Did Liverpool or Spurs have good windows?

Date published: Thursday 1st September 2016 2:24

Jurgen Klopp Mauricio Pochettino Football365

Send your thoughts to theeditor@football365.com

 

Did Tottenham have a good window?
According to Mr Stead, upgrading a number of your players (and, indeed options) equates to a disappointing Summer. Mr Stead must be a pain at Christmas time.

Let’s have a look, shall we?

Wanyama – the Dier alternative we so clearly lacked last season, and an extra DM to close games or keep it tight against the top teams. Replaces Mason.

Janssen – the Kane alternative we so clearly lacked last season, and an extra CF to affect results late in games or take it to the lesser teams. Replaces no one.

N’Koudou – the pacey forward that we so clearly lacked last season. No telling how he performs, but more highly rated than Clinton N’Jie (who was unavailable and a bit rubbish most of last season anyway).

Sissoko – a powerful and dynamic option either wide, or as an alternative to Mousa Dembele (my suspicion of why we signed him). Has a different set of characteristics from our other players, which is clearly why Pochettino was so keen to sign him.

Pau Lopez – erm… no idea, to be quite honest, but whatevs.

We’ve significantly upgraded Chadli, Mason, Bentaleb and Pritchard, and lost no one we didn’t want to lose. Our squad is far more balanced, with a range of skills and characteristics, offering Pochettino far more flexibility to affect games. Yes, we managed to spend a club record transfer fee and end up with Moussa Sissoko, but the fee is irrelevant without context (although not as irrelevant as Banjo comparing transfer fees of completely different players, and completely ignoring wages/compatibility/position etc).

Pochettino has his own squad, with cover and a variety of options in each position and a very strong bench. It would be greedy to ask for any more than that.
Alex G, THFC (positive net spend for crying out loud!)

 

So Spurs didn’t get Isco, or Meyer, or Damiao, or anyone people consider top (top) footballers. But let me propose something to you, the reader.

Tottenham haven’t been gutted of any starters or good reserves. So, the core remains the same. The supposed deadweight is almost entirely gone (Fazio STILL remains a Tottenham player…just under the guise of a Roma loan deal). The bench has been strengthened to the point that finally the starting eleven may be pushed to their limits.

Last season’s bench was usually composed of: Vorm, Davies/Trippier, Wimmer, Mason, Son, Chadli, Winks/Onomah.

This season’s bench when all players are fit: Vorm, Davies/Trippier, Wimmer, Wanyama, Sissoko, Son/Nkoudou, Janssen

And overall:
GK: Lloris, Vorm, Pau Lopez
RB: Walker, Trippier, (Walker-Peters)
CB: Aldertonghen, Wimmer, CCV
LB: Rose, Davies, (Walker-Peters)
I-MUST-BREAK position: Dier, Wanyama
CM: Dembele, Sissoko, (Winks)
RM/LM: Lamela, Nkoudou, Son
CAM: Alli, Eriksen, Carroll, Onomah
ST: Kane, Janssen, (Shayon Harrison, Kaziah Sterling for the Mickey Mouse Cup?)

From no attacking threat, to USA-end-of-WW2 (okay, big exaggeration, but you see the point?). A minimum of two quality players in each position? Isn’t that the depth we begged for? Is it f***.

Admittedly, I too wished and hoped Levy Claus would leave a shiny, new watch under the tree, but instead he (and his lead reindeer Poch) saw I needed a new work-related items, so they got me that instead.

Sissoko, Nkoudou and Janssen may not be the Rolex we wanted, but they are the belt and shoes we needed.
Matt (Can the first and last 4 games of the season just not count anymore?) Spurs

 

Did Liverpool?
As if it isn’t enough for football fans to have a memory that would make a goldfish blush, now we have our football writers at it, too.

I’m now absolutely convinced that the negative view of Liverpool’s transfer window is based on the timing of his transgers. Did Klopp answer all the questions asked? Nope, absolutely not. Did he improve the squad overall, shedding the fat from several years of bad transfers? Yep, for sure. Will all the signings be a success? Unlikely. Do we need more? Yes (LEFT BACK! LEFT BACK! LEFT BACK!)

