Saturday, 8 September 2012

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Our 'Guest Blogger' George Vaughan, 

follow him on Twitter @georgecvaughan
Posted by George Vaughan on September 8, 2012 

The Good The Bad, and The Ugly 

- Premier League Transfers 2012 

As with any football fan, the transfer window is a hugely exciting time. Some even refer to transfer deadline day as better than Christmas, but I wouldn’t go that far; unless you were a West Ham fan that time they got Tevez and Mascherano, that was impressive. There is always so much gossip about players leaving here,  going there, for the price of half of Kenya...let’s be honest most of these aren’t true in the slightest but it gives us football fans something to talk about. Instead of the fictional gossip that has less truth about it than Arsene Wenger’s post match interviews, (Michael Owen to Wolves – whatever!), I’m going to look at some of the real transfers over this summer and assess which ones I think will turn out to be gems and which ones I think carry more risk than Prince Harry going out in Vegas, naked.

The Good
Santi Cazorla – Arsenal £16.5m
With all of the negative vibes surrounding the departures at the Emirates at the moment, there is one shimmer of hope. That is Santiago Cazorla. Being part of the Spain Euro 2012 winning squad he has to be good?! And he is. I always thought of him as a winger in his days at Villareal, but watching him play in the season opener against Sunderland he was a real bright spark playing in an advanced central midfield role. I don’t think he gave the ball for the first 30 minutes, and when he finally did it was only due to a poorly taken corner.
As Lee Dixon likes to define a good player, Santi has ‘wing mirrors’. He knows everything that’s going on, is super sharp and can put the ball wherever he wants.
The only issue I can see is that he is 5’6 and may not be so effective in the more physical games, only time will tell.
Eden Hazard – Chelsea £32m
Had I written this before the first week of Premier League matches, some explaining may have had to take place. But 5 assists in your first two games for a club is simply brilliant. This guy is only 21 and he looks the full package. Pace, ball control, enough confidence to restore the Greek Economy (probably not but it’s a good metaphor) and a bonus...he doesn’t writhe around in pain when the inevitable foul comes his way. Eden is the spearhead of the Belgian revolution, their national team will be dynamite soon.
Shinji Kagawa – Manchester United £17m
I had only really known about this Japanese maestro through FIFA, this guy was amazing on the game as a Borussia Dortmund player and it turns out FIFA wasn’t wrong. This is the sort of player than United have craved since the ingenuity of Ronaldo and Tevez departed, a playmaker in the purest sense. 17 goals and 13 assists last season speaks for itself, there is no doubt this guy will be influential if United are to win the league this season.
Park Ji-sung – Queens Park Rangers £2.5m
If Park can play anywhere near the level he did at United, QPR have got a real bargain. Mark Hughes has already instated him as club captain, not really a surprise given his wealth of Champions League experience. You want your captain to be a leader, not a headbutter (Joey Barton) and Park will set the greatest of examples to the rest of the squad with his machine like work rate. I don’t really like QPR but they have made some good signings this year and if they can gel, annoyingly they should stay up.
Adam Jonhson – Sunderland undisclosed
The second Adam Johnson moved to Manchester City it frustrated me. Here we go again, yet another bright English talent left to lose any ability he previously had, sitting on the bench. If you understand fantasy football, this guy’s points per game ratio was impeccable! Whenever he played for The Citizens (are they still called that?) he’d score or assist. A real talent that personally I think should have gone to the Euros. Having lived up the North East before playing for Middlesborough, Johnson will be fine and I’m expecting his career to find a new lease of life, for the sake of our National team we should all hope so.
Gylfi Sigurdsson – Tottenham £8m
I’ve been a lover of Gylfi since his young days at Reading in the Championship, he has bags of quality and scores when he wants. His half season loan at Swansea last year was excellent, another high scorer on fantasy football! I had hoped the Icelandic was going to follow Brendan Rogers to Liverpool, as he wouldn’t have to prove himself to get into the team; he will still do well at Spurs providing AVB can find a way to fit him in with VDV and Modric who’s departure may well be imminent. With better delivery than the Royal Mail, Gylfi could help fire Spurs to a top four finish.

The Bad 
Olivier Giroud – Arsenal £12m
Big striker that has done exceptionally well in the French league. Where have Arsenal heard that before? Chamakh. I really hope Giroud isn’t a Chamakh but given Van Persie’s departure and Wenger’s ridiculous suggestion that Arsenal won’t be replacing him, there will be a lot of pressure on this man and Podolski to get the goals. I can’t see Giroud providing them. Yes he’s a big man and can finish, but I can only think of one half decent crosser that Arsenal have: Bacary Sagna, and he’s injured as it is. Ok, maybe Oxlade-Chamberlain too but certainly not Walcott or Gervinho. I worry that Arsene will Gi-rue this signing.
Joe Allen – Liverpool £15m
I actually think this is a good signing. But not for 15 Million British Stirling Pounds! Before last season Joe Allen was unheard of, yes he can play a good pass and keep possession but is he really twice as good as Gylfi Sigurdsson? No. He is British and overpriced, just how Liverpool like their players. I still can’t get over £20m for Jordan Henderson.
Robert Green – Queens Park Rangers free
Why have QPR signed Rob Green when it seems that Julio Cesar is on his way? Given his blunder on opening day, along with the other 4 goals he conceded it probably is the right move for The Hoops. I feel bad for Rob because he’s not had it easy since the 2010 world cup, but he’s doing himself no favours here. Chocolate wrists some say, and this signing may turn out to be as useful as a chocolate teapot. 
Emile Heskey – Unattached
This is not good enough. Surely there’s a Premier League team that needs a tad more revenue. Sign Heskey and shirt sales will go through the roof! Of course he is an excellent player too...if you’re not looking for goals.

The Ugly
Wherever Joey Barton goes! After his ridiculous escapades at the close of last season, I think he should  have been banned from football. Aside from his behaviour on the pitch, his twitter profile is annoying too. One word comes to mind, pretentious. You’re not intelligent don’t pretend you are! If he does have to go somewhere please send him back to Manchester City so he can have a much desired bout with the clown that is, Mario Ballotelli.

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