The Talking Balls Awards: Anorak awards the best and worst of the mad transfer season
THE Transfer Season was a reporting frenzy. Experts in the media made guess after guess. And time after time they got it wrong. In light of their sterling work in fulling space with speculation we present the Transfer Season awards.
The Read My Lips Award
Winner: Jose Mourinho:
Jose Mourinho says Wayne Rooney is Chelsea’s only summer transfer target after Manchester United rejected their bid for the England striker…And when asked if the Blues had made any other bids for players, the Portuguese said: “No – and we won’t.”…Asked if it is Rooney or bust, he replied: “Yes.”‘
Chelsea then spent £32 on Willian.
The You Can’t Buy Loyalty Like That Award
August 16: Willian loves Liverpool:
”There are conversations, and I am hoping in the next few days for an offer from a club like Liverpool. If it is Liverpool, then they are a great club.”
August 22: Willian has a medical at Tottenham. He passes.
August 28: Willian becomes a Chelsea player:
“It’s been my dream to come to play here. Finally it’s become a reality, and when the offer came I never gave a thought to anybody else, I said to myself that I would run here, and I’m happy to be here now. Chelsea were always my first choice.”
The Insider Award for Journalists Who Know
Winner: John Cross in the Daily Mirror
“THIS game showed why Arsenal have spent the whole summer trying to buy a striker. Giroud was the worst culprit… his finishing looks anything but top class”
“Who needs to spend £109million when Gunners have Olivier Giroud? Who needs Luis Suarez? Who needs Gonzalo Higuain? Or even Wayne Rooney? Not Arsenal when they have got Olivier Giroud…”
Arsenal fear Wenger will spend NOTHING on transfers this summer – Gunners have backed away from Cabaye and Guaita with four days left in the window – could freebies Sanogo and Flamini really be it?
Arsenal smash transfer record for £42million Mesut Ozil… The Gunners have agreed personal terms with the Real Madrid star, but it looks as though they won’t be stopping there on transfer deadline day
Runner-Up: Daily Express
Cesc Fabregas says yes to Manchester United move
BARCELONA have put an end to Manchester United’s chances of signing Cesc Fabregas, with the new boss Gerardo Martino saying there is no chance he will be sold.
Fabregas was quoted:
“I’ve always said that I’m happy at Barca,” re-iterated the playmaker during an interview with Spanish sports paper Marca. “Whoever says that I’m leaving doesn’t know me and has never spoken with me. Nor with my agent, because he knows that I don’t want him to talk with other people about me. I’m very private and I don’t even talk about these things with my family. If someone says anything that isn’t that I want to play at Barca, it’s completely absurd.”
“If Barcelona said that they didn’t want me, that would be another thing. But what I truly want is to triumph at Barcelona. That’s been my dream since I was a kid.”
CESC FABREGAS has agreed to join Manchester United following a secret meeting between the Barcelona star’s agent Darren Dein and Old Trafford chief executive Ed Woodward.
The Bald Fact Award
Winner: Daily Mirror:
David Villa is definitely coming to the Premier League this summer, and Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool are all in for the Barcelona striker. Spain international Villa has told his advisers he wants a move to England and has now been given the green light by Barca to negotiate a deal- The Daily Mirror
The Bale Stays Award
Winner: the Borehamwood & Elstree Times:
“Gareth Bale has signed a new contract with Tottenham“.
The Trainspotter Award
Winner: David Maddock told Mirror readers:
New boss Roberto Martinez is bracing himself for a bid though, with the 25-year-old revealing to close friends that he would love a switch to the capital – where he would be less than two hours on the Eurostar away from his Brussels birthplace.
The I Can’t Wait To Play With Bale Award
“This summer there has been interest in their Coach and their best player[Bale] – and they have been clear they both are not going anywhere.”
The Contract News Award
Winner: Sun and Mirror
DAVID MOYES has a week to decide whether to sign Marouane Fellaini. The Everton star has a buyout clause of £22million — but that only stands until July 31. Then Moyes’ old club will be able to name their price and it will undoubtedly go up.