But it strikes me that the criticism is actually coming because all the deals were signed, sealed and delivered by July. I wonder if timing had been different, would the wrap up read like this instead?

“Klopp moved fast to pip Tottenham to the signing of Newcastle’s player of the year, Gini Wijnaldum. Alex Manninger raised eyebrows (he’s still playing?) but the addition of Marko Grujic could prove shrewd in the long run.

An uninspiring June paved the way for solid additions in July, filling gaps that Liverpool fans have been crying out for for years: Loris Karius at GK and Joel Matip at CB. For a combined £5m, these could prove to be stellar signings.

But, Klopp saved the big one for the end. A deadline day signing of Sadio Mané for a club record fee? An injection of pace into an attack desperate for it? That’ll do nicely.

More to do, for sure (namely the glaring hole at left back that is sure to be targeted by opponents this season) but for his first summer window, the German can be content.”

It really is all about timing and spin, isn’t it?
Kevin, LFC, Cork

(Ed – Grujic was signed in January, not this summer. Mane wasn’t a record signing. I stated in the piece that their business was actually quite good – Mane and Matip in particular are great signings, and I’ll reserve judgement on Karius – but not signing a left-back is such a huge problem that it turns the whole summer into a negative. You could’ve signed everyone on Deadline Day and my opinion would be no different; James Milner would still be your left-back.)

 

Mario Balotelli is off the Liverpool books, permanently. For that reason alone Liverpool should be in the winner column.

Liverpool have plenty of cover at LB until January. Moreno, Milner, Gomez and Klavan can all play the position to enough degree that it shouldn’t cost us too much.

At the end of day it’s disappointing that Liverpool didn’t address the key weakness but if the right player isn’t available I’d rather we just patch the hole than say, splooge a mountain of money on a player that won’t most likely get the job done either, I’m looking at you Spurs! (seriously though 30 mil for Sissoko lolz)

In the current climate where clubs are paying CRAZY money for players it was important Klopp unloaded the deadwood now. Liverpool got a great return for players that were not up to snuff and they may never have recouped the sum’s they did again.

Place Liverpool in losers column if you want but just remember Klopp signed a new 6 years contract. He will still be at the helm next season and the season after that. The notion of “this is now HIS team” is complete bollocks and written by media who sole concern is to garner clicks.

Thirteen out and seven in. Many of those going on were on BIG wages. Liverpool for the first time in years has money to spend in January to reinforce. As it was pointed out earlier today, Liverpool have actually brought in players who seem to fit what they want to do which is a nice change of pace from the Rodgers era.

I guess we will find out in May whether or not Liverpool were losers in this transfer window, but for now I am satisfied.
Brian (How on earth is Lucas still here? but for once glad he is since he conviently fills that DM spot) LFC

 

Did Everton?
Having read through your Transfer Window Winners and Losers, I do understand why Everton was placed as Losers and the reasons make a lot of sense. But personally I think they belong as Losers more due to chest thumping by the club, exacerbated by the media, than by any actual transfer dealings themselves. The club announced there was money to spend, the media made the jump to rumours of very expensive players and the fans felt significant immediate change could happen.

While I don’t doubt there was interest in the likes of Witsel, Mata, Hart and even Draxler, the high-profile nature of these rumours overshadowed what was realistic for a team that finished 11th last season, despite the cash injection. Sure, a marquee signing would have been nice as a symbol of the club’s intent, but ultimately I think the club were fairly successful in what they could hope to achieve.

You said yourself in your column at the end of last season on what each team need that Everton were in a strange position as any incoming manager wouldn’t necessarily want to change much in what was a strong squad being inherited. The crucial part was the manager. Koeman was a success. The retainment of Lukaku and, to a lesser extent Barkley, was a big win and the scouting staff identified and brought in strong reinforcement in several areas through Gueye, Bolasie and Stekelenburg. The sale of rough diamond Stones to master diamond-cutter Pep and replacing him with hunk of granite Ashley Williams was also a good immediate move toward stability after last season’s defensive shambles. A Newcastle supporting friend of mine also assures me Everton have dodged a bullet with Sissoko, and insists his deadline day antics are the only proof he needs (he’s not very well liked around there).

