So Friday at 23:00 GMT the transfer window slammed shut on European football. This edition of The Soccer List will take a look deadline day, or as Sky Sports News loyalists and I call it ‘Jim White Day‘. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Jim White, allow me to explain the phenomenon. Jim White is a Scottish broadcaster who works for Sky Sports News, and he seems to be friends with Harry Redknapp, which gives him the inside track on deadline day scoops. Jim White covers the 8pm-11pm shift on deadline day, as we all know the final three hours is the most exciting time of any sports movement deadline, and what’s more exciting than an excited Scottish broadcaster practically shouting transfer news through the television at you I ask? The answer is nothing, nothing is more exciting. So sit back, relax, as The Soccer List rehashes some big moves which have probably been covered to death in the mainstream media, but if there’s one thing The Soccer List won’t do, is be forced to operate on the schedule of the media! But moving on…
BIG MOVE ONE: Football’s Leading Playboy Heads to his Natural Home
If you’re an AS Monaco supporter your club has just had a well needed injection of class, as Soccer List favourite, Dimitar Berbatov has packed his cravat and smoking jacket and moved to the Ligue Un club on loan until the close of season. There isn’t a deal in the world which makes more sense than this one. Monaco need a striker as their recently signed Colombian hitman Falcao has a crocked knee and may have ruined his chances to play at the World Cup; and Berbatov? Well he’s football’s current leading playboy, and if I know one thing about playboy’s they love Monaco.
Berbatov has been recently derided by The Cottagers faithful as lazy and uninterested, but The Soccer List ain’t ‘avin that, in 50 league appearances for Fulham he scored 19 league goals. Last season he scored 30% of Fulham’s Premier League goals, and this season with poor service he’s still potted four league goals which equals 18% of Fulham’s league goals. I’ll be honest if Dimi doesn’t score 10 goals in all competitions for the Principality side I’ll be surprised, because the languid Bulgarian Adidas Predator LZ wearer is still a quality striker and quality strikers score goals.
BIG MOVE TWO: Arsenal Bring in Kim Kallstrom as Injury Cover, Find Out he’s Injured
I don’t know about you, but I know that my Fantasy Premier League team has taken a hit in the last several weeks with Aaron Ramsey’s injury; and given the knowledge that he’s out for six more weeks, Arsenal sprung into action on the day of the deadline by signing Swedish international midfielder Kim Kallstrom on loan until the end of the season. So you’ll imagine how surprised Arsenal fans were when 24 hours later it was announced that despite passing his medical, Kallstrom is carrying a injury and he could be out until March. Of course Arsenal superfan Piers Morgan was quick to take to twitter with his thoughts on the situation:
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) February 1, 2014
Now unlike the journalist with questionable ethics, that ex-England striker Gary Lineker calls Tubs, The Soccer List HAS in fact heard of Kim Kallstrom, and knows that the ex-Lyon man is a talented left footed midfielder with a knack of scoring free kick goals and picking up assists (he picked up FOUR of them in Sweden’s thrilling 4-all draw v Germany in October). He’s also been capped over 100 times for Sweden so he’s got quality, it’s just a shame for Arsenal that by the time he’s healthy the injury crisis he and his Nike CTR 360 Maestri III’s have been brought in to provide cover for will have probably passed.
BIG MOVE THREE: Fulham Put ALL Their Eggs in the Mitroglou Basket
In the World Cup qualifying playoff matches between Greece and Romania Konstantinos Mitroglou scored three of Greece’s four goals to ensure their qualification for this summers World Cup. This season he’s been positively on fire at Olympiakos this season scoring 17 goals in all competitions with the Champions League side. But he’s gone and traded Champions League football for a spot of relegation dog fighting agreeing to a big money move to current Premier League door stops Fulham.
The move is an interesting kick at the can from Fulham, they need goals a plenty to have any chance of avoiding the drop, and Mitroglou has a definite record of scoring goals, but he has a record of scoring goals in the Greek Superleague, and there’s a bit of an overall quality difference between Greece’s top flight and the Premiership. But who knows, maybe Fulham have seen something other clubs have missed out? Maybe Mitroglou will come in and start banging the goals catapulting Fulham up the table to levels of mid-table obscurity currently occupied by clubs like Manchester United. The Soccer List doesn’t think so, but isn’t prepared to say that to Mr. Mitroglou, because the Adidas F50 wearer looks ultra intense and positively frightening!
AFC WIMBLEDON BRIGHTEN DEADLINE DAY
If you followed the deadline on twitter, like The Soccer List, you’ll know that it can get tedious at times, so many twitter feeds all regurgitating the same information, it’s enough make one go batty . So hats off to English League One side AFC Wimbledon who spent deadline day keeping the world updated to the second on the events in and around their ground in brilliant style.
BIG MOVE FOUR: A Frenchman Leaves Le Toon?
It seems Alan Pardew’s goal of fielding the French National Team in the English Premier Division has taken a slight hit. The problem is that Newcastle’s owner Mike Ashley is a gigantic fan of money (and a gigantic human being to boot), which is why I was surprised when early in the transfer window Newcastle refused a £14 million offer from Paris St. Germain for midfielder Yohan Cabaye. Had Newcastle changed their tune? Of course not, they were just looking to maximize their return on the midfielder who has been probably their player of the season so far (an honour he no longer qualifies for). Although that being said Alan Pardew has also claimed that Cabaye begged the club to let him leave for PSG.
The move was followed shortly by the resignation of ‘Swearin’ Joe Kinnear as Director of Football at the club. Kinnear is well known for well swearing quite a bit, and referring to Cabaye as Johan Kebab when he came back to the club in his new role at the beginning of the season, so it’s not hard to see why the midfield stalwart wanted shot of the Tyneside.
Sheffield United At The Deadline
Fortress Bramall Lane was a quiet place on the day of the deadline, a couple of loan moves had occurred during January window. However, big news was not the deadline day itself but the 3-nil hammering received at the hands of Crewe Alexandria away on the weekend which left the Blades mired in 23rd position in League One. But, there was bigger news! In their fourth round FA Cup replay versus Fulham, the mighty mighty Blades claimed their second Premiership scalp of the competition stunning the Premiership door stops with a last gasp 120th minute winner from Shaun Miller, which see them face the winner of the Notts Forest and Preston North End replay in the next round of the FA Cup. Typical Sheffield United, rubbish in the league, but shockers in the cup!
That however, is going to do it for this latest Soccer List, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t leave you with the reason that the Denver Broncos were beaten in this weekends Superbowl, it appears David Moyes was calling the plays! And he looked completely out of his depth.