Salut! Sunderland’s Pete Sixsmith can remember the time when the transfer window was just an empty space covered in an old potato sack. Now the latest window has been closed, Peter gives his thoughts on the last minute activity that brought a further three players into the club …
The great day has gone and Sky Sports can put Jim White back in the cupboard until the end of January. The gossip columns go quiet for a couple of weeks before the next batch of rumours start, while the Football League loan market opens next week. And to think that I once thought that the transfer window was a good idea!
It always seemed to be a good opportunity for clubs to settle down and work with what they had without someone pinching their best player in December or February and it was intended to prevent clubs buying success and becoming more organised.
Unfortunately, all that it has led to is a frenzy of buying by clubs in the top leagues, particularly in England. It also leads to some of the finest examples of brinkmanship since Khrushchev and Kennedy stared each other out over Cuba, with players being told to pack their bags at 10.50pm as they are off to Seville or Thessalonia or Moscow.
Or at least that is what the hype would have us believe. Does anyone really think that Marouane Fellaini did not have his transfer to Old Trafford set up earlier in the week and that James McCarthy was completely unaware that he was on his way to rejoin Roberto Martinez until the hirsute Belgian became a Red Devil. Our business was mostly conducted in July and early August and the two who came in on deadline day were really there to top and tail the squad. A full back and a striker were needed seeing as Phil Bardsley and Ji Dong Won had, for different reasons, made it abundantly clear that they were not going to figure much this term.
Andrea Dossena has a good pedigree, having played for Verona, Udinese and Napoli in his native Italy. The only blot on his copybook (love that cliché) is a dismal two years at Anfield, where he struggled to adapt to the pace of the Premier League. It is also safe to assume that he was not the best of pals with the man who signed him – Rafael Benitez: he of the goatee beard and the long running love affair with Chelsea fans, as when Benitez took over at Napoli, he told Dossena he could leave. He is a full back who has played for Italy, he can push forward and it could be interesting to see how he can develop a partnership with either Giaccherini or Johnson. We can but hope.
The other Italian new boy is Fabio Borini, signed on loan from Liverpool – as was Anthony Le Tallec. He ended up as our top league scorer in that glorious 2005-06 season, where he just pipped the likes of Tommy Miller and Jonathan Stead in the goal scoring charts. It was also a season where we signed 11 new players before the window shut. Read into that what you will. Borini is another player with a good pedigree, having played for Chelsea, Swansea, Roma and Liverpool. All of those are clubs who win trophies and he has scored goals for all of them bar Chelsea. He is quick and should feed off Altidore and/or Fletcher.
I am quite looking forward to seeing him play against Arsenal, where he will with luck help to put a damper on Mesut Ozil’s debut. Now there’s a great player. Why didn’t we sign him? I blame Syd Collings for not backing the manager!
Loan signings are always a bit hitty missy. For every Danny Rose, there is a Loek Ursem, for every Jonny Evans a Sotirios Kyrgiakos and for every Danny Welbeck, a Simon Johnson. Our other loanee, Ki Sung-Yeung, another with an impressive pedigree (this is getting more and more like a dog show review –ed) will hopefully give us a wee bit of quality in midfield and may well team up with Jack Colback in the middle.
Some clubs have been busy – us, Palace, Tottenham, others left it until the last minute – Arsenal, Manchester United, while The Mags have been moribund. The next few weeks will see who have bought wisely and who foolishly, who has been shopping at Harrods, who has been to Binns and who at Wilkinsons.
And it all starts again in January.
See also: Monsieur Salut discusses the PDC transfer blitz at ESPNFC.com: http://espnfc.com/blog/_/name/sunderland/id/2015?cc=5739
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