So yes, I understand the disappointment from Everton fans. But the club’s main mistake was giving the impression there would be a significant and expensive overhaul rather than being realistic in what could be achieved in one summer. Personally I’d rather the money be used for steady and stable progress rather than buying shiny things, and to me it feels like that progress is happening. We’ll see.
Will (In fairness Brahimi would have been nice. Valencia was a bit meh) Wymant, EFC

 

Other winners and losers disagreements
Matt Stead’s Transfer Window Winners and Losers was excellent, but here are the inevitable disagreements.

*Arsenal. OK, Arsene bought a couple of players. But if the addition of outstanding players like Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez hasn’t changed the team’s fortunes much, how will decent but unexceptional players like Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Perez? I admit I haven’t seen Perez play much, but every time I’ve seen Mustafi play for Germany, he’s been the weak link in the defense. Anyone here want to pick Arsenal to finish higher than fourth?

*Jack Wilshere. Yes, he could have gone to a bigger club, and we all agree English players should go abroad more. But this is only a one-year move, and Wilshere has achieved two very important things: 1) assured playing time; 2) a distance from Arsenal’s horrible physio department. If things go right for him, he’ll be in a very good spot at the end of the season, both physically and emotionally.

*Burnley and Hull. Yes, they bought, because they had to. But the quality is mostly underwhelming. For Burnley, Steven Dufour and Jeff Hendrick aren’t bad players, but they can’t carry a midfield. Patrick Bamford has yet to show he belongs in the top division. Jon Flanagan may be useful (I don’t rate him as highly as some), but a fullback isn’t going to keep you from being relegated. For Hull, Dieumerci Mbokani may add depth at striker, but is no better than Abel Hernandez. Ryan Mason looks like the best of the bunch, and the side needs some drive in midfield. But he doesn’t know how to defend yet.

*Chelsea. I have to side with those who think the David Luiz thing is crazy. The mood may be great (the fans have obviously chosen to forgive his absolutely shocking behavior in the second leg of the Chelsea-PSG tie a couple of years ago), but there’s no evidence this is a different player.

*West Brom. Nacer Chadli is a fine addition? Generous.
Peter G, Pennsylvania, USA

 

We saved Dave
Bearing in mind the marquee signings that have arrived at United this summer, there is another huge success as far as our transfer window is concerned which has somewhat slipped under the radar. Whilst we may have brought in some great players and superstars, we’ve also managed to keep hold of our only out and out world class player who’s saved us on countless occasions.

We’ve managed to once again keep hold of the utterly magnificent David de Gea. To me, this is a huge feat. Following the FA cup final last season I was worried that we would never see him in a United shirt again. His head was clearly turned by Real Madrid last year, and regardless of him signing an new deal I thoroughly expected Perez and Madrid to come knocking once again. The fact that we now look to have at least another full season with De Gea saving almost everything is quite excellent!

I like to picture Ed Woodward smashing the f**k out of United’s fax machine once the Pogba deal was completed. Think we had fax machine ‘issues’ last year eh Florentino?
Al Williams

 

Did Wenger cave in to fan pressure?
We are 3 games into the league campaign and Arsenal have 4 points and not 9. I am not saying this is a disaster but should the league come down to a 5 point gap, with Arsenal trailing by 5 but have superior goal difference, you could argue that Arsene has failed.

I think he has just caved into pressure from the fans. If he wasn’t forced to make transfers, he could have done all his business early, given these players the opportunity to play together and maybe just maybe it could end up being the difference.

Anyone agree?
M4RCU5X15, CFC

 

Panic buying
Having read this morning’s mailbox (I take it not many English based readers wrote in! ) and witnessed such differing opinions on who is good and who isn’t and so who had a good transfer market and who didn’t it struck me that there appeared to be a hell a lot of panic buying.

