The Byron Bulletin #2 // ‘The Best Deadline Day Ever’
Another Deadline Day in the books – Ian Holloway described it as ‘the best ever’ as ‘all the big players are on the move’, despite the biggest controversy of the day being whether or not Doucoure would leave Watford, or whether Gueye would join PSG. Holloway never was known for talking sense though – this is the same man that began talking about Cristiano Ronaldo in a presser and concluded the analogy with explaining how well-endowed his hamster was.
If Arsenal are one thing, then that’s predictable. Despite the entire world knowing they were crying out for defenders, it seems that the club were somehow oblivious to this – Unai Emery at one point commenting that Arsenal had if anything, too many defenders. Since 2007, Arsenal have always struggled defensively; scoring goals has rarely been a problem, even when the likes of Marouane Chamakh, Gervinho, Sanogo and more have led the line. The Gunners entered the 2007 season with a Goalkeeping core of Almunia, Mannone and Fabianski. In front of those Keepers, they had a squad containing the likes of Johan Djourou, Emmanuel Eboue, Justin Hoyte, Philippe Senderos, Armand Traore and an aged Kolo Toure. I can count the solid defenders from then to now on one hand and this shows no signs of improving.
It can’t be that the club are simply naïve to the problem, Arsenal had the best striker in the league (Robin Van Persie) and had Andre Santos, Seb Squillaci, Per Mertesacker and Carl Jenkinson lined up behind him and you can fast forward to now and see Lichtsteiner, Mustafi, Koscielny and Kolasinac behind Lacazette and Aubameyang – the point I’m getting at here is that there’s such a blatant lack of balance. It’s the equivalent of picking up a new designer pair of jeans to put over the top of a ripped pair of pants and holey socks every single time. This transfer window was no different as Arsenal added Denis Suarez to an already crowded pack of midfield options but left a huge chasm at the back.
Tottenham were as frugal as their North London neighbours as they decided against signing a single player for the second window in a row. Jamie Redknapp stated during yesterday’s broadcast that ‘if Tottenham hadn’t lost 4 of 6 games then we’d be talking about them as title contenders’. If I was filthy rich, 8 stone lighter, far more handsome and living in America then maybe I’d be in contention to wife up a Kardashian/Jenner. I’ve mentioned on the podcast how the Media’s constant coddling of Spurs gets on my nerves, but this was almost enough to tip me over the edge.
Crystal Palace tied up a loan deal for Michy Batshuayi at the very last minute. The Chelsea striker was supposedly eyeing a move to Spurs at the start of the day, then turned his attention to Everton and Real Betis, before lowering his expectations at the thought of a West Ham move, before eventually winding up in a relegation scrap – at least he gets to spend some quality time with my man Woy (every cloud). He’s started the night chasing 9s around the club and ended the night with a 2, telling himself that they all feel the same in the dark. Perhaps a striker that has 3 goals in his last 23 games shouldn’t be quite so fussy (he reportedly was demanding £160,000 when the day started).
Newcastle broke their transfer record (finally) for Miguel Almiron and Rafa didn’t even have to finance this one himself. It’ll be interesting to see how he adapts to the Premier League, but I imagine the Geordie faithful will be patient enough, unless they get dragged further into a relegation scrap as that may pile the pressure on the young man from Paraguay. I imagine Mike Ashley will be even slower (if possible) to part with any of his cash in the future if their new man fails to deliver.
Elsewhere, we’ve finally got big Crouchy back in the Prem (backing him to score against Arsenal later in the year could be the safest bet you’ll ever place), both Doucoure and Gueye were forced to stay put, Charlie Austin was denied a move away, Wolves spent 18m on a Jonny, FM Wonderkid Youri Tielemans took his talents to Leicester and Sunderland spent 3m just for the chance to sing ‘Will Grigg’s on Fire’ – worth every penny.
Certainly not the best deadline day ever, although i’ll concede a glimpse of Natalie Sawyer would’ve gone a long way towards changing my mind.