The Mirror added on July 13:
The Belgian’s £23.5million buy-out clause expires on August 14 with the Toffees set to demand more than £30million for him after
Runner Up: Arsenal
£40m plus £1 to get Suarez was bizarre and badly advised.
The It’s Different When I Do It Award
Winner: Alan Pardew
Pardew lambasted PSG boss Laurent Blanc’s public pursuit of the Magpies’ Yohan Cabaye:
“I don’t think it’s right. He can get on the phone to me, or make a bid. That’s the right way to do it.”
Blanc had opined:
“Yohan offers many things in midfield and can play in quite a few positions. He is an interesting player, and the midfield will be an area we will be strengthening because there will be departures.”
Make a bid. Get on the phone. Says Pardew of his targets:
“Both those players are on our list. I make no bones about that. But they are under contract at other clubs. It’s difficult, you have to be careful. It’s nice for our fans to hear names, but I don’t want to disrupt other clubs’ preparations. There’s been speculation, particularly about Darren. I think I can comment on that because it sounds like, at Villa, he’s not particularly involved.”
The Pass The Sick Bucket Award
Winner: Gareth Bale
“I don’t think I need to help Cristiano [Ronaldo] to be the best player in the world because he already is”
The Norris McWhirter Award For Record Accuracy
Winner: Gareth Bale’s move to Real Madrid
Daily Mirror: “Madrid sign Spurs ace for £86m, and he’ll get £90m”
The Times: “The £85m man – Real agree £85.2m fee in world record”
BBC: “The Wales star has agreed a £300,000 per week, six-year deal after sealing an £85.3m…”
WalesOnline: “Gareth Bale to be unveiled by Real Madrid after world record £85m deal”
The Guardian: “Farewell to the €100m man”
The Indy: While Tottenham said they had been paid €100m for Bale – £86m – sources in Spain described the fee as €90m, or £78m.
GiveMeSport.com: “Gareth Bale agrees £97m Real Madrid deal”
Daily Mail: “Tottenham were offered a world record £101m for Bale,
The Mail the explains the confusion:
Bale not No 1: Real claim they’ve got £78m star ‘on the cheap’ to keep Ronaldo as top dog
What will the record books make of it?
The Talking About The Player You’ve Never Heard Of Award
Winner: Julian Draxler
How much were Arsenal going to have to pay to secure the services of Julian Draxler? What said the experts in the media?
FTBPRO: “There is an interesting story doing the rounds today linking Arsenal with a move for the very impressive Julian Draxler for a fee of around £15 million.”
Fanatix: “Arsenal submit £26m plus Lukas Podolski bid for German prodigy Julian Draxler”
(Arsenal bought Poldi for a £10.9 million.)
SportDirectNews: “The 19-year-old signed a two-year extension to his contract with the Bundesliga outfit in May of this year but it is understood the midfielder has a £34 million buyout clause.”
Sunday Times: “Arsène Wenger… is now trying to reach agreement with Schalke for their midfield starlet Julian Draxler. Schalke, however, want £38.4m for the 19-year-old.”
IBT: “Arsenal are preparing a £40m bid for Schalke 04 midfielder Julian Draxler, according to the Mirror”
Telegraph: “Draxler, a 19-year-old Germany international midfielder, would be the priority but Schalke are reluctant sellers and would only consider an offer in excess of £40m”
Express: “Schalke slap £60m price tag on Chelsea target Julian Draxler”
Runner Up: Bernard
The Brazilian club admitted last night that the winger will leave for up to £21.5 million after he tries to help them to overturn a 2-0 deficit against Olimpia in the second leg of the Copa Libertadores final.
Or as the Mirror reports:
Bernard, the 20 year old defender subject to interest from Arsenal this summer, seems keen to focus on winning silverware with his current club before discussing his potential move to the Emerates.
