January 02, 2005

The window is open.: From Jan 1 to 31, the EPL clubs are again allowed to buy and sell players (after which they have to wait until the summer). Kevin Beattie has agreed to a 6.5m-pound transfer from Southampton to Everton. The main post is BBC's early round-up of of speculated moves. What would be your dream moves, likely moves and surprise moves?

posted by worldcup2002 to soccer at 12:52 PM - 31 comments

Liverpool has certainly been getting a bad, erm, break with injuries (Gerrard broken foot, Cisse horrible "if he were a racehorse we woulda shot him right there on the field" broken leg, Alonso broken ankle ...). It looks like we need another playmaker (someone who can distribute the ball like Gerrard and Alonso) along with the striker and central defender (Carragher and Hyppia and Diao don't cut it if we want to play in multiple tourneys).

posted by worldcup2002 at 12:58 PM on January 02, 2005

WC, after watching Dudek yesterday and considering Kirkland's sad but continuous injury record, I think we need to find another top of the line keeper too. Though I doubt Rafa will get the okay for four signings, so if Morientes cannot be had by LFC I think the most likely purchases are midfield (perhaps someone like Landon Donovan who is creative to give cover for Alonso but can mainly be out on the wing as an attacker) and keeper, with defense a probability only if no good keeper is bought. Everton and Newcastle have made their main moves. If Beattie can return to scoring form the Toffees may be able to stay in the European zone especially if other contenders for 3rd and 4th are less fortunate. Newcastle will narrow the openings of their seive but not enough to get back to the top 6 at the end. Arsenal absolutely need to add to central defense, especially with Cygan's injury, as I think that's more the reason for their goals allowed than Lehmann or Almunia, though they also are showing weakness up top except for van Persie's recent play. ManU have a lot of great players, of course, but with injury also a factor are not playing up to their capability; Sir Alex is not known for sitting on his hands and I am not seeing Fletcher as a longterm solution in MF despite his goal yesterday so perhaps a keeper and young MF. Middlesbrough will be in trouble if they lose Schwarzer though I'm in the dark as to what positive moves they might make. Big danger for them is if ManU or Arsenal come calling for Stuart Downing. Crystal Palace, Norwich and Blackburn need to add at the back line to avoid the drop. Rovers may see fortune smiling on them if they can grab Robby Savage from Birmingham as well as complete the (delayed) Jonathon Spector loan. Chelsea will probably spend money though there doesn't seem to be any good reason for it.

posted by billsaysthis at 01:30 PM on January 02, 2005

What would be your dream moves, likely moves and surprise moves? I'd like to see Swansea City FC put in a bid for Ronaldinho, but after yesterday's performance against Yeovil Town I'm not sure he'd be interested. Too bad. Back in the real world though, I can't see any major movers this month apart from Morientes (maybe). The Robbie Savage speculation is interesting. He was in my local paper a few days ago complaining that he has "family issues" that have caused him to become unsettled at Birmingham. I can definitely see him leaving and possibly going to Blackburn, where he can re-establish the link with Mark Hughes. That would be a great boost to Blackburn. I don't think Hartson will leave Celtic. Why would he? He's a good player in Scotland, but would be distinctly average in the Premiership.

posted by afx237vi at 03:20 PM on January 02, 2005

What family problems does Robbie Savage have? Did he head-butt his wife again?

posted by worldcup2002 at 07:46 PM on January 02, 2005

Who the fuck is Kevin Beattie?!

posted by StarFucker at 10:19 PM on January 02, 2005

kevin beattie, ipswich and england, central defender. quality player of the 70s and early 80s. a bit of a freudian slip (i think he meant james beattie).

posted by owlhouse at 11:49 PM on January 02, 2005

James. Why did I say Kevin? What is wrong with me! I fear senility has struck me in the new y ... what was I saying?

posted by worldcup2002 at 12:55 AM on January 03, 2005

Is he as good as James Phillips?

posted by StarFucker at 01:49 AM on January 03, 2005

And bill, what exactly did Dudek do to not warrant your confidence? Liverpool didn't have a clean sheet for 9 games till Dudek started keeping again and then got 2 in a row. He was hardly at fault for the Joe Cole goal and made fine saves the rest of the game.

posted by StarFucker at 02:26 AM on January 03, 2005

Dudek keeps like a fairy.

posted by Fat Buddha at 05:26 AM on January 03, 2005

Fat Buddha comments like a fairy.

