Transfer Deadline Winners and Losers

Every deadline day it's the same set of Spurs players who move around the league.  Three from this line-up alone, and you could add Kaboul to the list.

The obligatory, but in this case excellent and fantasy relevant, transfer window winners and losers post.


West Ham - I don't know if it will be enough to save them but they needed strikers and they got strikers.  It is my prediction that Benni McCarthy will forge a nice partnership with the newly healthy Carlton Cole with Diamanti playing a supporting/play-making role behind them.  Mido and the Brazilian Ilan will provide some depth.  Oh yeah, they also kept Matty Upson.  Losing out on Eidur may not have been great from a PR standpoint but Benni and Mido have had more success more recently.

Sunderland - Alan Hutton and Benjani were both nice temporary fixes to major problems.  From a fantasy standpoint, Hutton (very cheap) should be a nice potential pick-up now that Sunderland's central defenders are back and healthy/not suspended.  This new-found solidity at the back should place them back among the top half teams not only in the standings but in their ability to put on a representative show from week-to-week.  Something that has been lacking for the better part of 2 months.

Stoke - Nice deal on a pretty good 'keeper in Begovic - not sure why others in need (Mr. Wenger... paging Mr. Wenger) didn't capitalize on Pompey's financial distress.

Spurs - I don't like the switch of Eidur for Keane (definitely a downgrade) but getting Kaboul back gives them 3 solid CBs to go along with their two very-good-but-too-frequently-injured ones.  On the days where King and/or Woody are healthy, they have an embarrassment of riches in the middle of their defence.  On the days when those two are hurt they now have Dawson (pretty good but limited upside), Kaboul (seems to have finally adapted to the Prem and should rate as above average), and SeaBass (who probably rates as average right now but has upside).  Not a bad situation when compared to 6 months ago when they didn't know if they'd have any healthy center backs.

Wigan - See West Ham above.  Not sure if they dramatically improved themselves immediately at striker but in getting Moses they improved their prospects for the future at a price that wasn't too bad.  I don't know enough about Moreno to make an intelligent comment on his acquisition but as Wigan were light on strikers and they didn't spend too much on either of them, it can't be seen as a bad thing.

Bolton - Lots of potentially decent midfielders coming in between Wilshere, Holden, and Weiss.  Holden probably needs to get into shape AND adapt to the Prem so that's probably a signing more for next year but Wilshere could really make an impact behind the strikers and Weiss is great cover for Matty Taylor.  Will be interesting to see how Coyle blends the traditional physical style of Bolton with his desire to play an attractive style.  These acquisitions all seem to push Bolton toward Coyle's vision.

Chelsea - Did they acquire anyone? Nope but with their main rivals for the title - ManYoo and Arsenal - failing to do anything meaningful Chelsea stay positioned ahead of the pack with little reason for any neutrals to think that the second half of the season will play out differently than the first half.  Getting the ANC contingent back without any new injuries is an added bonus to Chelsea's title claim.

Everton - Donovan has been a nice pick-up and getting Senderos (who isn't as bad as his match-ups with Drogba would have you believe) was great for depth.  Both moves done for little to no money.  The type of efficient work we've come to expect from Moyes.

Arsenal - Clearly in need of a target striker and presumably with money to spend.  I don't know if that would have made the difference between 3-1 and, say 2-2 last Sunday but don't underestimate the psychological value to a team of management doing SOMETHING to support a title challenge in any sport.  Even if the answer had been a centre back or a reserve holding midfielder to ensure that an injury to Verm/Gallas/Song wouldn't cripple the team's title chances, that might have been enough.  Likewise, a stop-gap at striker along the lines of a Benni McCarthy or a Benjani wouldn't have solved any long-term needs but would have provided some alternatives that were lacking with the current squad.

ManYoo - While they soundly beat Arsenal on Sunday, don't let that result fool you.  Unless Nani has somehow made the permanent leap to being The Next CRon, ManYoo have too few match-winners and not enough quality.  It is more down to Wenger's tactical stubbornness than the talent of the ManYoo squad.  ManYoo should have admitted that the Anderson/Hargreaves/Carrick experiments have all been failures and spent some money on both another winger and another holding midfielder.  The fact that Citeh were the ones going after Gago is sort of shocking - ManYoo are the team in Manchester with the need there.

Wolves & Birmingham - Both have to be a bit surprised to be where they are in the standings and both could have used a little fortification to maintain their places.  Birmingham has the dubious possibility of being this year's West Ham/Reading/etc who went straight from promotion to competing for a spot in the UEFA Cup/Europa League.  Might be best for them if it doesn't happen since that didn't work out so well for any of the previous high fliers.  For Wolves, the task was more about survival than playing in Europe and the downside was that it confirmed that even if they stay up that they will struggle to attract players to a fairly remote footballing outpost.

