Andy Carroll, Torres and Bent: good business or desperate human trafficking?


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.

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13 thoughts on “Andy Carroll, Torres and Bent: good business or desperate human trafficking?”

  1. I think that some of us feel that Bent was given away in the light of Carroll’s move. A lot of money for someone who is very much still unproven. 50M is a lot of money for Torres, but as you say Hicksy you know what you are getting. It’s going to be interesting to see how Carroll does because he has a lot of off days, as well as good ones.

  2. Massively surprised by the transfer of Carroll yesterday, he came across as a player who would spend the majority of his career at Newcastle and perhaps make them into the top team of the past. Despite his ability and age i think his £35m price tag was ludicrous and in comparison with the Torres deal, Liverpool definitely overpayed.
    As a Chelsea fan i can only be happy about the Torres purchase and whilst i’ve had my reservations about his form this year, we all know ‘Form is temporary, class is permanent’. As a player i have loved Torres since his Athletico days as i’m a massive admirer of his talents and whilst i believe that the fee of £50m was madness and we probably did overpay i can’t help but see past it into the player we are getting.
    Finally on the Bent matter, i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again, good player, gets goals but in my opinion relies a lot on the players around him. With Gyan up top i think you have a just as capable goal getter and at £18m (£24m – clauses), this was definitely a desperate move by Villa and they have over payed the most!

  3. There are a couple of good articles on there Pete. It seems that what we have here are two of the three sides involved here (Carroll and NUFC) who want to come out of this smelling of roses.

    Apparently Liverpool offered 25M and were told to come back wit 10M more. NUFC probably didn’t want to sell him, but anyone can be sold for a daft price. Carroll in the mean time; keen to reassert his allegiance to NUFC and to underline his determination to stay asked for a new contract to replace the one he signed a few months ago, adding that he wanted to be off if he didn’t get it.

    He’s quadrupled his wages and who wouldn’t want to do that. Newcastle wanted to sell him and he wanted more money. Everybody’s happy…………….. Well no they aren’t because NUFC don’t want to look sloppy about not finding a replacement, but as Pardew says they didn’t expect to lose him. Carroll should be happy but claims to be gutted despite a wage windfall that would allow most of us to retire after a couple of months. Ashley and co must be in fear of a huge reaction from their fans who must be planning another “boycoutt” as we speak, and Carroll must be worrying about his mother’s windows. This PR contest to see who comes out in the best light is arguably the most interesting issue in what has already been a remarkable series of events. Who will ultimately come out on top remains to be seen.

    This might be the start of the rot setting in for Alan Pardew as my instincts tell me that he will be harangued for this, as accusations begin about him being Ashley’s puppet. The Carroll departure will presumably be seen as evidence that this is the case. I don’t really think that AP has done much wrong with this. On the True Faith website he is already being given stick because Carroll was being paid less than the likes of Smith amongst others. It seems that it took a bid from Liverpool to make Carroll realise his true value and was prepared to resort to what some people may see as blackmail to get a better deal. He wants to remain a hero and fill his pockets at Anfield. It shows a remarkable immaturity to think that he can have it both ways. He has a lot to learn on the field and off it in several ways.

    The texts that he sent to the editor of a fanzine reveal absolutely nothing about his actions or intentions other than the fact that he was covering his arse for the shellacking that he is obviously expecting.

  4. Not sure why your reference to “screwed negotiators” is in this thread M. Salut. Having said that; the 24m we got for Darren Bent makes Quinny and Ellis look like “screwed negotiators” in the wake of the Carroll move.

    Yes, you’re right Jeremy – it has been moved …M Salut

  5. It was a good piece.

    Apparently Carroll went to see Pardew after they had turned down the initial offer to ask to renegotiate the 5 year deal he signed in October! He told Pardew if he didn’t get a new deal he wanted to go. This is how they forced Carroll to leave! Unbelievable! Shearer thinks that there might be a backlash against Ashley for the sale but if there’s a legitimate target here then it doesn’t seem to be Ashley, for once at least.

  6. I’ll have something to you later if you like Colin?

    To be honest I only read about it earlier today, but it sounds like SAFC are doing something to commemorate it and I figured there would be something up on here.

    It’s been a while since I wrote, so I’ll shake off the dust later and see what I can come up with.

  7. There’s a good assessment of the Carroll transfer on the Mag website True Faith. It’s always a cheery read when they sack a manager, sell a player or get relegated.

  8. There is no business strategy in any of these moves, Chelsea we know have bottomless pockets Abramovic didn’t work for his money and nobody is actually sure if it really is his. How does and orphan with no track record walk away with oil and mineral concessions at the fall of communism? N’cstle have got 35mil will Ashley use it to pay off his loan account or put it back into the club my guess is he will pocket most of it. Can Liverpool afford the kind of expenditure even when the Torres money is considered. They probably have a huge debt that has been flattened only to add to it with Carroll & Suarez. The leeds scenario springs to mind, No Champions League money this year and probably the next and no guarenteeing the year after. Panic buying notoriously comes back to haunt you Defoe at Portsmouth Crespo & Muntu etcetc. Bruce was right and will get better players in August at the right price. Quinn, Shot and Bruce long may they reign

  9. Risking being disliked once again…
    I actually think this is a good move. By all means, local players do tend -deservedly – to become the hero-esque figures and this is what has hurt the mags so much.
    In Andy Carroll they saw the new She*rer to say the least.
    But would you really say “no” if a 35 million bid came in?
    Face the facts: NUFC have just been promoted, are 5 points safe from relegation (more or less) and are 100 million in debt due to spending at these kind of rates.
    The money in offer is what everyone refers to as “silly money” and when a chance like that comes along you just take it. They wouldn’t be heading to europe and have a decent squad as it seems.
    All he should have said is “both suited me and the club”, the club he professes to love will be eased financially and he gets the chance to go on the big stage… what will actually happen is left to be seen.
    It’s not really in comparrison to the other two deals being mentioned, what they do have in common is the “silly money factor” thus in a time of recession which really should get people prustrated!

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