Transfer Window Closes (updates will follow)

negotiationsThe English transfer window closed a day after many of the European countries this year and the big news is that there was very little news – especially from the big 4 clubs. I guess there was finally some evidence that football is not immune to last fall’s near financial meltdown.

Of the big four, Chelsea was the one squad that looked the most complete and had little to do. However, the others needed some help, in some cases badly. Liverpool needs a striker – they have no back up for Torres and Gerrard. Man United need help in the midfield – a Van Der Vaart would have been perfect for them. Arsenal probably need a striker and were pursuing Chamakh of Bordeaux (West Ham were also in pursuit). He looks like a decent player, but it doesn’t look like the deal came off.

The most action on the day came from Spurs, Villa, and Everton – although less than some had expected. Spurs signing Niko Kranjcar looks like the steal of the transfer window, especially at the rumored fee of under 3 mil pounds. Spurs now have neatly replaced there injured left sided Croatian playmaker, with the guy that actually plays there for Croatia. Villa and Everton both bolstered there defense with the signing of James Collins from West Ham and Jhonny Heitinger respectively.

From an American perspective, this last week had more impact on players looking to make the world cup squad rather than on our starting 11, since most of the big moves – Gooch, Jozy, Davies – have already gone down. Things seem to have gone all right with one big exception: Damarcus Beasley. While a starting 11 is starting to take shape, the U.S. MNT needs depth. Since Beasley is the only experienced winger we have it would be a big boost if could regain his form. To do so he has to get playing time and with Rangers signing another winger from PSG – Beasley is done in Scotland. It would be a disaster for him if he is stuck in Glasgow until January with no prospect of playing time.

Freddy Adu’s loan to another smaller Portuguese club is brilliant. The league is solid and it plays the type of football that Adu is suited for. If he plays a full year in Portugal he should grow as a player and make the world cup squad. Those that have given up on him should be slapped – the kid is just 20. Hopefully, he plays now as if he has something prove.

Hull City’s quiet day.
It looks like Hull’s premier league future will rest on Jozy’s shoulders. Phil Brown had talked a lot about needing to add another striker and they were in pursuit of a number of players, but it looks like after Benjani fell through there was nothing left. The sale of defender Michael Turner for 12 mil pounds looks like good business, but unfortunately for them it seems they didn’t have the time to spend it. [Update: it appears they added defender Ibrahima Sonko]

No word on Heath Pearce yet. But we need some options at left back options so the fact that he is currently clubless is not good.

Update: Spurs just loaned their third keeper, David Button, back to a league 2 side. This doesn’t make sense unless they signed someone else. Gomes was reportedly out for at least a month. So that would leave one fit keeper on the squad? But word remains that there was no deal for David James…hmm…

Update: Villa have signed Richard Dunne from Man City confirm the Guardian.

Update: Spurs have yet to officially announce the sale of Kevin Prince Boateng to Pompey. Pompey have announced it – but with it appearing that Spurs have failed to sign a back up holding midfielder – could it be that this deal actually fell through? The rumor of Stephen Appiah to Spurs also popped to the surface again – it’s amazing he still has no club.

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Jozy has landed

Tfinal-flying-coach1he good news is that he slept on the flight, which is not always easy. I know I got no sleep on my last flight to London and arrived a wreck. Well perhaps that was because I was in the stuck in a middle seat in coach – somehow I don’t think Jozy had the same seat. Anyway it will be interesting to see if Jozy makes an appearance tomorrow for Hull. I would think it would be doubtful given the long flight, having never played in England, or really practiced with Hull, but Phil Brown seems pretty keen to get Jozy in the game. He has a dearth of options up front and the will look to attack against Bolton. My guess is Jozy makes the bench and is brought on if the game is tied or if Hull is behind. Go get em tiger!

The Loss of Edu is a huge blow to the US

Maurice Edu – on the last regular season game of the Scottish season – went down with a knee injury that will put him out for the next three months. He not only will miss the start of the Scottish season in August, but the coming confederations cup. This is big blow. One worry is that not being able to participate in preseason training and missing the start of the season could put Edu’s starting position in jeopardy – although Rangers seem very high on him. But this is also a big blow for the U.S.

The starting central midfield for the U.S. in the next world cup looks increasingly set with Edu and Bradley as the anchors. Confederations cup would have been a huge opportunity for them to develop more of a partnership, gain important experience against the top level competition, and get a preview of what next year will be like.

But it is also a blow for Bob Bradley – Confederations Cup was likely going to be a dry-run for the U.S. team and Edu looked like a key piece of that puzzle. Yes Edu had been in and out of the team but: he solidified himself at Rangers, Pablo is getting too long in the tooth, Ricardo Clark has shown flashes, and while Bradley could play there he is better when he can get forward then just sitting deep. With Edu it seemed that Bradley was close to having a very settled squad – with the exception of LB and LM – it was pretty clear that Boca, Gooch, and Cherundulo in the defense, with Bradley and Edu in the midfield, and some combo of Landon, Dempsey and Altidore out wide and up top. With Edu Confederations Cup would have given Bob Bradley a chance to see how well his midfield – and his likely world cup squad stacks up. If Bradley and Edu demonstrate they can cut it defensively – than perhaps he could gamble with more attacking fullbacks – if not perhaps you go with more of a flat back four.

Without Edu, the U.S. go with Clark and Bradley as the two options at holding midfield. I think its smart for the U.S. to move away from Pablo and even Ching – they are useful players in qualifying and have been good servants to the team – but aren’t at the level needed. I have always thought highly of Clark – he has good length, defends well, and is good with the ball. He was one of the better U.S. players in the copa america debacle. The Confederations Cup will be his opportunity to solidify a world cup spot – and perhaps put the 9 game ban behind him for kicking the crap out of Carlos Ruiz (as much as you might have enjoyed that – Bob Bradley did not and definitely led to some regression in his role with the USMNT). So on the bright side, lets hope that Clark grabs this opportunity and gives this squad so more badly needed depth. Who knows may be he will finally get noticed in Europe?