Citeh/Villa - Liverpool is down which leaves a golden opportunity for both clubs to double down in an attempt to win the 4th Champions League spot.  Neither team is incredibly deficient anywhere in the first team but both are incredibly vulnerable at a few spots if the injury bug strikes.  Villa would be pretty well sunk if Gabby Agbonlahor goes down and Citeh would be in equally dire straights if Given they lose any of their first team defenders.  In both cases, there are young/fringe replacements available who have talent but with so many experienced players changing addresses, it seems to me that Villa would have been smart to add a Benjani or McCarthy while Citeh should have pried a utility defender from somewhere.

So, that's my take on January 2010.  Not a terribly exciting time in terms of high profile player movement but what stunned me was the lack of even lower profile changes aimed at making the fractional difference between relegation and salvation, mid-table and Europa League, or Europa League and the 4th Champions League spot.  I guess we'll see how it all works out over the next few months.

Cheers - Neal


  1. Anonymous2:40 PM

    One team who did some transfer moves you guys missed... was Fulham.

  2. Anonymous3:40 PM

    chelsea had a suspended ban from registering any new players, either nationally or internationally, for the next two complete, consecutive registration periods; if it does become active(pending CAS's decision), this transfer window's inactivity could have a seismic impact in the near future.

    And you miss out Liverpool as well. Christopher Buchtmann made a move to fulham.

  3. Anonymous3:45 PM

    Seismic impact!

    It seems to me that Chelsea have a wealth of options. What other team can leave Joe Cole, Salomon Kalou, and Mikel on the bench?

  4. Chris Jones4:17 PM

    Wolves a remote footballing outpost?????

    You do realise that they are 3 times English champions? 5 times runners up? 4 times FA cup winners?

    They invented what is now called the Champions league?

    You do know that?


  5. Anonymous4:44 PM

    @Anon3:45 PM, Hull 1-1 Chelsea FT as i am typing this. It MAYBE has start to make an impact already! 2pts drop! Lolz.


  6. LBarroso4:46 PM

    Such a pathetic dbl-game week for Chelsea..

  7. Can't-be-arsed-to-sleep5:22 PM

    Any team that Danny Butterfield scores a hat trick against is indeed a remote footballing outpost.

  8. Anonymous7:58 PM

    Id have to disagree with your comments on spurs Neal- most spurs fans seem to have the opposite feeling regarding the Gudjohnsen move, Keane was out of favour and agitating for first team football his form didnt deserve, Eidur is costing spurs next to nothing in football terms. Dawson is definitely spurs best CB (that isnt a hospital case) too...although in fantasy terms Bassong is a lot more interesting, of course, due to price. Interesting article though, as always! I check this blog a shameful amount of times a week...


  9. Neal - it wasn't a coincidence that we were chatting about this on Saturday. Apparently it wasn't just on my mind. Steve Sampson admitted today that he dropped John Harkes because of an affair with Eric Wynalda's wife(my info on Agoos was wrong, apparently).

  10. Anonymous1:04 AM

    What do you guys think about Alan Hutton? I mean..will he play? Afraid he'll warm the bench like he used to do..~

  11. Ha! I knew the shots were coming... blah blah "Man Utd stink, we just suck more," etc. Whatever helps ya sleep better I guess.

    But another winger? Really?! Though to be fair, Arsenal are the only ones who somehow always manage to make Park look world class...

  12. Figueroa/Scharner/Steinsson/Higginbotham/Garrido/Bridge. Rate them from best pick to worst. What do you think?

    Will Bridge take Garrido's left back slot? Will Scharner and Steinsson start all 3 games?

  13. Anonymous8:10 AM

    Carrick is great for United, Anderson and Hargreaves are failures but you must be kidding, Gago?!?! Gibson is alredy better than him, and he will be even better with time.

  14. Nice breakdown. RE West Ham, as mentioned above, GZ has suggested that he likes the potential of a McCarthy-Carlton Cole partnership. If this is true, it's hard to see where Diamanti fits into the team if those two are fit... Impact sub most likely which is too bad. Diamanti has been great.

  15. Merv: I got Sharner coz he plays an advance attacking position but listed as a defender, but i seriously doubt him starting all 3, i m considering dropping him because Wigan's defense is kinda weak.. always dropping 1 or 2 goals a game and the other team has a double week too, 2 good games can be better than 3 so-so games.

    Neal: Wilshire is a nice player... hint that he was an unused sub in the last game. but he should be playing a part in the upcoming 3 games week for bolton.
    in my opinion Bolton got lots of choices there, they sometimes playing 4-5-1, they got Lee, MattyTaylor starting most of the games, i think we should take wilshire only for fill-ins or a gamble

  16. re:Wilshere...

    Coyle was also disappointed not to have given Jack Wilshere a debut, after securing the Arsenal youngster on loan for the rest of the season late on Friday afternoon.

    “I was hoping to get Wilshere on in the second half and get him some game time because he hasn’t seen a lot of action over the last couple of weeks,” he said.

    “After the second goal, though, I had to throw another forward on to try and get ourselves back in the game.”

    Sounds like Coyle wants to use him. I think he'll make a decent midfield choice (if not a full-on enabler) this week.