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Save yourselves the time
Mailbox summary for the next few days.
Liverpool fans cribbing they bought AOC for 40 mils.
Arsenal fans cribbing they bought no one and h0w pathetic it was that Lemar showed them the middle finger.
Chelsea fans cribbing that none of their targets joined them and contemplating why!
Vatsyayan Mufc (prying open my third eye)
Who won the transfer window trophy?
A couple of questions regarding the transfer window:
A) Who won the transfer window trophy? Last year, it was clearly Manchester United – I assume that was what one of those fingers Mourinho held up after the EL final was supposed to illustrate? (It surely couldn’t have been the Community Shield…)
B) What exactly happened with Ross Barkley? Did he run out of his medical when they were about to check if his testicles had dropped and he realized that it wouldn’t be Eva Carniero doing it?
C) What happened to Gazump? No one got gazumped this year, apparently. Has this word now been consigned to the linguistic scrap heap together with thunderbastard and the Makalele position? At least I think I saw Don Dealio mentioned in the live tracker today. Glad that he’s still around.
The Lemar bid
I was thinking about Arsenal’s failed bid for Lemar. I think Wenger never wanted to spend that much money on a player. He just made the bid so that fans will think he tried, half expecting the 90mil euros bid to be rejected he was surprised it was accepted and subsequently looked for an excuse to make it collapse.
Think about it, why make the bid in the first place if you think it was too late (which it really wasn’t) except to say you tried. And now they are risking even more deflated morale from the wantaway player Sanchez after finally telling him he is leaving only to change your mind again. I am looking forward to hearing Wenger repeat his trademark ‘i almost signed him’ comment.
Now he will loose Sanchez on a free transfer next summer, that’s 60million euros lost, but i guess he’d rather loose it than spend 90million euros on a player. Lets see how this works out in the end.
Emmanuel ( that’s why i was rolling with laughter when it was rumored he wanted to sign Mbappe) MUFC
Ok. Fantastic deadline day. I’m not mad but I’m done. It’s over for me until Kronke and co. are gone. Not another penny of mine will go to the club I support.
I will continue to look for their match results via your website but that’s it. I’m not going to spend a couple of hours, wasting my time, on a rare weekend day im off from work to watch their matches
I can’t add anymore to this mail. I don’t care anymore.
Tony (#shaaaaaaambles) A.
Goone… ah who cares
A happy Chelsea fan
Having gone to bed early last night, I missed the final slamming / closing of the transfer window but awoke this morning very happy with the state of Chelseas squad for the coming season. I know this is counter to the narrative and what Conte himself has said, I’m actually really excited about it. I should say though, I’m not a fan who expects success every year in every competition and fully expect the club have a season of bedding players in and readjusting to the champions league.
Looking at Chelsea’s squad however, we now in all likelihood have an actual opportunity to see 2 younger players from our academy play in the first team for Chelsea. This may be by accident rather than design, but I see no reason why the team can’t compete on two fronts with some good coaching and squad management :
Gk – one of the best keepers in the league + a solid and experienced back up
Def – the same title winning defence + German international and a very highly thought of young defender (Christensen) who I really hope gets more game time.
Wing backs – title winning wing backs + an Italian international as back up and the superb Azpilicueta able to fill in on either side.
Mid – Losing Matic was a blow, but we still have 2 of the finest centre mids in the league (fabregas and kante) and have improved the depth by adding Drinkwater and the very exciting Bakayoko.
Forwards – how can we complain? Morata is new to the league but should eventually be as reliable as Costa (with less of the bluster) and we still have Willian, Pedro and Hazard backed up by the talented Musonda. We’ll probably try sign another forward in January, but we’ve got 5 good players for 3 positions, including the leagues most exciting number 10. And we do still have Costa himself on the books but let’s ignore that.
I for one am glad we didn’t sign The Ox – not good enough for centre midfield and an average wing back. Shame about Barkley though – he would have been a great option off the bench and I could have seen him get a decent amount of game time this season.
Ultimately though, I’m glad that is all over so that we can all focus on the football now.
An unhappy Chelsea fan
When the fixtures come thick and fast and fatigue inevitably accumulates (starting with the next 3 games) AND Conte’s options to meaningfully rotate are diminished by such a pitifully small squad AND performances/ results dip, will members of the Chelsea FC Board concede this was entirely their fault? Will they f*ck; they’ll bin Conte off.