“I do not want to be rude or ignorant to anyone. I want to talk about the game. What will happen after Wednesday, I do not know,” he said.
The Look At My Wad Award
Winner: David Moyes:
Isn’t it great that the club says, ‘There’s no budget here, you go get who you want to get, just go and do it’. We are looking at the best players. I do think it’s important that we show people we are carrying on the traditions and trying to take the club forward.”
The No Brainer Award
Winner: Alvaro Negredo
Alvaro Negredo unsure over Manchester City move – MANCHESTER CITY are chasing Spain international Alvaro Negredo – but he’s yet to decide if he wants to move to the Etihad. – Daily Star, July 11
He was thinking about it. Or as Marca reports on July 17:
Negredo: “City is a huge club; it was a no-brainer”
The Dream Move Award
Winner: Evening Standard
Everton midfielder Fellaini fears his dream switch to Arsenal will not happen. Fellaini has a £23.5m release clause in his contract that expires on August 15.
July 17 – Evening Standard
Marouane Fellaini will choose Manchester United over Arsenal should both clubs make a bid for the Everton midfielder this summer.
It is believed Fellaini has made moving to Old Trafford his first choice and is hopeful that United will try to sign him.
The Striking A Blow For Facts Award
Winner: Alan Pardew
August 30, Daily Mirror:
Alan Pardew has confirmed that he expects Yohan Cabaye to play for Newcastle against Fulham this weekend, that’s good news for the Toon Army. Pards has left Cabaye on the sidelines while Arsenal were sniffing around, and the fact he’s bringing him back might mean that the danger from Arsenal is now over.
August 24,Daily Mirror:
Yohan Cabaye has gone on strike at Newcastle after refusing to play in Toon’s opening matches of the season, writes The Sunday People. Sunday People Sport can reveal that Cabaye was named in the team to face City on Monday but refused to playa nd returned home to Tyneside instead.
When is a strike not a strike?
The Tin Man Award
Winner: Tin Jedvaj
Albany Times Union: Roma has signed teenage defender Tin Jedvaj from Dinamo Zagreb… Roma has paid 5 million euros to Dinamo for the 17-year-old Jedvaj.
The Metro says the swoop is a sign of Spurs “future proofing”.
The You Can Insult Me All You Want For That Money
Winner: Everton and Newcastle United
Everton have described Manchester United’s £28m joint bid for Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines as “derisory and insulting”.
The Blame The Chariman If It All Goes Wrong Award
Winner: Andre Villas-Boas
“The chairman said that we are not open to offers, whatever they are, and that the player will stay. In football anything can happen, but these are the guarantees given to me.”
The Jumped The Gunners Award
Winner: The Sun
The You Really Can Trust Me Award
Winner: John W. Henry
“We are not going to sell Luis… “I’m unequivocal that we won’t sell to Arsenal, whatever the bid is.”
The New Gareth Bale Award
Winners: New Gareth Bales
Daily Express: “Spurs want ‘new Gareth Bale’ Alvaro Morata included in Real deal for Welshman”
The Fighting Cock: “Andros Townsend: The Next Gareth Bale?”
The Guardian: “50-year-old Welsh wizard: the new Gareth Bale?”
Emirates 24/7: “Arsenal are looking to buy 20-year-old left-sider Acharaf Laazar, dubbed the ‘new Gareth Bale’.”
Liverpool FC.com: “Alex Pritchard…’The next Gareth Bale’”
CaughtOffside: “Luke Shaw has been dubbed the ‘New Gareth Bale’”
IBT: “According the latest reports, North London-based Premiership side Arsenal are planning to make an offer for Italian Serie B side Varese’s young defender Acharaf Laazar who has been dubbed the new Gareth Bale”
Sabotage Times: “‘Gareth Bale: ‘I Want To Be The New David Beckham’”
RantSpots: “Tottenham Hotspur Star Gareth Bale May Be the New Cristiano Ronaldo”
The Luis Surez Award for Consistency Off The Pitch
Winner: Luis Suarez:
“Right now the Premier League is the biggest and most important league. My record shows that I’m not the kind of player who wants to change clubs every season and I would have no problem playing in England for many more years.”
