There is always a lot of focus on big signings when the transfer window finally comes and goes, it is the Fernando Torres or Luis Suarez-style glamour signings that every fan is hoping for. There is no doubt the odd quality acquisition for teams at the top end of the table can help, but perhaps it is at the bottom of the league where signings can matter the most. This transfer window we have seen activity from all of the clubs who currently occupy the bottom six places in the Premier League, but will there transfer window activity help their chances of survival? Football Rascal investigates in part one of this two part article…
Now the window has ‘slammed shut’ it is either down to the managers to get the most out of existing players or for new players to come in, lift the team and make an impact in areas where that team struggles. During this window all the bottom six sides have bought in 3 or more players with the exception of bottom club Wigan, who only managed one new signing. Let’s take a look at the signings club-by-club:
The players the bottom 6 sides have signed makes interesting reading; as we can see QPR, Bolton and Blackburn have signed players in all three outfield positions. West Brom, Wolves and Wigan are three sides that did not sign a striker. Wigan were the only club to sign only one player.
A sensible approach to take when assessing what signings will bring to those teams is to look at the ‘Goals For’ and ‘Goals Against’ totals of each team to see what areas the sides seem to be lacking in. Let’s start off in part one with ‘Goals For’ to see if the number of attacking players recruited, is consistent with the number of goals scored by each team. Logically, you would expect the club who have scored the least amount of goals to recruit the most attacking players:
It is interesting that the three teams that have scored the least amount of goals are the same three teams that did not sign a striker. This defies logic, surely signing a striker in January would have been Wolves’, West Brom’s and Wigan’s top priority? The silver lining for the fans is that at least West Brom and Wigan did recruit attack-minded midfielders, as opposed to Wolves as Mick McCarthy went completely defensive.
In the case of West Brom, Hodgson will hope that the signing of Keith Andrews will bring them more goals from midfield after he scored 9 goals in 20 games this season whilst on loan at Ipswich. However, Andrews record when he was last in the Premier League lead to him scoring only 6 goals in 76 appearances whilst at Blackburn.
Wigan have scored the fewest goals of all the clubs in the bottom six and this won’t be particularly helped by the arrival of Jean Beausejour. The left winger has experience throughout world football and is a good player, but will only create rather than score with a scoring rate of one goal every thirteen games. Wolves arrivals, Eggert Jonsson and Emmanual Frimpong, are good quality signings, but both defensive so will contribute little to the team’s potential to score goals.
Blackburn have scored the most goals and therefore potentially needed attacking players the least, but still signed two. They chose not commit to the permanent signing of Anthony Modeste, who has no track record in England, not a great goal record anywhere else and has probably been bought as a backup. New Zealand striker Tim Payne also signed, but it definitely one for the future. The signing of Marcus Olsson will help Blackburn’s left sided attacking options, but the player is more of a winger and is still largely unproven, so question over his effectiveness will remain.
QPR were the most active when it came to the recruitment of attacking players and showed they are confident in their signings with permanent deals for both Bobby Zamora and Djibril Cisse. Both strikers have been internationals and have proven goal scoring records in the Premier League, so you could say that QPR have done the best business when it comes to improving the side.
Bolton bought in Marvin Sordell who is not proven in the Premier League, but has scoring rate of 1-in-3 in the Championship and has experience represented England at under 21 level. Sordell could be considered potentially a good signing, but is still a gamble – whether he can get goals at the highest-level will be the question. Loan signing Ryo Miyaichi from Arsenal will be asked similar questions, as the attack-minded winger only has European experience after a short loan spell at Feyernoord in Holland. You would think he would create even more chances for a Bolton side that seems to be scoring goals anyway.
In part two tomorrow I will take a look at the defensive signings and I will give my verdict as to whether clubs have managed to sign well enough to survive this season. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter@FootballRascal and ‘Like’ our Facebook page.