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Darren Lewis: Another embarrassing transfer window climax for Tottenham

02 Sep | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Darren Lewis: Another embarrassing transfer window climax for Tottenham

In his deadline day review, the Daily Mirror sports writer praises the blue half of Manchester, but criticises neighbours United, Chelsea and Arsenal

Daniel Levy should send Ed Woodward a crate of champagne.

Or at least a decent bottle of red.

The madness at Manchester United dominated the back pages to eclipse yet another embarrassing climax to a transfer window for Tottenham Hotspur.

And you just wonder how many transfer windows it will take for the North Londoners to realise they cannot keep leaving themselves in the kind of situation they ended up in on Tuesday afternoon.

Go back to the legendary signing of Grzegorz Rasiak, two minutes before the deadline ten years ago (even though Fredi Kanoute had left for Sevilla the week before) and you can chart a litany of ludicrous situations that Tottenham have found themselves in because they have persistently left it too late.

They did it again on Tuesday night with Saido Berahino the player to miss out. Levy has issued an angry statement accusing West Brom of being “wholly disrespectful” for revealing their business.

But Levy is the only person who believes he is in the right. He only really stepped up his attempts to land the likes of Berahino and Southampton’s Victor Wanyama within the last week or so.

Even then he reverted to type with offers that their clubs felt insulted by. Both the Baggies and the Saints refused to sell.

Heartbroken Berahino has vowed not to play for West Brom again and has been sent away to get his head straight. The collateral damage left by the way that Spurs operate continues to mount up.

United have been just as bad. If not worse. The hourglass must surely soon be turned upside down on Woodward’s tenure at Old Trafford.

A window that started so well, with the arrivals at Old Trafford of Memphis Depay, Morgan Schneiderlin, Matteo Darmian and Bastian Schweinsteiger, ended in utter chaos for a club once famed for doing their business quickly and efficiently.

After losing Angel Di Maria to PSG, United simply went all showbiz, chasing unreachable targets like crazed fans trying to get into a VIP lounge.

Neymar was never coming from Barcelona. Nor Gareth Bale from Real Madrid. Bayern Munich simply laughed at United when they kept trying for Thomas Muller.

You could just imagine the men in power at all three clubs chuckling to themselves as they told Woodward: “You’re not really getting this are you? We take all of your best players!”

And then there was the Pedro situation.

Woodward flew over to Spain and looked odds-on to tie that one up. Only for Chelsea to move in and the Barcelona winger to be on a plane to Stamford Bridge while United were trying to pretend they were not that interested anyway.

And all that was before we’d even got to deadline day.

READ: Did your team get what they needed this transfer deadline day? (11-20)

Woodward/United kicked off with that incredible deal to sign untried teenager Anthony Martial. Even his club, Monaco, could not believe the mind-blowing amount they’d been offered for him.

United tried to brief out that they’d paid £36million to limit the damage once the world had expressed its utter incredulity. Monaco took great delight in making public the fact that it was more – much more.

Around £57million in fact.

To make matters worse for United, Martial had been available for just £18m when Spurs came knocking earlier in the summer.

He hasn’t had a pre-season, there will be massive pressure on his shoulders, Wayne Rooney has never heard of him and Martial himself has now claimed Louis van Gaal hasn’t even guaranteed he will play as a No. 9.

The poor boy ended up costing more than Zinedine Zidane at his peak. He probably will fulfil his potential eventually. But right now only Suarez, Neymar, Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo cost more.

Madness.

Then we come to David De Gea, a keeper for whom United should have raked in over £20m along with Madrid counterpart Keylor Navas. United blame Real for the deal not happening, Real blame United.

Either way, the whole thing should never have reached the final year of the player’s contract let alone the final day of the window. Result? United out of pocket.

How they must wish David Gill was back at Old Trafford.

And how they must be laughing across the way at City, the club once dismissed as noisy neighbours by Manchester United.

They are the ones – the only ones – in the top four who have got it right this summer.

Yes, they have splashed out a small fortune but you get what you pay for these days and in Raheem Sterling they’ve landed the best young talent in Europe.