“I’m not prepared to continue to put up with the English press. I love Liverpool, but if there is a chance of playing somewhere else…I suffered too much as a kid to get where I am to be attacked unfairly by the English press. They haven’t appreciated me as a player, they’ve just judged my attitude.”
Runner-Up: Joey Barton:
The CV Writing Award
Winner: Henry winter in The Telegraph:
Buyer beware: whoever signs Liverpool want-away striker Luis Suárez is getting a toxic cheat
The Luis Suarez Award For Seeking Honesty
Winner: Luis Suarez
“Last year I had the opportunity to move to a big European club and I stayed on the understanding that if we failed to qualify for the Champions League the following season I’d be allowed to go. I gave absolutely everything last season but it was not enough to give us a top-four finish – now all I want is for Liverpool to honour our agreement.
“It is not as if I am asking to move to a local rival. And I would not consider moving to a club outside the Champions League. I have made my desire to move known in private various times and now it feels like the time for me to make it public. I have to put my career first. People say Liverpool deserve more from me but I have scored 50 goals in less than 100 games and now they could double the money they paid for me.
“I spoke with Brendan Rodgers several times and he told me: ‘Stay another season, and you have my word if we don’t make it then I will personally make sure that you can leave.
“I am 26, I need to be playing in the Champions League. I feel I have done enough to be playing in the Champions League at this stage of my career. Now there is an option for me to do that and I want very much to take it.”
The Give The Door A Kick on The Way Out Award
Winner: Pepe Reina
In an open letter to Liverpool fans he wrote:
I am disappointed that I will not be part of that and although it was not my decision to leave I will accept it just like I have always accepted any decision that Liverpool have taken for me…
But if I have one regret, it is the way that I am leaving. It is only natural that I would be disappointed that the Liverpool management agreed to loan me to Napoli without telling me first, I thought that I deserved better than that…
I was surprised that Liverpool decided it was in the club´s interests to send me to Napoli instead.
On the way out he gives Brendan Rodgers a kick:
None of this will change my feelings for the club or the people in any way and now I have to look forward to a new challenge with Rafa Benitez, who I consider to be the best manager I have worked with…
Here’s what Rodgers said of Reina. On June 22, Rodgers told one and all what the signing of Simon Mignolet meant for Pepe:
“Pepe Reina and I went out for a meal a couple of months before the end of the season and I told him exactly what we were going to do, which was to provide real competition in that area.”
With Reina now at Napoli, Rodgers now adds:
“It was obviously a difficult decision. From last season I was led to believe that we were going to get an offer for Pepe that would probably see him leave the club…
“It wouldn’t have served any purpose, both for the club and him personally, if he’d been the one missing out.”
What about the competition and loyalty, Brendan?
The Didier Drogba Award For Selective Amnesia
Winner: Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho says Fernando Torres should be worried about the impending arrive of Wayne Rooney:
“I think he’ll be pleased because during his time here he was basically the only striker.”
Two words Jose: Didier Drogba…
The Gareth Bale is An Idiot Award
Winner: Former Spurs manager David Pleat:
”I think he’s a little bit young to go abroad. I doubt he’d find it easy. Many have failed when they have moved overseas. One or two have succeeded, but not many. Most have had a difficult time.”
We recall that one of Pleat’s first jobs at Spurs was to sign Nico Claesen, the 24-year-old Belgian.
Runner Up: Harry Redknapp:
He’s not an over-ambitious lad. He wants to be successful obviously but he’s not someone I can see moving to Real Madrid at this stage in his life.
The Award For Excellence In Piggy Backing
Winner: Gareth Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett in The Daily Telegraph:
“I have been involved in some of the most difficult transfers you can possibly imagine over the years but this was the most rewarding one I have had the pleasure of negotiating.”