One in particular springs to mind: Luiz. Chelsea need a centre back and I don’t think he fits the bill (as Jay all day states).

Sissoko is another one that fails to impress and seems to have been bought with a rush of blood to the head!

As we knew about the Arsenal targets for a while then they don’t appear as panic buys. Let’s wait and see about Perez shall we because as someone wrote in a comments section the other day : “would anyone have spent 17 million on Vardy a year ago?
Chris, Croydon (still deemed an English town. .I think? ).

 

Jack and Moussa
Jack Wilshere signing for Bournemouth despite interest from reputable European clubs, including Roma & Benfica, summarises everything that is wrong with English football. Surely, a season playing Europa League and competing at the top end of Serie A would benefit a player more than a potential relegation battle or mid table finish in the Prem. Its only a matter of time until the papers conclude that poor-Jack-the-victim has been banished from his boyhood club by those nasty foreigners and can’t get Champions League football as a result, quick to forget he turned down bloody Benfica in the process.

On Sissoko, as much as I’m rooting for a healthy dose of schadenfreude, I think this might be a success for Spurs. The player has a habit of being anonymous for 4 out of 5 games, but I think Spurs will actually drop him for doing so, something Newcastle didn’t seem to comprehend in the teamsheets that worked out so well for them last season.
Mike, NUFC (I spelt Jack’s surname right, right?)

 

The Wilshere myth
Transfer Winners/ Losers – I’m finally calling time on this 6 year myth that Jack Wilshere dominated the Barcelona midfield as a teenager.

I watched the game and remember it pretty clearly. Arsenal were absolutely dominated for the first 70 minutes. During this time they went one down, Barcelona had a clear goal ruled out for offside and Barca had at least 2 one on one chances. Then came the unlikely comeback – a Valdes mistake, and a tame Arshavin goal capped an unlikely but great Arsenal come back. They went on to lose 3-1 at the Nou Camp.

Before the comeback, while Arsenal were being dominated Wilshere stood out as the one player attempting to beat his man, putting his foot in and generally looking the best of a bad bunch.

So one good game and for 6 years he’s the player that dominated Barcelona. Is it any wonder our England players believe their own hype with this type of media hyperbole.
Danny, Blackpool (Let’s all talk about how James Chester dominated Belgium’s golden generation for the next 6 years and how he’s the new Franco Baresi)

 

More on Moussa
A few non-kneejerk thoughts on the signing of Moussa Sissoko…

He’s a versatile, powerful player who can play across the midfield and is dynamic enough to bust straight through teams that defend deep, as evidenced at Euro 2016 and – sporadically – for Newcastle.

But – to be a success Sissoko will have to adopt to Pochettino’s philosophy in terms of work ethic. If he does, he’ll be worth the money. It’s a big IF though, but Poch and Levy obviously thought it was worth the risk.

Newcastle were a car crash for most of his time there and he was not alone in being inconsistent. Perhaps coming to a motivated, committed, harmonious squad could be just what he needs. Poch is pretty good at getting the best out of inconsistent, underperforming players – see Dembele, M.

Oh, and according to reports, the fee is six payments of £5m spread over 5 years, which we stop paying if we ever sell him.

All in all, not as bad as Danny Murphy and Merse would have you believe.

Keep the faith. COYS.
Joe C

 

I agree with Banjo and Tom (great band name) that Sissokho is overpriced, but that’s not the reason I object to the signing.

I used to love playing FIFA until about FIFA 11 or 12 and I can’t stand playing it seriously now, because of the stripped down useless offline modes. Ultimate team is terrible. Live football auctions with disposable virtual cards? I still buy it every year because of mates.

