The definitive guide to the EPL transfer window

With the transfer window opening on July 1, we take a look at what to expect during the transfer period in our ‘Definitive guide to the transfer window’.

 

  1. Do not trust newspapers named after stars

According to the ‘Daily Star’ Cristiano Ronaldo was returning to Manchester United in August 2013.

The ‘Daily Star’ even went as far as to predict the date of when Ronaldo would return.

Four years on and United fans are still waiting for the favourite son to return.

Being one of the smaller newspapers in overcrowded UK market means the ‘Daily Star’ must make bold claims to gain consumer attention.

But the ‘Daily Stars’ click bait headlines has resulted in the paper having little credibility.

The same can be said of ‘The Sun’.

‘The Sun’ is a tabloid newspaper owned by News Corp and is structured like a gossip magazine.

Instead of hard hitting stories, ‘The Sun’ is focused on delivering readers the latest gossip on celebrities and risque stories.

‘The Sun’ publishes the latest news about theWAGS and social lives of footballers, instead of their on-field exploits.

‘The Sun’s’ credibility took a hit in 1989, when it published false accusations about Liverpool supporters in the wake of the Hillsborough disaster.

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Front page of The Sun four days after Hillsborough

Liverpool FC have since banned the paper from Anfield.


  1. Manchester United will be linked to hundreds of players

Over 100 players are linked to Manchester United every season.

Being the biggest club in the world means managers and teams want to link their players to United because it boosts the publicity of the player and can increase their value.

To distinguish between a real and fake transfer, work out which sources are trustworthy.

Guillem Balague of Sky Sports and Gabriele Marcotti of ESPN are the more trustworthy reporters.

Also while reading rumours think if the club would really want the player they are linked to.

Would Manchester United want Alvaro Morata?

A 24 year old world class striker, of course they would.

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Morata Manchester United bound

Would Manchester United to spend £71million for Saul Niguez?

Highly unlikely.


  1. Arsenal linked to Cavani and Lacazette

When weren’t Arsenal linked to Cavani or Lacazette?

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Lacazette and Cavani

The Gunners are crying out for a world-class striker but manager Arsene Wenger refuses to splash the cash on talent.

Instead Arsenal purchase Danny Welbeck and Lucas Perez and rue another missed opportunity to win the league.

The Gunners usually wait until the final week of the transfer window to finalise purchases, so expect a quiet July from the Gunners. 


  1. Teams will overpay for British talent 

With so many foreigners in the Premier League, quality English players are few and far between.

The lack of talent means teams will spend enormous sums of money to purchase English players.

Last year Manchester City spent £50 million on John Stones and the year before they spent the same amount on Raheem Sterling.

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John Stones signing for Manchester City

So far this season Everton have spent £30 million on Jordan Pickford and are set to pay £25 million on Michael Keane.

Reports also suggest Manchester United are willing to spend £200 million on Harry Kane.


  1. Transfer records will be smashed

Premier League clubs spent £1.165 billion on transfers in 2016/17, surpassing the £870 million spent in 2015/16.

Thirteen EPL sides broke their transfer records and a total of £155 million was spent on deadline day.

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Transfer figures over the years. Courtesy: BBC

The increase is due to the new £5.1 billion broadcast deal, which came to effect last season and saw the revenue of all clubs rise.

Chelsea received £38 million in prize money for finishing first, while the seventh placed Everton were awarded £26.6 million.

Clubs around the world know Premier League teams have enormous amount to money to spend and will request large sums for their players.

This will see the transfer records smashed yet again in 2017/18.

Pies flag tainted by off-field misdemeanour’s

Drugs, assault and betting.

No we are not talking about the West Coast Eagles, we are talking about the 2010 Collingwood premiership team.

Last week Scott Pendlebury suggested the Magpies suffered a premiership hangover in 2011, because players over celebrated the 2010 flag.

It is difficult to support Pendlebury’s claims given the Magpies lost only two games for the home and away season and were trailing Geelong by only seven points at three quarter time in the Grand Final.

But what Pendlebury’s accusations raise is a discussion about the teams off-field antics during the early part of the decade.

The 2006 West Coast premiership is blemished because of the off field antics of it’s players.

There is no evidence to suggest party drugs can be performance enhancing, but nonetheless the misdemeanours of the West Coast players have left many, including veteran AFL journalist Mike Sheahan questioning the feats of the Eagles.

