Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Top 5 Transfer Thoughts

Mes amis,

We are at a point in the season where we can analyze the value of summer signings. Below, I will identify my top 5 signings, flops, and players to watch during the January transfer window.

Top 5 signings of the summer

(5) Marouane Chamakh Arsenal
Arsenal fans should be celebrating the roll of the dice it took for Arsene Wenger to acquire Chamakh for free over the summer. After offering Bordeaux a mere £7m in the summer of 2009 for the towering striker, the French tactician held strong and gambled on getting Chamakh for free after his contract expired. It all came to pass and the rest is history. Arsenal sits atop the Premier League and the Moroccan striker has 11 goals in all competitions to his name. A wonderful start in English football, I'd say.

(4) Mesut Özil Real Madrid

One of Mourinho's first big signings of the summer, Özil has become a driving force behind Real Madrid's attack. If you've watched any La Liga games featuring the German maestro and his star studded comrades, you undoubtedly have noticed his superb impact on the squad. In particular, he links very well with Ronaldo and Higuain, which is important for any attacking midfielder hoping to remain in the starting 11 at the Bernabéu. Özil has gained the admiration of the fans, his peers, and the manager. It will be interesting to see what happens when Kaka gets healthy.

(3) David Villa Barcelona
Villa is one of the most accomplished strikers in world soccer, so it's no surprise that he is on this list. Not only does he always have cool hair, but he always puts the ball in the back of the net! Picking up from a great season at Valencia and a lively World Cup, Villa has scored 10 goals in all competitions for Barcelona. The Spanish international has been eased into Catalan life by many of his national peers, who feature heavily in the squad. Villa could have been number one on my list, but I factored in the ridiculously good supporting cast he has to work with.

(2) Zlatan Ibrahimovic AC Milan
Do you know this Zlatan? Well, I do. The imposing Swedish hardman, who can pretty much be considered a gun for hire, is back in the Serie A, frustrating opposing defenses. Anywhere Ibra goes, he scores. With 11 goals in all competitions, Zlatan has steered AC Milan to the top of the Serie A table, and can be considered a top summer signing. I give kudos to the VP of Milan, Adriano Galliani, for orchestrating some major deals on the last day of the window.

(1) Rafael Van der Vaart Tottenham
The number one signing of the summer transfer window has to be Rafael Van der Vaart. A stirring last minute acquisition on deadline day, VdV has captivated the crowd at White Hart Lane and become an integral part of Tottenham's success. Aside from controlling play in the midfield, the crafty Dutchman currently has 8 goals in all competitions. I give major credit to Van der Vaart for pulling his team up the Premier League table and getting them out of their Champions League group stage with relative ease. He is my number one based on the comparative impact he has on his squad. I am excited to see how much more Van der Vaart can give to the Tottenham cause.

Honorable Mention
Sami Khedira, Real Madrid, David Silva, Manchester City; Mario Balotelli, Manchester City, Marco Borriello, Roma; Alberto Aquilani, Juventus; Milan Krasic, Juventus; Diego, Wolfsburg.

Top 5 flops 

(5) Jermaine Beckford Everton
With Leeds United, Beckford had a strike rate of approximately 86 goals in 190 games. Unfortunately, this was throughout English Division One and the Championship. Everton gambled in buying the polished striker and it has not really paid off. Beckford has just 2 goals in league play and Everton are currently hovering above the drop zone. I believe there is still hope for Beckford, given his great equalizer against Chelsea over the weekend. Perhaps he just needs time to get used to the big league.

(4) Thierry Henry/Rafa Marquez New York Red Bull
I mashed these two flops together because they play in the MLS, and boy, do they deserve it. I was certain my beloved Red Bulls would win the MLS cup this year after signing Henry and Marquez, but no, we didn't even come close. I imagined Henry tearing through defenses and Marquez shutting down whole midfields. Instead, these two were outplayed by the likes of Dane Richards on a weekly basis. Shameful for men of their caliber and sad to say that they are both in the twilight of their careers. 

(2) Yossi Benayoun Chelsea
Is Yossi Benayoun actually on Chelsea? I can't be too sure, since I don't think I've ever seen him on the pitch donning a blue uni. Benayoun hasn't flopped completely, but he certainly was a top flop signing, in that he hardly sees the field. The poor Israeli worked his way up to become an integral starter at Liverpool, only to sign with Chelsea and be back at the bottom of the pecking order. Yossi, what were you thinking by making this move? Come back to Anfield, sweet boy. 

