Transfer Deadline Day: The Grizzly Aftermath

Chris Wright

1st, September 2011


By Chris Wright

So…how was it for you? Personally speaking, I’m pretty damn glad we’re staring down the barrel of a nice, relaxing international break after all that palaver.

Somewhere approaching £450 million was spent by English clubs over the course of yesterday, with the real excitement kicking in with half-an-hour to go as the only remaining fax machines left in existence began to belch and whir furiously at about 10:45pm it wouldn’t be a proper deadline day if clubs didn’t entrust their respective brinkmanship into the hands of nigh-on antiquated equipment, now would it?

In the cold, stark light of morning we’ve decided to have a little retrospective look at last night’s japery and try and make some sense of what actually happened starting, it’s only fitting, with Senhor Raul Meireles.

“Here you are Sir, I won’t be needing this any more!”

The news of Meireles’ transfer request broke on the Liverpool website at around 10:30pm, leading it to feel like a very late, spur-of-the-moment kind of affair whereas, judging by the speed the deal went through (it was announced on the Chelsea website shortly before the window closed), it would be naive to think that negotiations hadn’t been rumbling on for a good few hours prior. These things take time after all.

Not that it really matters. Chelsea have bought themselves an effective midfielder for a decent price and Liverpool have managed to move on a player that has been playing with a face like a smacked arse since the beginning of the season.

Baffling, really, that King Kenny saw Meireles as ‘surplus to requirements’ given the sterling season he had last time out perhaps that’s testament to the continued improvement of Lucas Leiva?

Incidentally, Liverpool also ended the day having jettisoned all of Roy Hodgson’s signings (not such a glowing testament) and Craig Bellamy back on the books, one of Dalglish’s infamous trademark ‘wildcard’ signings which could either provide the club with a proven auxiliary forward or leave the entire Merseyside area looking like downtown Nagasaki circa 1945 come the end of the season. Or both.

Arsenal ended the day a couple of players heavier with Yossi Benayoun joining from Chelsea on loan (Chelsea loaning a player to Arsenal? It…it just doesn’t sound right ) and Mikel Arteta arriving from Everton for a fee thought to be £10 million on the nose word is, he even took a £10,000-a-week pay-cut to force the move through.

Safe to say that, in Arteta, Wenger isn’t getting the vaunted playmaker of two years ago more an injury prone tribute act but time was tight, and £10 million on deadline day for a player of the Spaniard’s innate quality can hardly been seen as a bad bit of business. Add Yossi into the mix and you’ve got yourself a decent slab of creativity and guile that will be good for about 30 games-a-season.

Not sold on Andre Santos’ defensive capabilities (not seen a lot of him, mind), but Per Mertesacker is the signing Wenger needed to make a relatively young (he’s only a year older than Gary Cahill), imposing, vastly experienced, proven international of a centre-half.

‘Vermertesacker’ is a centre-back partnership that just seems to make sense.

“Not Stoke, please God noooooo!!!”

Other deals that caught our eye were Everton’s capture of Royston Drenthe in so far as it could have exactly the same effect on Merseyside as Bellamy’s move to Liverpool, Joe Cole deciding to trying his hand en France (et en la Champions League) with Lille and the down-right

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  1. tom says:

    Fulham signed Ruiz, I’m in heaven! Now lets just hope he is more succesful than our previous two 10 million pound plus signings – Andy Johnson and Steve Marlet. He’s got to be good, right?

  2. Chris says:

    @Tom: As I said yesterday, heard from a Dutch friend that he’s ‘hit-and-miss’ and tends to be ‘sporadically exciting before falling out of form alarmingly quickly’.

    From what little I’ve seen/heard, £10.6m seems to be a hell of a gamble on Fulham’s part. Fingers crossed that it all turns out for the best, eh?

  3. Manolo Garnix says:

    More important for me is, that Papiss Demba Cissé didn’t go (yet) to one of the several PL clubs chasing him.

  4. seagulls says:

    vincente to brighton has got to the be the signing of the day, although not official yet i think its being done today due to him being a free agent

  5. tom says:

    @Chris – don’t shit me up already mate! I’ve heard he’s quality and his goal scoring record for Twente indicates he’s at least a decent player. We needed to roll the dice on someone like him, if we didn’t we’d just stagnate with the only direction to go being downwards. Seventh place is the only thing most teams in the Prem can aim for and this sort of signing might just help propel us to it. Fingers tightly crossed though!

  6. Charlie Adam says:

    I think Andre Santos will be very, very good and Arsenal’s best signing in a long while.

    As for Ruiz, there often seems to be a ‘local expert’ pop up these days to say a new player from abroad is shit.

  7. df says:

    fcuk raul meireles

  8. MrMac says:

    From a Chelsea standpoint…

    Raul may not be the greatest creative wiz, but he’s alot like Lampard before he got old imho.

    If he can’t find the pass, he’ll pretty much storm his way thru.
    Eitherway we get some reinforncement where we need it badly!

    (Granted nothing will outshine Juan Mata).

    I still would have liked another winger, but i suppose interchanging anelka/kalou/malouda will have to do for the season.

    Neither 3 seem to have a good enough bottom form or top end form to get chelsea where they want to be imho.
    Atleast not anymore.

  9. jojo says:

    @ chris:

    I am lucky to have seen ruiz play a lot, and I have to say: one of the most gracious, pure players I have ever seen. pure class, and he will prove himself quick enough.

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