Arsenal, Spurs, Everton, Man Utd, Sunderland and the window of opportunity

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 …

Sixer by Jake
Sixer by Jake

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.

Three late arrivals snapped up in the window and brought in through the front door of the Stadium of Light
Three late arrivals snapped up in the window and brought in through the front door of the Stadium of Light

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.

Monsieur Salut, Paris-style, by Matt
Monsieur Salut, Paris-style, by Matt

See also: Monsieur Salut discusses the PDC transfer blitz at

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Monsieur Salut, Paris-style, by Matt
Monsieur Salut, Paris-style, by Matt

9 thoughts on “Arsenal, Spurs, Everton, Man Utd, Sunderland and the window of opportunity”

  1. I seem to remember in the ’60s when an overseas pre-season game meant a trip into darkest Yorkshire, that the first team used to get stuffed by “the stiffs” on a regular basis. They had something to play for whereas the so called first XI were just going through the motions. Another example of crappy journalists filling up column inches with shite.

    • I’d agree about journalists, but Id be happier if I had something to go on from our first 3 performances on the pitch so far…unfortunately I cannot find anything to justify that.

  2. ” It was also a season where we signed 11 new players before the window shut. Read into that what you will”

    Ok I will….its quantity not quality and it doesn’t work…….2 players excepted Altidore and Chiaccerini……though I’m not too sure about the latters temperament so far.

    Cabral may do the job if the boss lets him back on a pitch.But if everyone gets dropped for having one bad game we will be onto the full reserve team by end of October….no jokes about first XI getting beat by the under 21s please……Seriously I am desperately worried.

  3. I seem to recall McCann and Grey also getting caps. Not many but caps nonetheless. Rose has boosted his England prospects at SAFC. Colback has potential to go all f the way….he’s better than Milner IMHO

    • Milner would be a great signing for us. He was superb for Villa in central midfield, and has the physical presence and touch Di Canio longs for. Was never a great winger though, yet, that’s where he ends up for zen gland regularly due to playing for Man City.

  4. The mags haven’t strengthened much in the transfer window but neither have they lost 3 of last seasons “star” performers unlike ourselves . We shall wait and see who’s policy bares fruit.Off course we needed to strengthen and no doubt we have in certain areas but in others we’re weaker.Maybe it was a blessing that Fletcher was injured during most of the window as he might have attracted a few decent offers as well.Here’s hoping it all comes good for us, for once.

  5. Question…are Greg Yikes’ comments racist? Greg, who no doubt was appointed to his latest “once in a lifetime” position as a result of his little black book, has trashed SAFC’s transfer policy.

    Couple of thoughts. First, we regularly have players earn caps with England (Henderson, Wellbeck are two recent examples…I appreciate the irony….Wickham is regularly in the U21 side and has the potential to make it as a Senior)

    Second, before the globalisation of football, hw did having Souness, Dalglish, Hanson, Bremner, Quinn, giggs, Toshack, whitehead, Best, etc etc etc benefit England selection. Yike’s comments smack of Lillte Englander ie everything rotten is down to Johnny Foreigner but the English top division has always had lots of foreigners….only they were white, spoke English, relatively local etc etc

    Pretty dodgy stuff from a pretty dodgy bloke. Greg Dyke …Lord of Nepotism, earl of Hypocrisy,

    • Believe me if Sunderland can be knocked they will be knocked.Neil you make a good point about Sunderland’s recent contribution to the England cause.I’ll also add Adam Johnson to that list and remind Mr Dyke that both Kevin Phillips and Darren Bent were practically frozen out by England when playing for us despite being amongst the premierships top scorers.It wouldn’t be a suprise if we as a club said ” why bother” as far as England is concerned, but we don’t .Dyke is just another Eng er land mouthpiece who feels its the preserve of the “big” clubs.

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