Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A Deadline Day with Real Moves
By Imtiaz Mussa

Trade deadline day in Major League Baseball did not produce much as far as done deals. However, everyone was at the edge of their seats waiting to see if Manny Ramirez would be wearing a Mets jersey at the end of the day. That did not happen.

Today is transfer deadline day in the Europe and there was plenty of talk going into it. After all, it was at the deadline last year when Wayne Rooney joined Manchester United from Everton. This year was no different as a big name was on the move in the form of Michael Owen.

Owen, who left Liverpool a year ago for Real Madrid came to the realization that it was the biggest mistake he could have made. He was relegated to being a sub behind Raul and Ronaldo. This summer, Madrid continued to add forwards in the form of Sevilla hitman Julio Baptista and when he arrives, Santos starlet Robinho. It was a fact that Owen would leave but the question is where?

Liverpool has always been rumored to want him back for the simple reason that Owen is a true Scouser. He was born and bred Liverpool. Plus with Milan Baros out the door, the Champions League winners needed to add another member to a strike force of Cisse, Morientes, and Peter Crouch. But after being unable to agree to a fee, they were out of the fold which only left Newcastle in the mix. Newcastle is a team in dire need of a striker. Alan Shearer doesn’t have much left in the tank and there simply isn’t anyone else. Owen, who may lose his place in the English national team’s starting lineup if he doesn’t play needed to make the move. Granted, he won’t be playing in Europe this season but Sven Goran Erikkson the English manager will probably not care. The combination of Owen and Wayne Rooney up front for England is one of the best striker partnerships in the world. Hence, Newcastle made a bid of £17 million and got themselves Owen. Without a doubt, he is the highest profile player to move today.

The team that did the best however was Tottenham Hotspur. The North London side added 22 year old midfielder Jermaine Jenas for £8 million. Jenas is going to be a very good player. He’s a tough tackler who has excellent speed. He will be in the English national team for quite some time. Lee Young-Pyo comes over from PSV Eindhoven and will basically replace Erik Edman who left Spurs to head over to French side Rennes. They also sent Swiss Under 21 Reto Ziegler out on loan to Hamburg where he will see regular action. That can only benefit himself and Spurs in the long term. And just at the last minute, manager Martin Jol adds the striker he desperately needed in the form of Polish international striker Grzegorz Rasiak. The 26 year old scored 17 goals for Derby County last season. With him joining Jermain Defoe, Robbie Keane, and Mido, Spurs have a great chance to qualify for Europe next season.

By missing out on strikers Owen and Benfica hitman Simao, there is plenty of pressure on the current Liverpool strikers to come through and most importantly, stay healthy. The Reds also reportedly missed out on signing AS Roma defender Phillipe Mexes. As I stated earlier, Liverpool had to add another striker after selling Milan Baros to Aston Villa. Time will tell if they can score enough goals.

Other Moves
Andy Van Der Meyde joins Everton from Inter Milan – Van Der Meyde has all the skills you want in a winger but has never managed to stay healthy. UEFA Cup bound Everton could use his creative presence and ability to stretch the field.

Mart Poom joins Arsenal on loan from Sunderland – This really isn’t a big move. Poom will add depth in goal behind Lehmann and Almunia. The key to this deal is that young defender Justin Hoyte goes the other way for a season. Hoyte will see plenty of action for Sunderland and can play all the defensive positions. He will help the Black Cats as they try to stay in the Premiership.

David Connolly joins Wigan from Coventry – After selling Nathan Ellington to West Brom, the Premiership’s newest club needed another goalscorer. Connolly, a Republic of Ireland international will pair with Jason Roberts at the JJB.

Dario Silva joins Portsmouth from Sevilla – When Yakubu left Portsmouth for Middlesbrough, it left the club with only LuaLua as its only quality striker. Dario Silva is a veteran who simply knows how to get the job done.


Anonymous Paul said...

How far has Michael Owen fallen as a player, when he can't get a single top-tier English team to even look at him, and he ends up at a team that hasn't scored a goal all season? Too bad, he's a good player...

He'll be back in Liverpool this time next year, sounds like - he's got a one-year out clause with the Barcodes.

4:53 PM  
Blogger Imtiaz Mussa said...

Look at the top flight English clubs. Chelsea feel good about Drogba, Crespn, and company. Manchester United already have Ruud and Rooney. Where would Owen start in that setup? Arsenal would probably have loved to have him alongside Henry but they just don't have the money. Newcastle is building a nice team and they should be better than what they are right now. Lugue, Solano, and Owen should bump them up into the top half of the league.

The 12 million pound release clause isn't confirmed. Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd denies that it's there. I expect Liverpool to get another striker at the January transfer window.

Would Owen go back? It all depends on how Newcastle do and if Liverpool would want him back. They will not pay more than they got for him last year.

11:07 PM  
Blogger Ben Valentine said...

Bone you hear anything with Liverpool and bringing back Le Tallec and Pongolle? I know Pongolle is coming off injury, but could he factor in? Le Tallec was on loan at the end of last year. Any chance he's back for the Reds this year?

Maybe they shouldn't have been in such a rush to dump Diouf.

1:22 AM  
Blogger Imtiaz Mussa said...

Le Tallec is going to stay at Sunderland for the duration of this season. When Pongolle gets back, he will have to earn his spot. He's a good player. I saw him play against Tottenham in the Carling Cup quarterfinals at White Hart Lane. But I expect Benitez to go to a 4-4-1-1 setup where Luis Garcia plays behind the striker.

Diouf had to leave. He was a huge flop at Anfield.

12:52 PM  

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