The transfer window can be a funny old time of the season and it always reminds me of a proper funny story of when I was playing at Wigan.
We had beaten Arsenal in a semi-final double header in what was the Carling Cup, to then face Manchester United in the final, at the Millennium Stadium.
Pascal Chimbonda had been struggling in France and things weren’t going too well for him out there, so our manager at the time, Paul Jewell, saw that he had something and decided to bring him over to play in the Premier League for Wigan, where he could put his arm around him, look after him and get the best out of him.
Anyway, after the game, everyone was absolutely buzzing to have beaten, what was, a very strong Arsenal side at the time, plus we were bouncing off the walls because we’d be facing Fergie’s United in front of a sell out crowd in Cardiff.
Pascal then came up to the Gaffer with a card and went ‘Here, Paul: read that’…
Like the rest of us, Jewel thought it was a thank you letter for everything he’d done over the last year to help him in his personal and professional life, but it was actually a transfer request!!!!
The Gaffer couldn’t believe it!!! He went absolutely Chicken-oriental!!!
In his unmistakable Scouse accent, the gaffer went ballistic at him! After everything he did, he couldn’t believe how Pascal had treated him – mugged right off!
Mind you, me and the rest of the lads were in tears because we couldn’t believe what he’d done!!! How’s your timing?!!!
To be fair, we all had a word with him afterwards, saying it was bang out of order doing it in the changing room in front of everyone, after we’ve just got to a final!!
Is it a disruptive time of the season?
Some people often wonder whether the transfer window is quite stressful for players, but I never thought so. You might feel the pressure if you’re sh*t, because you’re always looking over your shoulder, thinking ‘Christ, I hope the Gaffer don’t bring someone in to replace me!’.
If you’ve got a good group of players and you know one of the lads is going to be on his bike, it usually happens quite quickly and doesn’t disrupt the status quo too often.
You’re usually quite pleased for the lads that deserve to move up the ladder in their career and as long as everyone goes about the transfer professionally, it’s not too much of a disruption at all.
Funnily enough, if you’re confident in your own ability like I was, there’s no need to worry about the transfer window. If your club brings in a talented player, it would usually up the standard in training and you’d actually develop as a player.
If I’m being honest I don’t even think it crossed my mind that the January Transfer window was even happening!! I was just so focused on being the best I could be that I wasn’t worried about anything else.
I’d always strive to be the best player on the training ground and the best I could be on match days, because I knew that if I played well then I’d be starting the next game and if I didn’t perform then I might be on the bench, so I just used to think to myself: ‘F***ing make sure you perform, Jim’.
I used to put an immense amount of pressure on myself. Never mind keeping my position for the next week, I wanted to be the best player on the pitch. I wanted to get M.O.M EVERY SINGLE WEEK – don’t get me wrong, I’d be working within the team structure, but I wanted to be the best I could be.
As soon as I left Peterborough and proved myself at Wigan I felt like I was the best player in the world. I was that confident in my own ability – I would happily go toe-to-toe against anyone.
I didn’t care who might have been brought in during the transfer window and I certainly didn’t care who I was up against. Even away at Old Trafford, where I was voted ‘Away MOM’ a couple of times.
Even if we were losing 4-0, I used to think “f**k it, I want to prove to Paul Scholes that I can mix it with him”, or, when I’d be in a foot race against Ronaldo, I’d think “he ain’t quicker than me, he ain’t fitter than me, he won’t run the Bulldog into the ground, not today. I WILL NOT leave him alone. I’d be like a rash”.
Do we need the January Window?
I’ve heard some people say that they want rid of it and for clubs to get their business done and dusted in the summer. I get why there’s a few ‘oohs and ahhs’ against it but I quite like it actually.
It breaks the season up, if you have a lot of injuries it can help you out and if clubs need to give the squad a bit of a face lift then I don’t think it does any harm in the grand scheme of things.
Laporte is the missing piece to City’s Puzzle
Called it again didn’t I!! Told you Pep wasn’t happy with his Centre Half situation and that’s why he’s brought in Aymeric Laporte!!
He’s not entirely happy with Stones and Kompany, and I think he went off van Dijk’s fitness, so decided not to pursue him – he needed someone who’s much more agile and athletic, which is exactly what he’ll get with Laporte.
I’m telling you now, this young Frenchman they’ve brought in will transform their team! I’ve been online for hours on YouTube watching him!! If you love total football, you’ll enjoy the way he plays from the back.
He’s like a typical No.4, sitting midfielder who’s quick over the ground and he always wants the ball. Now, when you add a footballing centre back to that Man City team, I expect to see them going close to the Champions League this season – all he needs to do is add Christensen from Chelsea and he’d have the best back four in the league.
Kompany’s been a great servant to Man City, but I watch him play now and he just hasn’t got it any more – Laporte is the missing piece of the Man City puzzle. TRUST ME!
Bets for the weekend…
What’s that, I hear you ask? Does The Bulldog have any football tips for my lovely readers this weekend? Well it’s funny you should ask, because as a matter of fact, I do…
Burnley have been extremely good this season and have been very hard to beat at home – I’ve been so impressed with the way Sean Dyche has evolved this side. However, they’ll be up against it in the early Kick off against Man City on Saturday. They might have their dreams of going unbeaten shattered by Liverpool, but that loss wont have knocked their confidence one bit.
I’m going for a 3-0 City win in this one, which is 13/2 with BetBright. Burnley will be hard to break down and I can definitely see them holding on for the first half, so I wouldn’t mind sticking a few quid on Draw/Manchester city at 14/5 as a Half-Time/Full Time Bet either.
Arsenal v Everton should be a decent enough game and if you’re a bit of a bore, I could forgive you for backing a draw here at 4/1. However, The Bulldog is ever the optimist, so I think we could see an Arsenal side who want to turn things right after a proper, proper embarrassing result at Swansea.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Walcott came back to give Wenger a bit of a scare, so if you’re after a bit of a punt, back Walcott any time at 4/1 and Arsenal + BTTS at 15/8 with BetBright.
The late kick off on Sunday won’t disappoint. Spurs v Liverpool. Poch v Klopp. LOVE IT!
Spurs win this in my opinion. Back them at 9/4.
Thank you and good night Vienna! This will be a great game for the neutral though, and I’m raring for it.
These are two sides that like to attack and with the football that Klopp plays, you can guarantee that there’ll be goals, because with the way they push their players forwards, it’ll leave gaps for the likes of Kane and Alli to find the onion bag.
Son loves a goal and you can back him to score first at 17/3 or any time at 13/5 with BetBright.
Have a good one boys and girls!