So to bring those two together… When Pochettino put in the bid for Sissokho did he promise him that he would be a star player,  first XI player or squad player?  Because if he’s not ok with being a squad player that’s going to be bad for his morale or someone else’s. A lot of young players, that admittedly played too much football, worked very hard to get us to where we are this season. We needed adequate back up for positions not quasi-marquee signings. We can’t waltz some full French international who thinks he is too good for the Championship through the doors and into the first XI. Especially since he played his part in Newcastle being relegated. Won’t someone think of the team chemistry!
Neil, THFC

PS.  I know Fifa the game is not real, but I’m sure when agreeing personal terms some discussion in regards to role takes place?

 

Two points
Firstly, no one seems to be talking about Leicester’s business in the transfer window. Mendy looks ace (although granted, not quite Kante), Slimani is extremely solid and could be one of the signings of the summer. Overall though, that Musa chap looked terrifying when he came on against Arsenal, and did a goal or two against Barca in pre-season, I seem to remember. They really could compete this season. Have we written them off already?

Secondly, it suddenly occurred to me whilst reading the list of record signings in the Premier League. Three teams are going to be relegated this season. Three. How the flying feck are they going to cope with the huge fee(s) and salary(s) they’ve spent in this window. Whoever they are. I’m sure there’ll be some kind of mental fire sale come next Summer. Could be rather interesting.
JazGooner

 

A delighted Fox
As a Leicester fan I’m not sure quite enough has been made about the fact we have signed almost all of our key players up to new deals this summer.

Kante is obviously the one that got away and no doubt a huge loss. But I think realistically he was always going to go. By all accounts it sounds like he didn’t really want to join in the first place and couldn’t wait to get away. Will always be grateful for his contribution while he was here though!

Going back to the start of the summer pretty much all media outlets (your good selves included) were frothing at the prospect of the inevitable Leicester exodus and couldn’t wait to say I told you so when all of the Mahrez/Kante/Vardy rumours came up. The fact that deadline day wasn’t us desperately clinging onto our key players, and instead involved Mahrez helping to convince our new record signing to join, is testament to a pretty good summer in my opinion!

One downside is that I think we needed to go big on a midfielder and haven’t really. Amartey/Mendy look like they can do a job in with DD, but both are a bit of a gamble, hopefully it doesn’t come back to bite us!
Ben, LCFC

 

An unhappy Cat
How was our transfer window? As a Sunderland fan, not all that.

Going into yesterday we still needed a forward, a midfielder, a defender and a goalkeeper. We brought in two out of four, with possibly the most essential of that four, the forward and goalkeeper, missing.

While “smashing” our transfer record (by £600k) on N’Dong in midfield is admirable it turns out that was pretty much all we had left in the bank. It could surely have been better spent. Opinion is split on whether we should have paid up for M’Villa or let him run his contract down, but regardless of the length of his contract elsewhere I’d have seen £7m spent on proven PL quality a better investment than £13m spent on potential. Maybe then we’d have had money left for a forward. Any forward. Even Steven Naismith.

Season after season we’ve been told the club’s wage bill was the reason for our annual losses and lack of cash. This year we finally shift a lot of unwanted players and now the explanation is that it’s payments for previous deals that are holding us back. To see a net summer spend of £17m and gaps in the squad after being told survival last season would see us land a bumper TV deal is disappointing.
Kevin, back in Sunderland

 

A happy Tiger
Seeing as we’re all at it, here’s how I rate Hull’s transfer window;

No of managers signed – 0

Disappointing, but it’s given Phelan a chance, and he’s taken it by storm. I don’t know a Hull fan who doesn’t want him to be given the job full time. So overall not too bad really, considering.

Players – 6 (SIX)

Marshall – very happy with this. Jakupovic has played well, but he isn’t good enough. McGregor is old, injured, and mistaken prone. Low-ish fee, proven quality keeper.

Mason – pretty happy with this. We have good precedent with signing ex-Spurs players, hopefully this will be another success. The fee is quite big, but he played for England as recently as March last year, so who knows.

Henriksen – very happy with this. Heard only good things about him, a position we need to strengthen (I love you Meyler, but you’re not a starter for a Prem team), and only 4.5m, no complaints here.