In Kevin De Bruyne, the most productive attacking midfielder in last season’s Bundesliga and in Nicolas Otamendi, one of the best defenders in Spain.

Manuel Pellegrini even had his homegrown needs taken care of with the signings of Fabian Delph and Patrick Roberts.

City look strong and their depth looks frightening. And Chelsea can only look on in envy.

READ: Did your team get what they needed this transfer deadline day? (10-1)

It now seems an age since the Londoners stormed to their bloodless title win last season. John Stones and Paul Pogba would have strengthened them.

Instead Everton and Juventus refused to sell.

The Champions made late moves for PSG centre-back Marquinhos but ended up with Nantes defender Papy Djilobodji and Reading’s Michael Hector who no doubt simply waited to find out which club he would be loaned out to.

Pedro looks good. Baba Rahman at left-back is talented. But overall Jose Mourinho will have to rely on improving last season’s heroes rather than the competition that quality signings would have introduced.

Outside that top three, Arsenal have stood still. You’ll know the statistic by now, but the Gunners were the only club in Europe’s top five leagues not to buy an outfield player.

Petr Cech looked as though he would be one of the three signings down the spine of the team to signal a title challenge. (He certainly came in early enough, arriving at the start of July.)

Instead there is frustration yet again in North London with fans calling for a review of Arsene Wenger’s spending.

He’ll do it his way as usual and the Gunners will be spurred on to prove wrong those people – this column included – who are convinced that there is not enough power in the side.

But they are living in a fantasy. City look far more formidable. Chelsea too if they can lift themselves out of their early-season slump.

If Coquelin is injured at Arsenal who do they have to win the ball? If Giroud is injured where is their top-class goal poacher?

Outside of the top four, Everton kept Stones but failed to convince elsewhere with Tom Cleverly in on a free, Gerard Delofeu from Barcelona and Aaron Lennon from Spurs their headline signings.

Spurs strengthened in defence with Toby Alderweireld, Kevin Wimmer and Kieran Trippier but with no Wanyama to reinforce their midfield and no Berahino up front they have it all to do.

Liverpool, however, did well in replacing their underachievers – Mario Balotelli, Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini – with the likes of Danny Ings, Roberto Firmino and Christian Benteke.

Not to mention England right-back Nathaniel Clyne and former Charlton defender Joe Gomez, who looks a fine prospect.

READ: Got, got, need: Who makes the summer 2015 transfer window XI?

Other winners in this window include West Ham who managed to ship out a string of plodders and replace them with the likes of Victor Moses, Manuel Lanzini, Dimitri Payet, Pedro Obiang, Alex Song and Michail Antonio – to suggest they are going places.

Some nice business at Stoke too to suggest the perception of the club really is changing across Europe.

Former Barcelona winger Ibrahim Afellay came in at the end of July on a free, swiftly followed by Inter Milan and former Bayern Munich playmaker Xherdan Shaqiri, still only 23.

Southampton improved their defence with the capture of Virgil van Dijk from Celtic, replaced Clyne with Cedric Soares and Schneiderlin with Feyenoord captain Jordy Clasie. They also kept Wanyama from the clutches of Spurs.

Crystal Palace moved to another level with the capture of Yohan Cabaye from PSG. They will also be pleased with the arrivals of Bakary Sako – hero in the win at Chelsea last weekend – and striker Patrick Bamford, on loan from Stamford Bridge.

At Norwich, Alex Neil had been seeking a striker and a top centre-back to partner Sebastien Bassong.

The jury is out on frontman Dieumerci Mbokani from Dinamo Kiev while the defender didn’t arrive. It doesn’t look good for their chances of staying up.

At Newcastle, however, John Carver has gone, Steve McClaren has come in, they have kept their best players and have also landed Georgina Wijnaldum from PSV and both Chancel Mbemba and Aleksandar Mitrovic from Anderlecht.

Once they sort firebrand Mitrovic out they look in good shape.

Which is more than can be said for their friends in the red half of Manchester and the north of London.

There was a time – with Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill working in tandem at Old Trafford – when Manchester United set the benchmark for transfer activity in the Premier League and other clubs looked on in awe.

Now they look on with a wry smile. How things have changed.

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