Seriously, Chelsea can’t keep doing this – unless the club wants to give every coach it’s hired during the Roman era at least 2 stints at the helm?!
As I understand it, the Chelsea FC Board prefer the title ‘coach’ over ‘manager’ – because they manage the club, the coach coaches the players.
Well, it’s time the Board takes the flak for our transfer mismanagement. Some of them should walk when the inevitable happens…
Sean H, CFC, London (Hither & Thither)
This Zappacosta tastes great. Still need to Drinkwater though.
(Deadline day sucks no more)
Although they could not deal with the rebel Diego, Chelsea atleast got to zap a Costa.
Lots of Arsenal fan’s in the mailbox with the classic, “never liked him” line now AOC has left them for pastures new.
I vaguely recall people raved about his performance at centre mid in the FA cup last season but perhaps it was against a minnow…won’t delve into the past to find out. Given we don’t play 3 at the back it’s very unlikely that he’ll be playing wing back for us so not sure why fans were pondering that this afternoon either.
I suspect Klopp will intend to use him as a backup in both wide forward roles but also as the most advanced of our three midfielders. He’s got the intensity and pace to play our off the ball game very well and hopefully he’ll settle into the way we attack too.
You can criticise AOC for still just having potential but who has actually markedly improved at Arsenal in the last four years? Bellerin, Monreal and Koscielny are all better now but whether that’s a result of coaching or ageing/growing is hard to tell.
I like his build and his pace and touch have always seemed good to me. I haven’t watched him enough to know if he’s as clever with the ball as our other forward players. If Klopp wanted him I’m pretty confident he believes he can improve the player and I don’t doubt that AOC has the ambition to improve too. It’s impossible to judge this transfer now because it is entirely unclear both where he’ll play and how he’ll develop and adapt at Liverpool.
Who needs a defence anyway?
After another eventful deadline day at Newcastle, I feel it is my duty to advise the mailbox readers that we are available at odds of 4/1 to be relegated
Get on and get on like Mike Ashley’s undies XXXLARGE
Adam (Glad payday is so close to deadline day) NUFC
Brighton the big losers
I spent most of this evening refreshing every online football page I could find looking for the latest transfer news about which striker would be signing for the Albion. Four minutes before the deadline I realised that the only fit striker we have after four months of Premier League recruitment is Hemed. The striker Reading kept trying to buy today. Great. I love Championship football.
Danny (sign me up) Brighton
Now that the transfer window has closed I am sure you will get plenty of wordy emails about Arsenal’s clown show, Liverpool, etc. And I was ready to vent about the lack of anything looking like giving a … at the Emirates, but instead I want to write about the shady, shady, shady Mbappe “loan” to PSG.
First… a loan??? Right. That makes ALL the sense in the world, Monaco will loan out the most valuable 18-year old in world soccer to their direct rival. Of course, this is all about FFP and nothing else. This helps PSG move numbers in a ledger around so they can get the thumbs up from UEFA. Yes, PSG will pay later, probably some sort ex post fee, cloaked as something else to go along with when the finally do sign Mbappe.
What is going on at PSG is disgusting. It is a showpiece for the Qatari government, who is guilty of slavery, death, corruption, etc., for people to not look so closely at that and stare at the shiny bauble they are building in Ligue 1. In the past, dictators and despots have used the Olympics and World Cup as ways to legitimize themselves and their regimes. Qatar has used this traditional whitewashing by buying the World Cup, but have figured out a better way to game the system, buying a team where they can be more unfettered and more constant in constructing their glowing facade. And in the process are breaking the transfer market into pieces.
While I hope somebody at UEFA or FIFAwith the French Federation or somewhere does something, anything, we all know nothing will happen.
David O, California
The future of transfers
Spent the evening drinking red wine and trying to get my head around the new world of transfers that is evolving now that it seems £50m is not seen as a lot of money for a medium quality player, and £90m for Pogba seems good value.
A few ways this could all work out of course, but I suspect following the Neymar deal, the boardrooms of all the clubs, rich and not so rich, will be re-evaluating their transfer strategy.
