The January Transfer Window – Who Needs What?

The festive season has come and gone, we’ve eaten and drank our weight multiple times over and December coming to an end means one thing…..the January transfer window is now OPEN!

So with that in mind, we are going to take a look at teams from various leagues and in various predicaments.

transfer-centre-transfer-window-generic

We are going to summarise what they need and who they need to hold onto in order to prolong, challenge for honours or in some cases save their 2015-16 season.

Man Utd
Where to start with the world famous Red Devils?!

LVG has already spent over £250Mil and achieved no more than the sacked Scot David Moyes. I would question the Old Trafford’s board decision to give him much more money, but they do need at least 1 position filled.

The post Fergie era has been slightly worse than expected but transition was inevitable, Champions League qualification is the minimum but even that is in danger.

Cole, Yorke, Sheringham, Van Nistelrooy….where is United’s lethal feared finisher?

What do they need -A proven striker is a must, Higuain or Zlatan could be achievable.

Higuain-Image

Aberdeen
There may well just be a sustained title challenge to Celtic this year.

Aberdeen will stutter and drop points that the Glasgow giants won’t, however we are in January and they are only 3 points behind.

Derek McInnes will be a wanted man come the end of the season for sure so this could be a big few months for the former Rangers man.

They are too reliant on a couple of players (like most SPL clubs) but need to add a touch more quality to pull away from the rest and closer to the top.

What do they need – A back up striker to take the pressure from Adam Rooney.
Who can’t they afford to lose – Niall McGinn.

Sheff Wed
One of the “big” clubs still plying their trade in the 2nd tier, this season however is looking different for the Owls.

Currently one place outside the play offs they have a real chance of being in the end of season shake up to return to the bright lights of the Premier League.

Carlos Carvalhal’s men are strong in certain areas of the park but are missing a bit of squad depth for the final few weeks of the season.

They could do with adding 3-4 players, if they can find the right ones to add to the underappreciated players they currently have in the side.

Ashley Westwood, Michael Turner, Sam Hutchinson & Fernando Forestieri provide a fantastic spine for a team at this level.

What do they need – A creative / goalscoring midfielder such as Alan Judge at Brentford.
– A winger to provide needed width
– Centre half cover

Sunderland

The Black Cats are more than likely in a “sell before you buy” situation.

They have a lot of squad players picking up good money who have been purchased by many previous bosses. This is a club who pays Patrick Van Aanholt to play football!

Looking at the players available Sunderland do have a decent Premier League forward line. Defoe, Fletcher and Borini should score enough to win the club points when they are needed. It’s the other areas of the pitch that are the problem.

I can see the likes of Danny Graham, Adam Matthews and Will Buckley heading for the exit door.

One thing is for sure though, Big Sam will bring in trusted and experienced players in order to help beat the drop.

What do they need – A good centre half (O’Shea, Brown,Coates and Kaboul provide poor options)
– Full back cover left and right
-A winger to put the ball in the box

Who can’t they afford to lose – Jermain Defoe for goals and Lee Cattermole due to suspension!

James Tomkins is someone Big Sam would trust and could sign.James-Tomkins

Coventry City

Finally the Sky Blues appear to be on the right track back up the leagues. After being relegated to League One in 2012 they have a serious chance of promotion back to the Championship, a level at which a club of this stature should be operating.

Tony Mowbray has done a great job since taking over in March 2015, Keeping them up before taking them into the play off places.

Youth mixed with experience is a great balance at this level and they have that in abundance at the Ricoh Arena.

What do they need – A striker to share the responsibility with Adam Armstrong
– A permanent deal for Joe Cole, amazing player to have in the dressing room

Who can’t they afford to lose – Adam Armstrong, 16 goals in 22 games speaks for itself

Cases could have been made for Aston Villa, Bolton Wanderers, Crewe Alexandra and Dundee United however I’m afraid all of your seasons look to be beyond salvation.

Whatever happens we are sure to see records broken, last minute deals and panic buys between now and 11pm on February 1st.

We all love it really.

Transfer Window Image Sourced From; www.skysports.com
Higuain & Ibrahimovic Image Sourced From; www.gettyimages.com
James Tomkins Image Sourced From; www.express.co.uk/sport

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What’s Wrong with the League Cup?

This week we have yet again seen most of the “big” clubs bow out of the league cup with little more than a whimper.

Arsenal and Manchester United struggled to generate meaningful attempts on goal, never mind coming close to scoring one against 2 championship clubs in the shape of Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesbrough. Yes, both teams are in decent form, but still lower league opposition none the less.

Wednesday and Middlesbrough were both set up prepared to defend but both played some good football and were both worthy winners in my opinion.

The Arsenal back 4 consisted of full internationals which between them have more than 250 caps yet they were torn apart at times by Ross Wallace and Barry Bannan, 2 players who you could argue are drinking in the last chance saloon.

Whilst Man United never looked like breaking down a stubborn Boro side with the “next generation players” of Lingaard, Wilson and Perreira.

Arsneal-crash-out-of-league-cup

So what are the main points here?

  • Why only use the league cup to play these youngsters? How will they learn to get better after these defeats?
  • Do you honestly expect to win the competition with the squads you choose?
  • Whose decision is it to prioritise competitions?

As a dedicated and football loving fan I know how special cup final days are, I don’t remember the years where my teams finished 3rd which guaranteed European football, or the fact that we were knocked out in the early stages.

I, like most others, can name the dates and years in which we reached the finals and even more so the ones in which we were triumphant! The days where our skipper lifted that trophy above his head and the roar and buzz that it created, days that will live with me forever.

These are the memories and feelings that the likes of LVG and Arsene Wenger are choosing to deny their fans.

It’s about time domestic success was treated equally as important as Champions League cash.

Good luck to the 8 teams remaining in the competition and here’s hoping someone creates a lifelong memory.

Birmingham-League-Cup-Winners-2011

Arsenal verses Sheffield Wednesday Image sourced from; www.telegraph.co.uk
Birmingham League Cup Winners 2011 Image sourced from; http://www.dailymail.co.uk/