Happy New Year to you all and welcome to my weekly column throughout January. I am a Watford fan and a big football fan in general and whilst all my glory hunting mates are celebrating the coming of the transfer window as if it were the best present since getting a Super Nintendo complete with Street Fighter 2 as a 10-year-old, I couldn’t give a ‘schiesse’. Every day I scrawl through various internet sites looking for anything Watford transfer related, but like Elton John’s hair it just ain’t there (I momentarily forgot about his hair transplant!).
The transfer window for me is more about the trepidation of losing a player and going from mid-table mediocrity to League One wannabes. That’s how fine the line is in the Championship and anyone with a bit of savvy knows that goal-scorers count in the Championship more than any other position. We currently have an over-rated (by the size of his reputation) England under-21 striker called Marvin Sordell. Now don’t get me wrong, Sordell is not a bad player, but the only Watford transfer news of note has surrounded Sordell as he has been linked with a host of Premier League sides. For me (in the accent of the Grolsch advert) ‘he’s not ready’ for Premier League football. If I was a scout who came to watch Sordell, I would be alarmed by his lack of work-rate, even the best forwards have to work hard in the Premier League and this isn’t even something Sordell does in the Championship.
Maybe I am just trying to put off any interested parties (who will be reading this article no doubt), but if someone came in with £5m then I would bite their hand off if I were the Watford board, because he could be replaced from £5m. In general it isn’t great having to worry about losing players rather than gaining them, but for me it’s reality … you can’t polish a turd and all that. So I take a healthy interest in what else is going on. A few transfers have snuck through in the first few days, but a lot of deals have left me wondering ‘have you got a clue Mr Manager?’.
Take QPR’s signing of Manchester United striker Fedrico Macheda; Macheda hasn’t really had a sniff around United’s forward line and may even get shafted in to the stands on the odd occasion by the goal machine that is Mame Biram Diouf. I am probably being over the top, but I just can’t see the point in signing someone like Macheda; he has just never really done it. 16 games on loan whilst at Sampdoria last season and only 1 goal in return. 33 games in total for Manchester United and only 5 goals scored. Surely QPR need someone they can rely on to chip in with at least ten goals if they are to stay in the Premier League? They are the joint second lowest goal-scorers in the league after all. So is he there just to make up numbers or does Warnock believe that he is the man to spearhead the QPR attack? If not, why even get him in? For me this seems to be a very pointless signing and I think he is a waste of time, therefore I am going to rate this move a fail, for me Macheda is the new Gael Kakuta who did so well at Bolton.
Another random move in my eyes is the return of the king, Thierry Henry, returning to a club where he is so legendary that he has his own statue outside. There is no doubt Arsenal need the back up, but if you were Henry would you want to take the chance on souring what was an amazing career? At 34-years-old has he got a lot to offer? On the other hand, with the amount of available quality, maybe a nice loan for a player who would live and die for the club is a good one (not sure why Wenger didn’t fancy Macheda?). That could be harsh on Henry as he has averaged pretty much a goal every other game in the MLS … but for me the jury is out.
One player going out of Arsenal is Emmanuel Frimpong as he joins Wolves on loan in a move he could only describe as ‘Dench’. I agree Emmanuel, great/drench move for you. He will strengthen Wolves, although no doubt will pick up a red whilst there and endure the wrath of big Mick, but it’s all about learning the hard way. We have seen how Jack Wilshere’s loan spell at Bolton benefitted him and it will be interesting to see how Frimpong does.
There have of course been a few other moves, but other than that we live in a world of pure speculation. Will De Rossi be arriving in England? Is Kaka on his way to Spurs? Is Sneijder going to United? So much rubbish is written, but we all seem to love it like my girlfriend loves reading the gossip in Grazia each week. One of the reasons I approached the guys at Football Rascal was because they share my hatred for the amount of crap that gets spouted about from the papers and the internet, especially Twitter. Some of the stories people come up with are unbelievable.
I am less easily convinced, but then again the most exciting piece of transfer news I am going to get is the possibility of Tommy Smith returning for his third stint at Vicarage Road.We’re never quite good enough for him, but if he does show up he will no doubt get his hero’s welcome. Oh the excitement! Well I hope you enjoyed my first column, I would be more than happy to discuss any transfers in the comments section below.