Sky achieved their twice yearly orgasm last night as the transfer window came to a close. As Big Ben struck 11pm, Sky Sports News presenter Jim White proclaimed: “Unlike us some people don’t like excitement in their lives.” That’s if your definition of excitement is watching various journalists outside dark venues with a selection of the weirdest looking people to be found standing behind them gurning whilst yearning for some “BREAKING NEWS.”
This window was the penultimate before UEFA’s new financial fair play (FFP) rules come in that are supposed to prevent such splurges by Europe’s super-powers. After all, this window saw a total spend of £479m. That is second only to 2008’s figure of £525m and signals a slight air of panic amongst the “Premier League Elite.” Late business is what the “transfer window is all about” (said in the Scottish tones of White). Thanks to Messrs Arteta, Bellamy, Meireles, Cole, Yakubu, Crouch, Dann, and Bendtner (we could go on) it was like watching a US-adaptation of The Office. Very good in its own right – still yearning for the real thing with Gervais though.
The effect on the online gaming industry on these days is palpable as the various sportsbooks attempt to keep up with what is happening on planet football.
We spoke to Mark Pearson from Betfred, Alex Donohue from Ladbrokes, and Charlie McCann from Victor Chandler about how transfer deadline day went for them…
Which transfer was best for your firm?
Charlie McCann (CM): We maintained all along that Modric couldn’t leave spurs after Daniel Levy’s comments and kept the cash.
Mark Pearson (MP): We had punters all summer backing Wesley Sneijder to join Man United. Even yesterday we had punters wanting to back him after an internet rumour he was on his way. We also had a few people backing Gary Cahill to join Spurs at very short prices on Wednesday afternoon.
Alex Donohue (AD): Cahill staying at Bolton was a good result for us.
What was your biggest liability?
CM: Samir Nasri was always going to Manchester City and Wenger’s Canute like stance was unrealistic; he would have been best served spending the Fabregas/Nasri money earlier rather than 11th hour panics. They may have still been in the Premier League race had he done so.
MP: Early on transfer deadline day we had one punter who asked for a price for Mikel Arteta to join Arsenal, we didn’t believe it would happen and he got on at a fancy price!
AD: We laid Crouch to go to Stoke.
Which club do you think came out best?
CM: Stoke were a difficult side to play against anyway; yesterday’s signings make them favourite to finish the season in 7th place. I also like the signing of Scott Dann for Blackburn.
MP: I think QPR have been quite shrewd and have a far better chance of staying up, plus Stoke have bought well and could now be an outside bet for the Europa League.
AD: We’ve trimmed Stoke for the league, a top six finish and pushed them out for relegation.
Which club came out worst?
CM: Spurs, Arsenal and Everton hardly covered themselves in glory for different reasons; Arsenal because of Wenger’s ditherings, Spurs badly needed Cahill and didn’t produce and Everton are hamstrung and had to sell the vastly overrated Arteta who hasn’t had a good game for about 2 years (I’m an Evertonian).
MP: Everton may have made a couple of new signings but losing Arteta is a big blow. I was also surprised at Chelsea going for Meireles after losing out on Modric.
AD: We’ve cut Everton’s relegation odds and David Moyes in the sack race.
…and who will now win the league?
CM: Still think it is a 3-horse race rather than just the Manchester Clubs; Meireles was a good buy for Chelsea.
MP: Transfer deadline day has not altered who will the league. The Premier League is between Manchester’s two clubs and Chelsea.
AD: We still think the title is going to Manchester and have shortened City accordingly.
If you listen to the bookies the title still looks to be on its way to the North West with Chelsea achieving an honorable mention. The window is now closed until January as Sky goes into hibernation ready ejaculate all over your television set come January 2012. Just you wait!