Mbokani – happy with this. Loan so nothing to lose (wages aside). Looked decent at Norwich last year and scored a few goals, will be good to see how he does with better service.

Weir – happy with this. No idea how he’ll do, but for 1m it’s an incredibly low risk gamble. Adds depth to the squad, which we all know has been sorely lacking recently.

Keane – as above.

We could have used a defender or two, seeing as Livermore has been playing centre back (albeit it brilliantly) and we have no cover for our full backs, but overall I’m very happy. Considering on august 29th we’d signed no one, to be sitting here on September 1st with 6 additions is great. Overall, a solid 8/10.
Rob (now let’s complete the takeover and given Phelan the job, and we can forget this sorry summer ever happened) Leeds

 

A Villa update
I thought I’d write in as a Villa fan and update you all on what’s going on here, as I’m sure there aren’t too many contacting you, and I don’t want other teams to forget about us.

It’s been an eye opening few weeks as a Villa fan, I’m not really sure what my expectations for the season are, and what to make of our new owner. On the surface, Dr. Tony Xia looks great, he’s put his hands in his pockets and produced the cash needed to bring in reinforcements, and I know numerous Villa fans are delighted by this, after years of deadline days that produced the likes of Simon Dawkins. However I’m sceptical. This may sound ungrateful to other fans who sat around on Wednesday waiting for good news before 11pm, only to see players leave or the odd loan signing, but I guess I just want a bit more

Yes, we’ve addressed areas that needed sorting, mainly in defence where Elphick, Chester and De Laet are huge improvements on the underperforming former internationals who were previously wearing the shirt, so this was pleasing. But can anyone really understand spending 27m on two front men, when we already have 12m worth of proven Championship talent up front in Rudy Gestede? How exactly are Gestede, McCormack and Kodjia all going to fit in? And more importantly, how will all three be kept happy when they’re not? It smacks a little of desperation to appease fans who wanted signings, particularly up front, and this is the element that worries me. Yes I can see we were light up front and needed cover, but I’d have much rather seen a younger player with potential to improve with us to sit on the bench, than I would signing everyone who has every scored 15+ goals in the Championship and causing selection issues. We were terrible last year, no one can deny that, but I still feel we had players capable of allowing us to achieve our aims for the season. Yes, as has been documented we’ve signed several players who have experience of promotion from the Championship, but I can only assume that these were in settled, cohesive sides, which I worry we won’t be with 9 new additions. We’re like some kind of Championship Galacticos (yes I’m aware how ridiculous that sounds, but I’m running with it.)

Aside from this, I’m also troubled by our chairman’s fondness for tweeting all of what’s going on. Yes, I understand fans want inside knowledge on the dealings of a club, and perhaps more transparency in football wouldn’t be a bad thing in some places, but having already publically shamed Joe Bennett, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Jordan Ayew, you have to wonder who’s next. How can we as a club keep an professional image when our chairman is throwing players under a bus and discussing private transfer dealings on Twitter? Not to mention the increased difficulty in educating players on the importance of social media etiquette, which continues to be a problem in our game, if their employer is no role model.

Moaning aside, and I appreciate there may will be a ‘You don’t know how lucky you have it mate – regards, Leeds United fans’ response to this, but I’m actually enjoying the prospect of the Championship this year. Relegation was obviously difficult to take, but you know what? I’m genuinely looking forward to our next game again, and this hasn’t happened for a while. People say the Championship is a tough league, and it is, but what I love about it already is the unpredictability. I have no idea who will finish where, and although this may well be due to a previous ignorance to the league, I imagine seasoned Championship followers probably also go into the season not really knowing where they will finish. Believe me, this is a breath of fresh air after numerous seasons in a league where with the exception of Leicester’s efforts last year, has been oh so predictable from top to bottom.

I’d love to hear other Villa fans thoughts on our signings and owner, especially as I trust the opinions of the esteemed mailboxers more than I do the sorts on Twitter who tell me in no uncertain terms how wrong I clearly am with just two words.
Mike (AVFC), London

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