Thursday, 10 July 2008

The transfer merry-go-round finally picks up


Having seen Euro 2008 off two weeks ago people had expected the transfer market to explode into life when in fact things have been very slow moving so far. Today though seems to be the first day when moves have been completed or are all but done. It will be interesting to gauge how supporters feel about the moves of some players. For example I predict that many Arsenal fans will be a bit sad to see Alexandr Hleb leave, although they have had plenty of time to get used to it. Whereas Chelsea fans won’t be shedding a tear for the departure of Steve Sidwell, many will probably offer to hold the door open for him when he leaves. So let’s take a quick run down some of the major transfers that the ink is still wet on or are likely to be down in the coming week.


Well having mentioned him earlier Chelsea have finally agreed to sell Sidwell to Aston Villa for £5million. Not a bad piece of business when you consider that he joined the Blues on a free transfer from Reading. I always predicted that Sidwell would probably spend the majority of his time in the reserves and I haven’t been too far wrong. The step up from Reading to Chelsea was too big for a player that doesn’t have the calibre to compete at the top level. That is not to say he is a bad player because Reading really missed him this season and his departure is probably partly to blame for their relegation. I have to question Aston Villa paying so much for the 25-year-old, if Villa want to compete with the big boys then Sidwell isn’t the way to go. If Martin O’Neill believes the flamed headed midfielder will be a replacement for Gareth Barry then he is sorely mistaken. Sidewell will not get the goals Barry does and won’t have the set piece skills that the departing Villa captain has. Having said that, Sidwell will be a decent squad player, who will be effective against clubs outside of the top five. If you believe I will be wrong check out the latest football odds here.


Lets move on to Hleb’s impending move with Sky Sports reporting that the winger is off to Spain for a medical after Arsenal and Barcelona finally came to some kind of figure, no idea what yet. The Belarusian international will be missed at Arsenal with Hleb having been one of the Gunners better players this season. When Hleb first arrived from Stuttgart in 2005 I was sceptical and didn’t think he had the best first season with the Gunners. Since them however Hleb has proven himself to be world class, especially playing in the hole between the forwards and the midfield where his link up play and dribbling skills have really shone. He will have some serious competition now though going up against Lionel Messi with both players showing similar strengths and weaknesses it might be a challenge for Hleb to get into the starting line-up. Hleb’s departure will be another blow to Arsenal fans, especially if you believe that part of the reason he is leaving is because the Gunners can’t match his wage demands. That was the reason they lost Mathieu Flamini and also why they look likely to lose Emmanuel Adebayor. Arsenal’s wage budget could cost the Gunners success next season with Hleb just another casualty.

From one long running saga to another and it looks as though Peter Crouch will finally join Portsmouth for around £10million. I wonder if anybody else was applauding this news when it popped up on Sky Sports news. Frankly I was getting pretty fed up with the back-and-forth between Pompey and Liverpool with their quibbling over the fee. Crouch’s move to Fratton Park is a good one for both sides because it frees up some extra cash for Rafael Benitez to bring in another Spaniard. Meanwhile Crouch might enjoy more than one game on the bounce in the Portsmouth starting eleven. It will be interesting to see how Crouch and Jermaine Defoe work together; it could be the makings of a classic big man little man strike force the likes of which we haven’t seen since Niall Quinn and Kevin Philips for Sunderland.


Quickly looking through the rest of the rumours that are more likely to be true than the usual tabloid rubbish and we see that Hull are on the verge of signing George Boateng from Middlesbrough. I have been thinking about this transfer for a while now and I still can’t decide whether it is a good move for the Tigers. Boateng is starting to look a little past it and what he will add to Hull’s inevitable fight against relegation is beyond me. One player though that looked as though he could defy his 34-year-old body was Kevin Philips who WBA have let go today because they didn’t want to offer him a two year contract. The Baggies are playing with fire because someone like Philips could have contributed those ten extra goals that help West Brom stay in the Premier League.


Well that is about it on a the first decent day of transfers we have had so far this summer, now if only tomorrow brought the end to the Adebayor, Barry, Frank Lampard and Cristiano Ronaldo sagas I think we would all be happy. To read about the rest of transfers that have been completed this summer head this way.


Cheers, Chris Rivers

10 comments:

bernard n. shull said...

hi mate, this is the canadin pharmacy you asked me about: the link

JJ said...

Bernard you stupid bastard, we asked about a 'Canadian harmony', it was a musical conversation, nothing to do with drugs. I think you have have a problem Shull.

Anonymous said...

Just on transfers reckon arshavin would be a far better investment than overvalued robinho or ronaldinho though would love to see all three play in the premiership next year. Lampard just go already if only to open up the most hated player award and make chelsea more watchable. tmcg

JJ said...

It is a bit hard to see the make up of chelsea's midfield next year. They've already got Cole and Deco who will both expect to play; then lamps (probably too much of a whingy tit to actually go to a foreign club but hey it sounds impressive in interviews when you try and con people into thinking you're cultured... glad to get that out)... anyway, yeah Ballack, essien, malouda (no one will buy him) and mikel. Throw arshavin or robinho in there and it'll mean some sales come january anyway.

Mark said...

can't see chelsea buying either arshavin or robinho (48m pounds - wtf!) without getting rid of SWP and Lamps first, what they really need is a decent striker

JJ said...

Hope sheva goes to roma and knocks the blue bastards out of the champions league. John Terry's tears would be something to behold that day.

Good signing for inter - http://www.goal.com/en/Articolo.aspx?ContenutoId=777782 - though mancini would want to watch out that jose doesn't ruin him duffer-style.

paugrande said...

when are you two miscreants doin a new show?

Mark said...

New Podcast? well, I've always wanted to do a show but I have a long term contract and I'm happy here. If an offer was to come along, it would be a great opportunity as ODF is one of the biggest pods in the world. Do you want a straight answer? Yes. And no. Maybe. Only Satan will decide. And my agent.

Mark said...

http://youtube.com/watch?v=-B6ucoSoIy4

shamelessly robbed from f365

PauGrande said...

Indeed. Just a thought, does yer ma dream about you podding for the biggest pod in the world and want to move there too so she can live with you?

JJ-you must be delighted signing Boumsongs cousin...just when I thought Liverpools struggle for 4th/5th couldn't get any more embarrassing...