Listen to the latest episode of the Coshcast below and subscribe on iTunes right here!
Chris Darwen is a sports writer and author living his dream on the Costa Blanca in Spain. Tales From The Top Flight has been featured each week in the largest English speaking newspaper in the south of Spain for over a year now and he is delighted to have turned it into a blog. Chris is 37, still addicted to Football Manager and a proud shareholder in Real Oviedo.
Tales From The Top Flight
Deadline Day more interesting than Allardyce’s England
Credit where credit is due, I never thought Liverpool would find a permanent home for Mario Ballotelli. Nice have taken the plunge and if they can get the guy playing like he can then they have done a great bit of business. Klopp was less lucky getting shot of Sahko, who fancies some Premier League 2 football after all. Big Sahko is refusing to budge from Liverpool. No matter how much King Klopp is trying to kick him out of the door with Ballotelli the defender is being resolute. If only he could have been so rock solid on the pitch, Klopp might be tempted to keep him around.
Chelsea had been searching high and low for a new defender to add to their ranks and eventually settled on one they already know cannot defend for toffee. David Luiz headed back to the Kings Road in a £32m deal. If you had told Luiz a week ago he would be going back to Chelsea this season, he would have assumed PSG had drawn them in the Champions League before realising Chelsea aren’t in Europe this season. The fee was in and around £32m, meaning Chelsea made £18m profit in sending him to France in the first place. Personally, I cannot wait to see the first kamikaze error he makes.
According to Martin Keown, David Luiz can become Chelsea’s new John Terry. The mere thought of anyone becoming the new John Terry sends the obvious-jokes-ometer into absolute overload. You can make your own ones up, they’ll probably be the same as mine. Keown was on fire in the week, suggesting that John Stones may be better suited to midfield. Keown’s head explodes when he thinks about a defender being able to do anything other than kick people, head anything in his way and intimidate strikers.
Hal Robson-Kanu made sure he waited for the right club. He knew who he wanted to play for all along. He grew up dreaming of chasing long balls punted aimlessly forward by a centre back playing at full back and now his dream has come true. The Welsh star has put pen to paper at West Brom and even forced a smile at his unveiling. Berahino will probably need some time on the bench to clear his head after it became clear he will be staying at WBA yet again.
Spurs got Sissoko at the last minute. Everton were not happy, they had a private plane ready to fly him to Liverpool and do the paperwork. Sissoko didn’t turn up which failed to surprise Newcastle fans who waited three years to see him actually turn up. Everton are now doing the whole “we didn’t want him anyway” routine by suggesting they decided not to sign him to protect James McCarthy. Protect him from what? Competition for his place? Or is Sissoko a bit of a changing room prankster?
Apparently he will only cost Spurs £30m if certain conditions are met. I don’t know what those conditions are, and I am sure ones we make up ourselves will be far more interesting than the real ones. Maybe looking interested at Sunderland away in December might be one of them? Or playing well when not on TV? If not those then looking like at least half the player that turns up for France regularly? Yeah, they’d be my conditions. Newcastle should be dishing out Hugo Lloris some kind of finders fee after Sissoko claimed it was his French team-mate that talked him into signing for Tottenham. Sissoko had apparently been “waiting for this moment” and by “moment” we can assume he meant the whacking big signing on fee he was going to get from whoever signed him.
Let us end the transfer window chat by calling out the people that are celebrating the fact that Premier League clubs have spent over £1bn in this transfer window. This is not a good thing. If Yannick Bolasie moves for £25m and Christian Benteke can cost Palace, yes Palace, £32m then things have gone very, very wrong.
It’s a hard life being a Premier League champion. Following their surprise title win last season (I know, did you hear about this?) Leicester players were all bought BMW i8’s by the club’s owners. However, they were all in the same colour meaning the players kept getting the cars muddled up. Bless them, right? They’ve solved the problem, which could well to be blame for Kante joining Chelsea, by getting them wrapped in different colours and, though this is unconfirmed, with their names stitched on them just like Mum used to do with their school uniforms.
I’ve tried to avoid mentioning the England match, as you can tell. If you really want my thoughts on the game you could just go back to the column after the Iceland game and get the general gist of how I felt on Sunday night. I’m very reluctant to write off the new man in charge after just 90 minutes, even if 30 of those minutes were against ten men, but I might be just about to. Yes, I know we won but nobody is really convinced by that performance are they? The one thing that might really go in Allardyce’s favour after that is that he might just be a lucky England manager, and we could really do with one of them.
Sam said before the game, “I don’t need to tell Wayne Rooney where to play.” Actually Sam, that might be a really good idea as I don’t really think it is a great idea to see him floating around next to Eric Dier too often. If he is going to have minimal impact, can we have him having minimal impact slightly nearer their goal? I’d also like Sam to find a way of removing the concrete in Kane’s boots. The Spurs striker has looked sluggish in each game this season, just like he did at Euro 2016, which is little wonder as he has played about 3,000 matches in three seasons. You can often get a feel for a new manager by the substitutions he makes to change a game. I’d just like to point out that Sam brought on Walcott and left Vardy, yeah you know the one that led Leicester to the Premier League title last season, on the bench. Still, he has taught Lallana to actually hit the back of the net so progress is being made, right?