(2) Christian Poulsen Liverpool
I hate this man and nothing makes me happier then to profile him as a flop. After leaving Juventus, a team I'm not sure why he was on, Christian Poulsen was lucky enough to sign with another high-caliber team he should not be privy to, Liverpool. Why was this waste of space signed? He hardly features and when he does, is constantly outplayed by the odd looking Brazilian, Lucas, which is certainly not a compliment (though Lucas is playing better). Liverpool needs to stop patching up the holes that Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano left and sign a few really good holding midfielders.

(1) Adriano Roma
Adriano is the number one flop of the summer transfer window. He also happens to be the fattest flop. The out of shape striker was brought to Roma in hopes that he would rejuvenate his career while pushing the capital club passed their runners-up status to the top of the Serie A. It hasn't exactly worked out. Adriano's weight training over the summer was a huge failure, as he devoured gelato from every gelateria in the commune of Rome after each hard days work. Though his appearance over the weekend showed a glimmer of hope, it might have just been hunger misdirected. You Adriano, are a huge flop.

Top 5 players to watch in January

(5) Dirk Kuyt Liverpool
The Dutch dangerman could be on the move this January. There were rumors all summer about his potential move to Inter and there has been talk involving other teams, including Roma, as of late. I personally do not see Dirk leaving Liverpool just yet, but we'll soon see. 

(4) Emmanuel Adebayor Manchester City
It's no surprise the media's attention is turned toward Manchester City as the transfer window approaches. After all, they could buy the whole country of England if they wanted to. This winter could be the perfect time for giant, enthusiastic one-minute, mopey the next, striker Emmanuel Adebayor to get his Man City exit. He is hardly first choice with the gaffer, Roberto Mancini, and seemingly written of City. Frankly, Ade deserves better. Let's hope to see some cash splash in this deal so we can see Adebayor storming full pitches in celebration again.

(3) Federico Marchetti Cagliari

The highly rated Italian shot-stopper will definitely end up moving during the winter transfer period. Shockingly, Marchetti has been permanently benched in Sardinia after a falling out with club directors and staff. He has not even managed one game. I find this extraordinarily unbelievable, since he is considered a capable number two to Gigi Buffon for la Nazionale (he even started 2 games in South Africa). I think it is ridiculous when players are frozen out like this. It hurts the players form and resulting pricetag. Best of luck in January, Signore Marchetti.

(2) Edin Dzeko Wolfsburg
Will this man be a permanent rumor-mill or finally get the hell out of Germany? Edin Dzeko is a talented, strong striker who can score any sort of goal. He is the adoration of many top clubs around Europe and ready to spread his wings and win major hardware. I think if Manchester City sells Adebayor early in January, they will take a shot at Dzeko this winter. For christsakes Edin, end all the speculation. 

(1) Antonio Cassano Sampdoria
FantAntonio is 99% likely to be sold the minute the transfer window opens on Jan. 1. He apparently said something so horrible to Sampdoria's President, Riccardo Garrone, that he is not even allowed in the stands during games. This is insane, given his contribution to the team and growing presence in la Nazionale. I had a dream that he would sensationally re-sign with Roma, but I'm not sure it's possible for a city to have two egos the size of his and Totti's in it. In any event, the Italian playmaker is hot property and has a better temperament than in years passed. He would be an exciting addition to any team. What the hell did you say, Cassanata?

So, who'd I miss?


  1. good list. except my number 1 flop would have to be joe cole for liverpool. i really expected a lot more from him.

  2. good point..he is a flop, alright. adriano is so large though.

  3. Definitely agree with this list.. Van der Vaart has been awesome every time he's on the field. I'd put Raul Meireles as an honorable mention for best buys. He's been the only one holding Liverpool together, in my opinion, and he's only getting better as the season goes on. And Dirk can't go, I won't let him.

  4. I totally had Meireles in mind for honorable mention, but that slipped through the cracks. You're right about him, he's making an impact. And I can see Dirk winning over the Olimpico crowd with his Jones' like approach to the game!

  5. Transfer banter fresh off the presses:

    RONALDINHO to Liverpool????


    Lucas thinks so.

  6. Stuttgart Coup....


  7. Edin Dzeko, on October of 2017 in FIFA 2011 has a player rating of 90. Just an FYI.

    It is a great list. As soon as I saw Chamakh at 5, I was already planning on arguing he should be lower. But of course, as I went through the list I wanted to do this with every player I saw. What a summer!

    And Mike, even more then I agree with the list I agree with the corresponding picture selection.

  8. Haha thanks, Kyle. The picture selections were critical.

  9. i think the Lucas being an odd-looking Brazilian comment was just as good as the picture selection lol

  10. "Adriano's weight training over the summer was a huge failure, as he devoured gelato from every gelateria in the commune of Rome after each hard days work." That's awesome. Great list man.