One of the worse aspects of being in the health care profession is the chronic exposure to infections. So what happens when I come back from a two week break? I get the flu. Naturally my parents say I get the flu because I don't exercise enough and I have an imbalanced diet of not enough fruit and vegetables. I think they have a point but I also think that being a medical student you will naturally contract infections due to your frequent hospital visits.
August 31st was a great day for all football fans, being deadline days for transfers. Barring signing free agents or loaning out players to clubs in the lesser divisions, the roster will be set until next year with no further additions. I rather like the transfer windows as it bottles all the excitement into a small time frame. I know that managers hate the concept of certain periods where you can buy and sell players but it hasn't caused any problems.
So how did each Premier League club in their dealings? In this blog entry I will review each club's transfer activity. So if you're not interested in football (i.e. you're gay or a woman), you might want to turn away now.
I was rather disappointed with my club's transfers. Naturally losing two influential, experienced and high-scoring players in Theirry Henry and Freddie Ljungberg was devastating but Wenger didn't properly replace them, only bringing in Eduardo da Silva. Arsenal didn't need Diarra or Sagna. What I would have like bought in was a scoring midfielder, since that department seems deficient in Arsenal. If Hleb, Rosicky or Fabregas don't score from midfield, who will?
O'Neill has silently built his squad up but I'm sure he had difficulty attracting players. He still hasn't found the right back he required, playing Craig Gardner and Olof Mellberg in that position, whilst Liam Rosenior and Glen Johnson were available. Seven first team players were swept out, notably Steven Davis but he has improved on the quality by bringing in Scott Carson, Curtis Davies, Zat Knight, Nigel Reo-Coker and Marlon Harewood. O'Neill still doesn't have all the players he requires but he's getting there. Aston Villa fans have to be patient.
Steve Bruce has opted for quantity and not quality. His squad was threadbare in the summer but with the introduction of four loan signings plus seven permanent deals he managed to bring up the numbers. Whether or not that will sustain his side in the top division remains to be seen. From the new players, only Oliver Kapo seems likely to make an impact, although Stuart Parnaby and Franck Queudrue will help bolster the back line.
A rather quiet transfer window for the Rovers but did add Roque Santa Cruz, which should be an excellent addition to the squad. Like Aston Villa, they did have difficulty finding a right back but seem to be happy with Brett Emerton fulfilling the role for the time being. Probably they were more glad to keep all the core players, with Bentley, Pedersen and McCarthy all rumoured to leave.
New manager and new players were the norm at the Reebook stadium, with thirteen players coming in. However it does not seem that they are gelling together plus the rumours of star players leaving the club has rocked the stability of the team. Anelka has stayed but Faye has left. What I figure to be Bolton's problem is they are playing too centralized in their 4-3-3 formation. They are not using their wide players quite literally, with Braaten and Wilhelmsson hardly featuring at all. Sammy Lee has to turn things around soon, otherwise he will be the next person through the door.
If one team has fulfilled their transfer criteria, it is most likely Mourinho's men and on the cheap as well. They reduced their central midfield quota with Diarra and Geremi going, whilst the incompetent Boulahrouz has gone out on loan and Johnson has been sold to Portsmouth. The one player they are going to miss is Robben but with Malouda coming in as a direct replacement, the grieving period will be brief. I still question Sidwell's move to Chelsea (probably for the money) but bringing in Pizarro, Alex, Ben Haim and Belletti has made sure that Chelsea are equipped in all departments. Now it is just a matter of getting the best out of Shevchenko...
Billy Davies' men were always going to struggle, whoever they brought in. Thankfully they bolstered the one area they needed - the forwards - with Robbie Earnshaw and Kenny Miller coming in, to help out Howard. Other than that, bringing in Todd and Davis helps bring experience to the back line whilst Eddie Lewis will finally get the chance to prove himself at the top flight.
Moyes pulled off a big coop but getting Yakubu to sign for the Toffeemen and now has the perfect partner for Johnson. Other good additions include Jaglieka and Baines but he still could have done with Nugent in his line up. Unlike Bolton, Everton seem to do well without playing any really wingers, with Arteta and Osman filling out the wide roles. Moyes will hope this tactic will continue to bring in the points, otherwise the lack of wingers is noticeable within the squad.