As Paul Hayward wrote in the Telegraph, it is now a game for “sheikhs and oligarchs”. All of these cashed up gents, (they are never women), will I think, set up a new world order and a new top table. Barcelona, Real Madrid and, to a lesser extent, Manchester United and Bayern Munich may retain the allure of their history, but money always talks. PSG didn’t so much throw a rock in the pond, more a giant mountain sized boulder when they bought Neymar, and then Mbappe.
So what does everyone do now ?
I think will depend on your former position in the pecking order. The old first tier, may be able to fork out for a couple of players a year, but will look to sweep up all the available prospects, just as they get out of nappies and go to kindergarten. Chelsea, of course, have a record here already, putting them at an even greater advantage.
The next tier (whole of the Premier League), plus Juventus, Milan etc, will realise they need to work within a budget, else go the way of Portsmouth and Leeds.
Everyone else, as you were chaps, and if they can unearth a diamond that the new top tier will pay a shed load for, could give them a leg up to the next level and TV money of the Premier League.
Contracts will change for players at the old top tier. Will be longer, and have ever bigger buy out clauses, even bigger than Neymar’s. More contracts will be allowed to run down too. Players are depreciated like any asset, so will not have a Profit and Loss effect when they leave, and will allow the Glazier’s, Kroenke’s and FSG’s of the world to take out more fees for themselves. The bi product of longer contracts though, will be even bigger salaries. For these most non-altruistic of owners, Champions League football every year will be just fine thank you, (and pass me a pot of official partners noodles to go with my official partners champagne).
And of course, if you are up for it, go and stand in a Middle Eastern bazaar or Red Square in the hope a chap with £bn’s wants a seat at the new top table.
Ged (Hope I’m wrong else Man City will do very well) Biglin
Last year’s winners and losers
Football 365 is one of my favourite football sites, and I mean no harm to Matt Stead, and am not saying he was wrong. My point is that transfer conclusions can only really be made with the benefit of hindsight. However, looking back at the Winners and Losers article from September 1st last year does make for some funny reading. I encourage you to read it all again, but to summarise, here’s the clubs in each section, in order, and their league position change last season
Bournemouth- 16th to 9th (+7)
(fair enough improvement, although was it Wilshere, Ibe and Lewis Cook’s signings that turned out to be good as f365 predict here? spoiler: no)
Arsenal- 2nd to 5th (-3)
Ed Woodward/Manchester United- 5th to 6th (-1)
‘The promoted clubs’- came 16th, 18th & 19th
Manchester City- 4th to 3rd (+1)
Claudio Ranieri (leicester)- 1st to 12th, uh oh (-11)
Stoke City- 9th to 13th (F365 say “how to rescue a transfer window, by Mark Hughes” as they hail the signing of Bony) (-4)
Chelsea- 10th to 1st (fair enough, but that they are only placed 8th in the winners list shows they weren’t being hailed as much as the others) (+9)
Alan Pardew and Crystal Palace- 15th to 14th, not so good for Pards tho (+1)
West Ham- 7th to 11th (-4)
Southampton- 6th to 8th (-2)
Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool- 8th to 4th (yep we were top of the losers list, and proceeded to improve by 16 points) (+4)
Everton- 11th to 7th (+4)
Daniel Levy (Tottenham)- 3rd to 2nd (3rd in Losers list, improved by 16 points as well) (+1)
Sunderland- 17th to 20th, fair enough (-3)
West Brom- 14th to 8th (+6)
Swansea- 12th to 15th (-3)
So to summarise, of the 10 clubs named as winners (not including promoted clubs as an entry, 2 of whom got relegated anyway) 6 clubs achieved a worse league position after ‘winning’ the transfer window (-7 places accumulatively), and for the 13 (including the promoted teams) 5 have sacked their manager. (Obviously United won trophies so they probably were winners in the end too)
Of the 6 named as ‘losers’, 4 improved their league position (+9 accumatively), and only two changed manager.
Those named as transfer window losers generally had better seasons.
I’m not trying to say that a disappointing transfer window is a good thing obviously, tbh I don’t even think Liverpool had a bad transfer window, we got some top targets but not all, it’s about a 6/10 and every single one of our rivals missed out on targets too (sandro, Sanchez, Perisic, Lemar)
My point is it’s too early to know too much about what effect the transfer window will have on the pitch.