finishes and even worse signings (don’t expect Stewart Downing to get a warm reception at Anfield when he returns with new club West Ham), it seems like Brendan Rodger may have finally got Liverpool back on track. Getting defender Kolo Toure from Manchester City on a free transfer could be the bargain of the entire window and, though he may remain an unpopular figure for some fans after several damning interviews about the club, Luis Suarez will massively increase Liverpool’s chance’s of European qualification. Everton, on the other hand, will have some adjusting to do, after losing manager long time David Moyes after 13 years. Roberto Martinez has no plans of settling for second best in the Merseyside rivalry, though bringing in three players from his old club Wigan might not be the best approach, considering their relegation last season. Still, signing Chelsea youngster Romelu Lukaku on loan will bring goals and getting £33 million from the sales of Fellani and Anichebe is a fantastic piece of business.

The Title Race Is Now Be Impossible To Predict

At this very early stage, there are six teams could potentially go all the way this year. Will Mourinho’s return put all others to shame? Can Tottenham’s new signings take them to the next level? Could Ozil lead Arsenal to glory? Can David Moyes prove the critics wrong? Will Suarez and Sturridge resurrect the glory days at Liverpool? Could Pellegrini send Manchester City all the way to the title? All these questions and more will be answered in what promises to be a very exciting season indeed.

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