Considering the terrible week Chelsea had endured leading up to the game, the missed penalty from James Morrison and playing against ten men for forty minutes, West Brom can feel pretty aggrieved to have not claimed a point in their 2-3 defeat to the current Premier League Champions on Sunday. Yet Tony Pulis has more to feel aggravated by than his players; not only did the aforementioned circumstances and the way the game went made it seem very unlucky to have not claimed a point against his opposite number Jose Mourinho, but also the fact he was unable to call upon arguably his star player in Saido Berahino. The young Englishman is one of many household names currently embroiled in a transfer window saga.
Considering how the Chelsea defence had looked vulnerable to pace and speed that Berahino has in abundance, Pulis would have no doubt been desperately annoyed he could not call on his young striker. But the reason why is because Berahino felt ‘distracted’ by transfer speculation, followed by a transfer request that was rejected the day after the game.
Pulis may have been able to call upon his new signing Salomon Rondon, who led the line impressively with strength and power, but he rightly would have been cheesed off that he could partner the Venezuelan with a striker that no doubt Mourinho would have planned to be playing against.
Rondon’s run in behind caused John Terry to be sent off as he got the wrong side of the striker, but the whipped ball in behind by Chris Brunt would have surely been a more regular occurrence, had Berahino been available.
Pulis isn’t the only one. Louis Van Gaal exiling David De Gea to the stands may be seen as a demonstration of the Dutchman’s power, but secretly if you asked him whether he would have arguably his star player from last season in between the Old Trafford posts rather than current custodian Sergio Romero, undoubtedly he would side with the former.
Everton’s Roberto Martinez is more fortunate with John Stones; the elegant centre-half interesting Chelsea as a long term replacement for the aging and aforementioned John Terry, as he is able to play on despite his name filling back pages. But why should it be a problem?
The fact that Sky Sports News has managed to make a full day out of ‘transfer deadline day’ shows just how shoddy the whole transfer window is; the fact that, as soon as a ball is kicked for the final time in May, clubs have almost four months to arrange transfers in and out, and yet sometimes they don’t get it done until two hours AFTER the window is meant to shut.
Ronald Koeman was visibly annoyed at the fact his Southampton star Victor Wanyama has been linked with a move to Tottenham when asked about the speculation, but is it right that despite Saints getting done all but one of their deals done before the kick off at Newcastle two weeks ago, Spurs and others don’t?
Indeed, Jermaine Jenas told Yahoo sport that ‘Tottenham do the majority of business on deadline day’ but why should it come at the cost of Southampton, West Brom or any other club, that Daniel Levy should decide to conduct his business a week before the deadline, but three weeks into the season.
It should be simple. The clubs have three months to sort their squad the Friday a week before the season starts, and then the window is shut.
Need another left back? Tough, make do with what you have, or promote that promising youngster that for some reason you need to push further down the pecking order with the flashy new signing you want. The rules can be relaxed with a goalkeeping injury crisis, but only for an emergency loan.
It would let everyone know where they stand. David De Gea may really want that Real Madrid move, but if he knows it cannot happen until January at the earliest, he would undoubtedly grit his teeth and bear it.
The problem does come about, and Koeman will know this with his pursuit of Celtic centre-back Virgil Van Dijk, with the fact that Champions League qualifying. Considering entry into the European group stage is far more lucrative, Celtic want to keep their best players to ensure that; difficult when you’re looking somewhat troubled at the back and want that player to help that.
But perhaps the Premier League could, not for the first time, learn from their German cousins. Deals for the summer are often agreed in the months before; Max Kruse may have left Gladbach for Wolfsburg, but the fact it was agreed before the window helped the Foals to plan for the summer and how to replace him. Werder Bremen were the same with Davie Selke, and even the biggest club in the country Bayern Munich were sure to make sure Joshua Kimmich was their man.
But Wolfsburg are suffering too. Kevin De Bruyne, the player the team is built around and undoubted star of the show at the Volkswagen Arena, may well not be there if Manchester City’s hunt for the Belgian is successful. Whatever happens, Tony Pulis will have empathy for him. And Ronald Koeman. And Roberto Martinez.
But not Manuel Pellegrini. Or Jim White, yellow tie and all. For goodness’ sake.
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