January Transfer Window Update….Where are the Big Deals?

We’re almost half way through January the month that sees the transfer window open for European clubs to buy, sell or loan players during the 31 days of the month. However, there appears to be heavy negotiations behind the scenes with managers, players and more correctly agents and chairmen. Where are the big deals?

The likes of Gary Cahill and Carlos Tevez were rumoured to make moves come January but neither deals have taken place with the latest of Tevez’s switch to Milan appears to have been stalled. Rumours are linking the want away Argentinean striker to Queens Park Rangers, who appointed his former boss at City, Mark Hughes as their manager.

It may just be because they share the same agent but could Tevez play his football in London again? Crazier things have happened.

Whatever happens, QPR is one club that’s expected to be very busy this month but have only acquired Federico Macheda on loan from Manchester United.

Whilst across west London, Chelsea were expected to make some signings for manager Andres Villas Boas to boost his squad. Gary Cahill of Bolton Wanderers has been heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge although the likes of Tottenham Hotspur could be after him too.

The most interesting deals of the 12 days we’ve had so far have been Nicolas Anelka’s move to China, whilst he may be well past his prime you didn’t expect the Frenchman to end his playing days in the Chinese Premier Division. ‘The Sulk’ has been one the best finisher’s the Premier League has ever seen.

Some interesting loan deals have taken place with Emmanuel Frimpong joining Wolverhampton Wanderers on loan from Arsenal, a midfield with him and Jamie O’Hara sounds very combative.

Whilst away from the top flight, League Two side AFC Wimbledon have made a double scoop with the return of Jason Euell to the South London club from Charlton Athletic on loan and young midfield George Moncur (son of John) from West Ham.

The biggest signing of this transfer window so far has to be Thierry Henry returning to Arsenal on loan. Whilst players look to end their careers in the MLS, the fact they’re able to come back on loan is a very attractive prospect for players and clubs alike.

Robbie Keane also joins Henry in a short term loan by signing for Aston Villa. The player who never lived up to expectations in his loan move at West Ham United last season has caused a flurry of ‘boyhood club’ jokes on Twitter, as standard.

What’s to come in the remaining days of January? It’s hard to say.

Will Manchester United buy a midfielder? Where will Christopher Samba ditch Blackburn for? And just how many players will Mark Hughes sign at QPR?

I’ll be back in a week to see what’s taken place…

Just what is Phil Jones’ best position? #ManUtd

One of Manchester United’s most interesting signings in the summer was the capture of Phil Jones from Blackburn Rovers for a transfer fee around £16.5 Million. The money is not in question as Jones has made an emphatic start at his new club and has made the most appearances for the Red Devils so far this season.

At the weekend, Jones scored his first goal for United with an excellent side footed volley in the area from Nani’s cross. It was a finish that any attacking player would be proud of and in particular United legends like Bryan Robson and Brian McClair.

It begs the question that has been on my mind throughout the season so far and that is just what is Phil Jones’ best position?

Naturally, he is a centre half and no doubt Sir Alex Ferguson signed him to be the successor of Rio Ferdinand and/or Nemanja Vidic. In particular, Fergie signed Jones not only for his football talent but also his leadership and many in the game have tipped him to be a future United captain, as well as England.

However, after seeing how well he has adapted to life at Old Trafford, it’s remarkable to think that he is only 19 years old. He plays with a sense of confidence that usually players his senior command on the pitch, he is bound to be one of the best Defenders in the future but what about now?

Jones has played at the back for United this season on a number of occasions but he has also filled in at right-back where he looked competent but not his natural game. However, the times he has been pushed up the pitch in United’s midfield has seen him come alive.

When breaking though to the Blackburn Rovers team, he was preferred in midfield mainly because of Rovers’ competent centre-backs Ryan Nelsen and Christopher Samba. Still he impressed as a defensive midfielder however, for United you often see him bursting forward with the ball and creating opportunities.

The beautiful finish at Villa Park, which won United the game 1-0, makes me wonder if he should be considered as a midfielder for the next several years.

Whilst the centre-back position may be his natural trait, it’s a position that is often thrived with plenty of experience and like I already mentioned in this article, Jones is bound to be one of the best when he’s older.

However, at only 19, I feel that he could solidify that United midfield that appears to be lacking this season bringing to mind the classic square pegs in round holes cliché.

And maybe the holding midfielder role isn’t even right for him, as he’s a player who likes to move forward. Perhaps a more box-to-box central midfield position would suit him and United throughout this season and through the next.

The only downside to his versatility is that he could become just that, a versatile player who fits in various positions on the pitch without making one his own. It’s a similar story to John O’Shea and his demise from the United team.

Just what is O’Shea’s best position? I couldn’t really tell you but perhaps it is unfair to compare the two, whilst O’Shea is a better footballer than often given credit for, Jones has the potential to be much, much better.

I for one can’t wait to see what is to come from the youngster, for England’s sake more over.

In the defense of Sam Allardyce…

  What is the deal with Sam Allardyce? He’s the football managerial version of Marmite, people seem to either really admire and credit his ability and accept he’s one of the better English managers in the game. Or he’s loathed with hatred, a “long ball merchant”, fat and overweight (as if that’s even a valid point over someone’s ability to manage), bold and outspoken, old fashioned etc.

His recent appointment of West Ham United Continue reading

The Premier League Underrated Team of the Season 2010/2011:

 I’ve been compelled to write a piece and highlight the players of whom I feel are continually underrated by fellow football fans, pundits and journalists alike. The players in the piece below rarely receive the plaudits compared to the bigger stars of the Premier League.  The following players are the ones who’ve performed with distinction throughout the 2010/2011 Premier League season:

Continue reading

Who’s to blame if West Ham United go down?

 The media hyperbole over the West Ham United owners/directors not attending the away game at Manchester City at the weekend is a moot point, but does it really matter?

Chairman David Sullivan publicly defended his decision to not travel to the game stating that it was because of the clubs poor away form and the fact it was live on SKY Television, whilst also saying that the cost of him and fellow directors travelling to the game was donated to charity.

If Sullivan, fellow Co-Chairman David Gold and vice Chairwoman Karen Brady all attended the game, would it have any influence on the result? Do players really care if the owners of the club turn up at every game or not?

Perhaps certain journalists picked up on the owners’ lack of attendance because the club are currently in the relegation zone and have three games left to save their season.

If the Hammers are relegated to the 2nd tier of English football then who is to blame? Continue reading