How City’s rivals fared in the transfer window
With the transfer window now closed (unless you’re Rafael Van der Vaart and Tottenham), we can now look at how our rivals have fared over the transfer window. On the face of it, City fans can be quietly happy that we concluded all our incoming business prior to the last day.
Our main rivals for a top four place:
Tottenham were our major rivals for a Champions League spot last season and appeared to be enduring a frustrating time yesterday. Redknapp’s attempts to sell Robbie Keane and bring in Fabiano, Huntelaar, Ryan Babel, Steven Pienaar and even Louis Saha failed to come off.
In fairness, his existing strike force doesn’t seem to bad despite Redknapp’s willingness to sell any of Keane, Crouch or Pavlychenko. His interest in Lassana Diarra was more of a concern. Diarra was excellent under Redknapp at Portsmouth and would have strengthened their midfield.
Sandro is a highly touted Brazilian youngster. He may justify the hype, he may be another Anderson.
Van der Vaart has a good reputation from his time at Ajax and Hamburg, but whether he’ll be any better than Modric is debatable. To accommdate the Dutchman, Spurs may have to play with a single striker which is unlikely to go down well with Keane and co.
If Gallas struggles for form and fitness at 33, then Spurs could again suffer from a lack of fit central defenders. Ledley King’s knee won’t allow him to play Champions League midweek and Premier League at the weekend.
Liverpool endured an even more frustrating last day. After watching Ngog and Torres against us, Hodgson was desperate to find a better partner for the Spaniard. Offers for Carlton Cole and possibly Zamora were rebuffed. At one point it looked like they were after Santa Cruz.
At least they now have a left-back, but Paul Konchesky isn’t a signing to strike fear in the hearts of rival fans. Raul Meireles and Joe Cole look to have taken the pressure of Gerrard. Christian Poulsen is a cheap replacement for Mascherano, but overall their midfield looks stronger.
Liverpool still lack proper wingers and they could have done with a defender to take some responsibility off the aging Carragher.
The favourites for the top three:
Arsnal may have signed a couple of defenders in Koscielny and Squillaci to replace Gallas and er Silvestre, but the failure to bag a keeper is remarkable even by Wenger standards. Maybe they were to busy congratulating themselves over hanging on to Fabregas.
Chamakh should be an improvement on Eduardo when replacing the often injured van Persie. The midfield remains full of creative options and there’s been less need to make signings as the youngsters mature.
Funnily enough Wenger’s possession football makes Arsenal less in need of a quality keeper than other sides. It’s still likely to take a big improvement by City to overhaul the Gunners.
The likes of Joe Cole and Ballack may have gone but Chelsea still look a strong outfit. Benayoun will do a job on the creative side while having Essien back means they can afford to wait for Ramires to settle in. The Brazil midfielder is likely to provide depth, rather than an improvement, to the squad.
Abramovich was another frustrated buyer in his pursuit of Torres, and they might struggle if 30 somethings Drogba and Anelka are both injured at the same time.
Once again Ferguson bemoaned the lack of value in the market, which translates as he’s waiting for Financial Fair Play rules to kick in and prevent the likes of Sheikh Mansour bidding for players.
Smalling doesn’t look to be a Ferdinand or Vidic and for the money, Jerome Boateng looks far better value. Talking of value, let’s not forget kamikaze City spent less on Adam Johnson than United did on Bebe.
Javier Hernandez looks the kind of player Michael Owen wishes he could be and the Mexican may give Ferguson opportunity to rotate his strikers. Little Pea is no Rooney mind, and looking good in pre-season is no guarantee of success in the Premier League.
The other contenders:
David Moyes usually works the market well so it was a surprise to see Everton so quiet. They still look in need of a quality striker who can stay fit. Jermaine Beckford has plenty to prove.
Injuries and a poor start undermined them last season. They’re repeating the poor start again. No doubt Moyes will up the workrate till the results start to come, but they don’t look any stronger than last year.
Somehow Villa are now two points ahead of us in the league. Ireland is their only signing of note and we wish him well.
It’s not transfers but the loss of Martin O’Neill which is the biggest change at Villa Park. They weren’t able to sustain a challenge for a Champions League place before and it looks less likely now.
- Which of City’s rivals do you think had the best transfer window?