Saturday, 1 February 2014


So, it’s February 1st. No! It’s not 2 weeks to Valentines Day you cretins, it is officially the end of the January transfer window. The window where there are more threats, innuendos, soap opera plots and player borrowing than actual transfers. It’s still a spot of fun though so always we bring you yet another Top 10. This is part 2..

5. Kim Kallstrom (Spartak Moscow to Arsenal – loan)

Kim who? LOL!

This transfer made the list due to its sheer underwhwlming-ness. Arsenal fans were prepared for a dopamine high like the one they got off signing Mesut Ozil in the summer. They hoped for the German wonder kid Julian Draxler. The kid so talented he had a buy-out clause of  60m in his contract, aged 19 and has more caps for Germany than Arteta has for Spain(ok that was low). 

 Instead they got Kim Kallstrom. Kim who, you ask? Exactly. That’s a player who peaked when he played for Olympique Lyon about 5 years ago! Wenger has to be forgiven though; did we really think he’d spend about 100m in the space of six months on two Germans?! Come on now.

4. Hernanes (Lazio to Inter Milan - 20m)

Premier League fans are on some "who the hell is this?"

The first permanent transfer on this list. The Brazilian has easily been the best Lazio player of the past two seasons and despite the 20m tag, it’s hard to understand why they would sell him to Inter. But this year, I have learnt not to try not to find the logic in Serie A transfers. They are like transfers one would make in FIFA 14 Career Mode; seemingly random and at a whim.

Example; Fredy Guarin is one of Inter’s best players. Then they tried to swap him with Marco Vucinic – who can best be described as over the hill. I know Inter need a striker but that transfer is as awful as Arsenal giving up Ozil for Torres/Eto’o/Demba Ba because they need firepower.  In any case, Inter’s Ultras locked the board in at the stadium and protested until the board gave up on that fool’s errand. And they went one better and signed a very creative midfielder in Hernanes. Well done Inter Ultras.

3. Mohammed Salah (FC Basel to Chelsea - £11m)

Chelsea have been busy this January. It is though they haven’t learnt any lessons from January 2011 (*hint hint* No.9); Nemanja Matic came in for upwards of £20m and so did Troare but Salah, for me, was the headline act. Salah’s snubbing of Liverpool to join Chelsea was yet another reminder to the Merseysiders that they still have some way to go in sitting at the table of the European elite; playing Champions League football would be a good start.

Also I picked this transfer over the signing of Matic because we’re all used to Chelsea signing large, gangly central midfielders with some ability on the ball and a lot of ability at stifling opponents. What we aren’t used to is Chelsea(especially the overly pragmatic Jose Mourinho) signing a genuinely raw live wire winger. He should turn into a very good player once he polishes up his talent. Here’s to hoping Jose doesn’t break him and destroy his creative spirit

2. Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle to PSG - £19m)

Yohan Cabaye finally got his dream move after years of posturing and complaining about everything in the ‘Little Paris’ of the Premier League that is Tyneside.  And we better believe him when he says it’s a dream come true. Even true-born Tynesiders would be hard pressed to reject a move to Paris and the lure of playing alongside Zlatan, Edinson and Thiago Silva instead of Sammy Amoebi and Ryan Taylor. Champions League football doesn’t hurt either. Neither does the Ligue 1 title waiting at the end of May.

Best move ever!!!

The question now is whether Cabaye can get into PSG’s first XI. Blaise Matuidi, Thiago Motta  and Marco Veratti have been the first choice pairing for most of the season. Since Cabaye isn’t exactly a defensive midfielder, I would expect Motta’s position to be under threat. Blaise Matuidi is also a really good box to box midfielder. That leaves him fighting for a place with the impressive Italian youngster Marco Veratti. I get the feeling Cabaye’s French-ness will win out. There are also rumours of Veratti’s imminent depature to Juventus to be a long term replacement for Andrea Pirlo.

 Surely the biggest loser here is the £40m Javier Pastore who now falls further in the pecking order for the midfield berths. One thing for sure is Yohan Cabaye is the biggest winner of the January Transfer Window. Period.

1.Juan Manuel Mata Garcia (37m)

The picture most Chelsea fans can't get used to.

I guess this was pretty obvious. The largest transfer of the window. The largest transfer in the history of the self acclaimed biggest club in the world. The most high profile transfer between two of England’s Big Four since RVP. Add to this the secrecy, conjecture and acrimony that went with the transfer and you know why this transfer comes in at no.1.

Chelsea’s two time Footballer of the Year(for both full seasons he was there) has just been sold to Manchester United!!!! Chelsea fans still haven’t gotten over it. Man Utd fans are excited like a pig in sh*t. He had an assist on his debut though in all honest it was an innocuous pass to Ashley Young who did the rest.

A lot has been said about this transfer that I don’t care to repeat him and bore everyone. I’ll say this though; I don’t think Mourinho sanctioned that sale. He is too petty to let that happen. I get the feeling he got orders from above his paygrade. His job was to make it look like his own decision so as to maintain this facade of the ‘greater autonomy and power’ he was granted on his Second coming. Truth is, the oligarch still has the final say. If you don’t believe me, do you think Jose would dare put Torres up for sale?

Also, it is amazing that one of the best  attacking midfielders in the league can be frozen out of the team for ‘not doing enough defensive work’. What’s the purpose of the midfield DOUBLE pivot??  I guess that’s the brave new world of football that pragmatic non ex-footballer managers like Mourinho are beginning to enshrine. And the success of people like Mourinho is bad for football because it encourages up and coming coaches to dabble in the same foolishness. Look at how bland Jose’s protégé AVB made Spurs. What’s next in Mourinho’s plethora of idiotic dogmas? Will he sell defenders for not scoring enough goals?

Bonus ball.

The irony of Jose Mourinho claiming West Ham used 19th century tactics in their nil-all stalement at Stamford Bridge on Wednseday. Has he forgotten his ‘most beautiful 1-0 defeat’ against Barcelona in the Champions League semi 2nd leg of 2010? Or his tactics in Chelsea various battles against Barca in his first Chelsea stint? Or his tactics in the Classico battles? Or against United at OT this season, where he debuted the defensive striker position with Andre Schurle? Or at the Emirates? Need I go on? This guy is a hypocrite.

Thanks for reading

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