So the transfer window has closed and for us it was a quiet one.
Of course this was in direct contrast to last year where things went ballistic. I guess all it might have taken was one massive deal last night to set off a chain reaction amongst other clubs? However, things were largely muted with clubs preferring to stay with what they had or save their money until the summer, I bet Sky were really p*ssed off!
There appears to be a belief that there are greater bargains to be had in the close season than January, probably because there is more time and because players are out of contract, more cynical folks will point to sales of Torres and Carroll as proof of that!
For us despite all the rumours concerning Tevez, Lennon, Defoe, Bent, Zaha, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, there was nothing doing. All we had were a couple of deals involving some young keepers. Wrexham’s Danny Ward joined us for around £100k while Martin Hansen (no relation) went the other way to Danish side Viborg FF. Apart from this the amount of money that changed hands in L4 was in inverse proportion to the volume of newsprint used to cover the transfers we were supposed to partaking in and I don’t think welcoming Djibril Cisse and Sotirios Kyrgiakos back to the Premiership counts!
One thing that did slightly surprise me was that there was no news, or even speculation, re our forgotten man Alberto Aquilani. I though that perhaps there might be some movement on this however, presumably he will stay on loan at Milan?
Every time Aquilani’s name is mentioned the word “shame” is not far behind. I don’t mean this in a nasty way. It’s a shame he was injured for so long when he joined us. It was a shame that Roy Hodgson let him go on loan to Juventus when we had worked so hard rehabilitate him and it was a shame that he wasn’t part of Kenny’s plans after performing so well in last summer’s pre-season friendlies. Ultimately it’s also a shame that he wants away perhaps if we’d invested a bit more faith in him he might still be with us? I still feel there is a lot that he can bring to the side and I’m certain that Kenny would get the best out Aquilani with his more flexible approach than he was used to under Rafa and Hodgson. Having him back would effectively be the equivalent of new signing?
As it is there was nothing doing and I can perhaps understand this after the amount of money we spent last year. Earlier this month I suggested that Kenny might be tempted to dip into the market for a striker however, his patience and restraint seems to be on the way to being rewarded. Dirk Kuyt, having not scored in the league since last season, has netted in his last two games. Bellamy is scoring for fun and Andy Carroll is also showing signs of improvement, perhaps Luis Suarez’s ban should be extended! One thing Carroll isn’t short on is support and encouragement from within the dressing room yesterday Jay Spearing was the latest in a long line of players and staff to come out in praise of Carroll
“He showed against Wolves what he’s capable of doing for this club. It was just a matter of time before it came out onto the pitch. Hopefully he can carry that on.”
Widening the net and it’s tempting to see the last week as a turning point in the season. Only time will tell and I think we will have a better idea of just how clear that is after this month is out. The next two league games, which are at home to Spurs next Monday and The Mancs the following Saturday at the Theatre of Delusion, are followed by Brighton in the Cup and the Carling Cup final. This makes for an interesting quartet of games which will go a long way to not necessarily determining our fate but perhaps giving a better picture as to how far we have come?
Bring it on!