A Drab Deadline Day feat. Manchester United and Chelsea


Everyone would love to have an interesting Deadline Day, but the Deadline day for the past two transfer windows did not turn out to be what we hoped for.

Gone are those days where the hushed-up big money deals of Fernando Torres to Chelsea and Andy Carroll to Liverpool would take place in the eleventh hour. Also missing are the ‘fascinating’ reports given by Sky Sports reporters, who dish out the vital details outside the grounds of various Premier League clubs, being hounded by the fans with the purple dildos or using other novel apparatus for distracting and amusing the viewers. And last, who could possibly forget about Harry Redknapp’s traditional interview through his car window?

The Sky Sports News coverage of the Deadline Day on Tuesday became interminably boring. It acted like the typical media displaying the same old things time and again, as if the outcome of a general election was announced. No wonder Jim White petitioned for the Deadline Day to be a public holiday. But there could be other things to talk as well, especially when there could be nothing new to show. As and when deals happen, it should be shown as a breaking news. It would be unwise to dedicate a whole day for it, as the past two transfer windows suggest. Perhaps there should be a complete coverage of it, just the last two hours before the window shuts.

I am not here to slate Sky Sports, but at the end of the day, it just seemed like as if there had been nothing worthwhile for us to see. Partly because many clubs have conducted their business well in advance and have not left anything till the end. That is why the Premier League clubs have spent almost three-fourths of the 870 million in new reinforcements before the season kicked off.

Of the 92 clubs, there have been a few clubs who have not made the best use of the transfer window. Manchester United signed a talented but an unproven player in 19-year-old Anthony Martial from Monaco for 36 million, making him the world’s most expensive teenage footballer. They have also signed 17-year-old Newport County defender Regan Poole for £100,000 with add-ons. He is expected to feature in the club’s youth set-up. A place in the first team is unlikely at this moment.

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But they haven’t managed to sell their star goalkeeper David de Gea, whose move to Real Madrid was already planned and plotted, only to be scuppered because the paperwork was not being processed before the deadline on Monday in Spain. The failed paperwork became a talking point as it affected the way of planning for both the parties. They have not managed to find a proper centre back to plug the shaky defence, after most reports linked them with Sergio Ramos and Nicolas Otamendi from Valencia, who subsequently joined Manchester City. Every football fan questioned the poor decision making process by manager Louis van Gaal and in particular Chief Executive Ed Woodward. Admittedly they could have spent that money on more reinforcements, especially experienced players. Going for a player like Martial is always a gamble, a gamble which may prove to be costly in the long run.

Arsenal have only made one signing in Petr Cech for 11 million. They have not signed an outfield player in the summer, and Wenger is capable of playing most of his players out of position. If they want to be challenging for titles, the accepted wisdom was they needed an experienced centre back, a defensive midfielder and a proven striker. The team is running short of experienced strikers at the moment, and they have managed to only score three in the past four games. It is definitely a worrying situation. With the way the club went about doing their business in this window, it is just a distant dream of adding another trophy to their cabinet.

Whereas, in the Football League, League One side Wigan Athletic have been the busiest since the window opened, signing 20 players. In League Two, Notts County has seen an influx of Dutch players and a few talented youngsters, making a total of 18 signings after their relegation from League One.

On the north west coast, Blackpool have been searching for the right mix of players since the transfer window opened. They are lacking experience and depth in the squad. A few days before the deadline, manager Neil McDonald had identified ten players. It later got whittled down into two, and looking at the grim situation of the Oystons-owned Blackpool, both the players decided to skip the chance of joining them. The future looks more grim than ever and nobody can ever understand what Oystons have planned. They have also sold three youngsters for a paltry sum in the past two seasons.

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Swindon, on the other hand have won a lot of plaudits for the way they went about signing players, bringing in loan signings from Premier League clubs like Tottenham and Liverpool, followed by talented free agents. Swindon reached the League One playoff final last season only to lose against Preston, but this season they had found themselves operating with a threadbare squad. For Tuesday’s game, they named just three substitutes, making these reinforcements a timely addition to the squad.

League Two side Newport County are at the bottom of the table and bottom of the Football League this season. They did not have a convincing pre-season despite signing 12 players, losing Regan Poole to Manchester United and bringing in right back Matt Partridge. The fans will have seen this belt tightening coming, as the funding had been decreased from 1.4 million to 500,000. The Supporters Trust are in the process of taking over from Euromillions winner Les Scadding, who subsequently transferred his shares to them, so the club are cutting their cloth accordingly.

With the transfer window slammed shut, all eyes are now on the soon-to-open loan window.

Featured image: all rights reserved by Ronnie McDonald.

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