posted by gspm at 07:17 AM on January 03, 2005

What do West Brom need? Apart from a whole new team and a bloody miracle?

posted by salmacis at 12:01 PM on January 03, 2005

Maybe more fairies?

posted by chicobangs at 12:32 PM on January 03, 2005

West Brom need to believe in themselves...

posted by StarFucker at 01:58 PM on January 03, 2005

A new manager.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 02:27 PM on January 03, 2005

Championship-quality opponents.

posted by blarp at 03:20 PM on January 03, 2005

"Savage hands in transfer request":

"The 30-year-old is said to be desperate to move clubs so he can be nearer to his sick parents who live in Wrexham. Blackburn Rovers are leading the chase and have already had an offer of 2m rejected, with Blues boss Steve Bruce insisting he does not want to sell."
Now I'm not great with geography, but I'd guess that the distance between Wrexham and Blackburn in pretty much exactly the same as the distance between Wrexham and Birmingham...

posted by afx237vi at 04:16 PM on January 03, 2005

Does a written transfer request mean anything specific under the rules? The Soccernet article I read seemed to emphasize it. SF, not sure if you saw the same video of Cole's goal as I did but Dudek was falling away in the wrong direction when Cole hit the ball. And what about today, he gave up the late to goal to an 18 year old for his first Premiership goal instead of putting the bottomdwellers away. Anyway, if LFC management were so high on Jerzy why does Kirkland get the start every time he's healthy again? Second, my thinking on getting another keeper is also related to Kirkland's continual injuries.

posted by billsaysthis at 05:32 PM on January 03, 2005

If a player is sold without asking for a transfer, then he receives some of the fee paid in compensation for moving. The figures varies, depending on contracts, but it's not less than 10% of the fee paid. Because Savage has handed in a written request, he will receive none of the money paid for him, if Birmingham manage to sell him on.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 05:41 PM on January 03, 2005

Thanks MrB.

posted by billsaysthis at 09:20 PM on January 03, 2005

Looks like Liverpool have bottled up some free Pellegrino. Mauricio Pellegrino is a 33yo defender from Valencia, Benitez's former team. Why such an "old" player? I know we need to tighten up defence, but a 33yo with injury problems this season? Maybe a cheap way to ensure to Champs League qualification, but still a gamble.

posted by worldcup2002 at 10:13 AM on January 04, 2005

Where the hell is Morientes?!

posted by StarFucker at 12:07 PM on January 04, 2005

Madrid, for now.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 12:10 PM on January 04, 2005

Alonso and Kirkland are both out for three more months, so Liverpool signs a 33 year old often-injured defender. Meanwhile Morientes plays and makes a good impression in the seven minute makeup match in Spain, making his transfer prospects a bit more questionable. Still, nine out of 12 points over the holiday games and missing more by one late goal, what will Rafa and the executives do? Inquiring minds want to know, and soon.

posted by billsaysthis at 03:19 PM on January 05, 2005

Who cares about Kirkland?!?! Open your eyes bill!

posted by StarFucker at 04:48 PM on January 05, 2005

Who will back up Dudek or push him to be better to keep his place? Paul Harrison?

posted by billsaysthis at 05:47 PM on January 05, 2005

Maybe Scott Carson of Leeds for 400K pounds. Guardian has a much more detailed list of the teams and money available to spend, prospective targets and how much they might cost. Good stuff.

posted by worldcup2002 at 06:45 PM on January 05, 2005

Good linkage, WC. I've seen a few matches of Bayern Leverkusen and Barbatov might be useful up front, though I'm not thrilled with weakening the Germans just as Landon arrives on the scene. Also, Blackburn are interested in DC United's Ryan Nelsen, that's cool, another good young American player playing in the EPL.

posted by billsaysthis at 09:42 PM on January 05, 2005

Benitez "has also revealed he is now actively trying to sign an experienced goalkeeper and that he still believes he will land Real Madrid striker Fernando Morientes."

posted by billsaysthis at 02:53 PM on January 06, 2005

"Benitez continued: 'I do not know if it will be a loan or a permanent deal, but we must have an experienced goalkeeper as cover with us still in four competitions and the Champions League due to start soon.' "

posted by StarFucker at 03:18 PM on January 06, 2005

Given that Benitez only has 7m pounds to spend, and Morientes costs that much alone, the keeper will have to come on loan or a free. And free keepers usu. suck or are old or both. We'll get a loaner.

posted by worldcup2002 at 03:49 PM on January 06, 2005

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