Probably the busiest team in the transfer market, even right up to the end, Sanchez has brought in bringing in about ten players but also letting quite a few go. Notably Rosenior, Knight, Queudrue and Bouba Diop has gone but Baird, Hughes, Stefanovic, Konchesky, Seol, Davis, Murphy, Cook, Bouazza and Kamara have come in. After spending all that money, the pressure will be on the former NI manager to start producing the goods.
Along with Manchester United, Liverpool have brought in the most exciting players during the transfer window. Torres, Babel and Benayoun will definitely make an impact. They didn't lose any key players so expect Liverpool to challenge and probably win the title this season.
With Shinawatra's (corrupt?) money, Eriksson has been making headways in the transfer market with buys nobody knows. A lot of dead wood in the likes of Corradi, Dickov, Trabelsi and Sinclair has been casted whilst wantaways Barton and Distin have found other Premier League clubs willing to pay them bucket loads. Bojinov and Bianchi have been added to a floudering forward line up whilst exciting players in the form of Geovanni and Elano flourishing in the midfield. Corluka and Garrido has added stability in the defence. So far Eriksson hasn't done so badly but remember this is a marathon and not a sprint.
You probably wouldn't have expect Manchester United to need another forward at this stage of the season, with Nani and Anderson being added to already an abundance of wealth. With Smith and Rossi leaving, Solskjaer retiring plus Rooney and Saha permanently injured, it leaves Tevez as the only capable forward leading the line. Ferguson will hope Rooney will recover soon. Richardson and Heinze leaving won't be too much of an impact but Hargreaves finally joining after a prolonged transfer saga will help bolster the midfield, which didn't require bolstering in the first place.
Losing Yakubu and Viduka would have upset Gareth Southgate's plans but he did bring in good replacements in the form of Mido, Aliadere and Tuncay. Southgate finally filled up the right side of his team with Gary O'Neil and Luke Young, finally bringing some balance to his squad.
Sam Allardyce wheeling and dealing has brought the type of players the Magpies needed. Beye, Rozenhal, Capaca, Faye and Jose Enrique will help stop the goals leaking in, whilst Barton will add some steel to the midfield. Viduka and Smith bring quality to an already good strikeforce. Now the hard part of Allardyce's job has begun - winning trophies.
With Russian money, Redknapp has sufficiently added to his squad. Nugent and Utaka have been good additions but Redknapp wanted Yakubu or Anelka. Adding Johnson, Distin, Hreidarsson, Muntari, Mvuemba and Bouba Diop will add quality to the squad, so like several managers with new money, he will have to bring in good performances.
Like Blackburn, a rather quiet transfer window although they didn't have to add much to their squad. Losing Sidwell and Seol was a big blow but have sufficiently replaced him with Fae, Rosenior and Cisse. Rather worryingly they have an abundance of options at centre-back which Coppell hasn't gotten rid of.
Surprisingly Roy Keane hasn't been raiding his old club Manchester United with loan deals of youngster but has bought in old boys Richardson and Higginbotham. He has been making his own way in the transfer market by bringing in Gordon, McShane, Halford, Anderson, Harte, Chopra and Jones but whether or not they have the quality to stay up is different. Probably the most important players will be Gordon and Chopra.
Bringing in Darren Bent when they already had three good strikers seems an abundance of riches they did not need and by early results it seems so. Probably they would have better spent the money by reinforcing the left hand side of the team, which they did with Gareth Bale but still require a left winger. Some excess weight has been shedded, in the form of Murphy, Mido and Ziegler but they not going to cry over those losses.
West Ham United
Alan Curbishley has been acting like a kid with a blank cheque at a toy store, bringing in players left right and centre. Ljungberg, Solano, Faubert, Parker, Camara and Bellamy have been added but have been balanced by the loss of Tevez, Harewood, Konchesky, Benayoun and Reo-Coker. Again with buying players brings more pressure on the job.
Bringing in Titus Bramble seemed a large gamble but Wigan are in the top half of the table, so far it is paying off. The most notable addition is Sibierski and Koumas who have been contributing to Wigan's climb up the table. However they are still my favourites to be relegated this season.