So it ended without that extra striker coming our way. That leaves some of us feeling a little nervous, but Steve Bruce seems content with the business he’s done and with his resistance to the idea of panic measures to fill a temporary gap up front. Jeremy Robson looks at events elsewhere in the climax to one of the world’s craziest trade fairs …
The transfer window has always been controversial.
Whoever it serves hadn’t quite been figured out until this one. Most managers seemed to hold the view that it didn’t help anyone much as the prices demanded for players during January was artificially high and that the clubs’ finances would face less of a strain during the summer months.
It’s taken several years for this oddity to be sort itself out. Well, by sort itself out I mean for the richest clubs to find a way in which they can bully their smaller counterparts to part with their prized assets.
The key figures in this window have been Darren Bent whose move produced enough newsprint to consume the Amazon rainforest, and Fernando Torres, who has displayed the same look of alienation with his football surroundings for as long as … well Darren Bent.
The biggest surprise on the merry go round is of course one Andrew Carroll formerly of the parish of St James whose 35M+ move to Liverpool has met with almost universal incredulity.
I’ve not heard anyone say that he’s a bargain, but I’m sure that someone will as soon as he gets on the score sheet. Uruguayans and Spaniards have also climbed in through the window almost unnoticed despite costing umpteen millions. Then last and by no means least is Charlie Adam (who I almost forgot) who remains a Blackpool player despite half the PL bosses wanting to sign him before the chance was gone until the summer.
Remarkably, and somehow in keeping with the Tangerines’ wonderful season, a Blackpool player he remains for the time being, as some of the club’s
shareholders hadn’t time to sign the paperwork).
Being unaccustomed to being pursued by the PL’s money men has worked to their advantage.
Charlie Adam could have been heading to Liverpool to accompany Andy Carroll, or some say to Spurs, and there was even a rumour that he was going to Man Utd. To his credit (I suppose), but what else could he say; he’s given his pledge to do everything he can to help Blackpool to their best possible league position.
Strangely most folk who work for a living make that pledge every day of their working lives to their employers. But I’m pleased that Blackpool have held on to Adam, and I hope he turns out to be as good as his word. It’s in his best interests to see that he does, because his spark of form, which has been brilliant, may yet turn out to be no more than a flash in the pan.
The same might be said of Andy Carroll who has a long way to go to show that he really is a PL striker of some quality, let alone one who is worth such a ridiculous amount of money.
I can’t imagine that I am the only one that feels sad at the way in which transfer business has become a media and agent fuelled circus during the January frenzy.
The pursuit of money has become the be and end all for players. Bent’s departure left a bitter taste in the mouth of Sunderland fans. I imagine that the loss of Carroll will be borne with heavy hearts on Tyneside despite the cash windfall.
The bigger clubs have eventually figured out the window. Wait long enough, offer more than enough and you can bully whichever club you want into handing over their star player when it’s too late to replace him.
Torres always spoke fondly of playing for a club with working class support, and how he would like to stay on Merseyside for the rest of his career. Bent’s badge kissing and eulogy to the fans from Wearside was hollow rhetoric, but arguably the saddest case is the departure of Carroll, a home grown local lad who was making the grade whose head was turned seemingly before he even knew it himself.
He now claims to have been “pushed out the door, by Newcastle Utd”. This is the same club that had turned down bids of £30m and then £35m. Hardly the behaviour of a club that was trying to get rid of him.
If he’s just going to take the money, then he might be best advised to just slink away quietly. In the fullness of time it may not only be Mrs Nolan who is heaving a huge sigh of relief.