Tuesday, September 02, 2008

FFC Deadline Day round-up

A little like Mark Hughes, I spent the morning on the golf course. Unlike him, I didn't attempt an audacious bid to snatch Dimitar Berbatov from under the noses of my greatest footballing rival. My department's 6-a-side team could certainly do with a little Berbatov magic, eight games a season and only 15 minutes each way wouldn't be too onerous, but I suspect the lack of any salary and minimal opportunity for European competition (actually none at all) might put him off. Shame, we've probably got a better chance of claiming silverware this season than either Spurs or Man City (though following the late breaking news that City have managed to sign Robinho for a British record £32.5million transfer fee, I might need to reconsider their chances!).

Gabriel Zakuani was first out the door joining Peterborough United on a one month loan. The short time span might be something to do with the complicated rules of loan deals currently in place, so I'm not sure what Gaby's long term opportunities are at the Posh. He could do a lot worse, they're a team on the up and could well challenge for Promotion this year, at least it gives him a chance to re-establish his credentials at a level he has performed well at before.

An overdue mention for Dickson Etuhu who signed from Sunderland for £2million on Friday. He's had a lot of stick on TiFF already but plays defensive midfield which is an area we needed more options. There had been rumours that Leon Andreasen was not happy with his lack of game time, and that Etuhu was viewed as a replacement but it seems he is just here to add depth to the squad which must be a good thing.

Collins John returns to his home land to sign with NEC Nijmegen for a season long loan (or on a free transfer if you believe the BBC - who knows what's going on there, his contract was supposed to have expired in June). We'd all seen CJ's potential early on but for one reason or another he seemed unable to take this on to the next level. I know there's a lot of fans who still felt he had something to offer but I think having failed to set the world alight at either Leicester or Watford it really was time for him to start again somewhere else. Nice that he's gone to a team who we have quite amicable links with, he's still a young player and I hope he's found a team where he can really make an impact.

A bit out of the blue - we've signed Julian Gray on a season long loan from Coventry. The 28 year old was linked with us back in his Palace days, and featured in the Premier League for Birmingham City between 2004 and 2006. He can play left midfield or left back, so will provide cover for Kallio whilst Konchesky is injured and could also be used as back up to Gera.

There'd been rumours that Alexey Smertin was heading to Cardiff but was awaiting work permit clearance. Not sure if that move is still on (turns out its not - he didn't want to go) but Fulham have confirmed Smertin's contract has been cancelled by mutual consent. Easy come, easy go.

A fairly quiet end to the window then. Someone on TiFF suggested Roy was probably tucked up in bed reading P.G.Wodehouse which made me laugh. He was actually at Motspur Park, where the reserves lost 3-1 to Portsmouth. In many ways good to see that Roy felt he'd got the job done already. Rushing around in a panic trying to buy something before the shops shut is rarely a recipe for a successful purchase. He has certainly used the day to clear out any players he didn't want, we're looking decidedly trim. I think we could do with another centre back and maybe an extra striker but that will just have to wait until January now.

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