“The longer it goes the more convinced I am that there’s a taint attached to West Coast in 2006,” Sheahan said on 1116 SEN.

“Wallsy (Robert Walls) said immediately after that premiership win that he thought it was tainted, I taunted him at the time and said it was ungracious, but I’m now in Wallsy’s corner.

“I think the evidence suggests that there was a drug culture that was rife at West Coast at that time.”

In October 2016, former Collingwood player Dane Swan admitted to experimenting with illicit drugs.

“I have experimented with what some people call recreational drugs, but have never taken performance-enhancing drugs or what you might call ‘heavy’ drugs.”

Swan also went on to say that only a small contingent of teammates have also used drugs.

It was not revealed when Swan used the drugs but in 2012, Collingwood CEO Gary Pert said the “volcanic behaviour” of players during the off-season and the use of drugs was the biggest issue in the AFL.

Like Ben Cousins, Swan was the biggest name in the Magpies side.

Cousins was said to have had an influence on the younger players at the club, including Chad Fletcher and Daniel Kerr.

At Collingwood Swan was part of the ‘Rat Pack’, a group of rebel teammates, which included Ben Johnson, Alan Didak, Heath Shaw and Dale Thomas.

A 2013 report by the Australian Government showed eight million Australian’s over the age of 14 had consumed illicit drugs at least once in their lifetime

It is not right to accuse individuals of using drugs but if a well renowned player like Swan has experimented with drugs, it could influence teammates to experiment as well.

Drugs were not the only issue the Magpies faced during the 2010 period.

Two days after the premiership two players were accused of sexually assaulting a woman, while in 2011 Heath Shaw was suspended for eight matches for placing a bet on captain Nick Maxwell to kick the first goal in a Round 9 clash against Adelaide.

Off field behaviour should not dampen the on-field success of a team, unless the off-field incidents are proven to be performance enhancing.

West Coast’s problems were not found to have enhanced player performances, yet still people question the teams success.

Yet no one argues the party culture at Collingwood during the 2010 premiership season is anymore than ‘boys having fun’.

If the Eagles success is questioned then so too should Collingwood’s, or we should just accept the players made mistakes off field but on-field they achieved undeniable success.

The mistakes of the bad boy Eagles has overshadowed the success of the unimpeachable Chris Judd, Dean Cox and Andrew Embley.

The same goes for Collingwood, where the party boys have prevented the likes of Scott Pendlebury, Nick Maxwell and Steel Sidebottom from winning a second flag.

AFL news you may have missed this week (April 10-14)

Not a lot of news went through to the keeper this week, as a shortened week meant less time to discuss the usual amount of topics.

The AFL media focused heavily on the fallout from the Adelaide Showdown and the build up to Good Friday football.

But with that being said, there was a debut over the weekend that didn’t receive the attention it required.

 

Boomer’s numerology

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Brent Harvey on debut for North Heidelbeg

AFL games record holder Brent Harvey made his North Heidelberg debut in Division 2 of the Northern Football League over the weekend.

Boomer struggled with a heavy tag in the opening half, but a move to full forward in the third term allowed Boomer to show his class, kicking two goals and assisting in many others.

However some interesting numerology came out of the game.

Boomer wore number 29 and had 29 disposals in the Bulldogs 29-point victory.

The coincidence is perfect for Cameron Mooney’s numerology segment on Fox Footy’s ‘Bounce’ and if you do see it on the program, remember it was first mentioned here.

 

AFL news you may have missed this week (April 3-7)

A big part of this weeks AFL programs focused on the suspension to Jordan Lewis and the form of Gary Ablett.

With so much focus on these two issue, there were other important topics that failed to garner the attention they deserved.

We look at the three talking points that went under radar this week.

 

  1. Mark Robinson talks head knocks

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Mark Robinson

Tuesday nights episode of AFL 360 focused on Jordan Lewis and his response to his three-week suspension.

But while Lewis gathered all the attention, a topic raised by Mark Robinson did not get the airtime it deserved.

Robbo asked Jack Riewoldt whether Dustin Martin would play this weekend with a fractured eye socket.

When Riewoldt said it was highly likely Martin would line up, Robbo asked why it is okay for players to play with fractures to their head.

“We talk about concussion all the time but why are players allowed to play with hairline fractures in their head?” Robbo asked.

Robbo raised are good point because if Martin was concussed from the head knock, he would have missed the rest of the game and be unavailable for this week.

Concussion is the trending injury at the moment and with more data being released in the United States, it is clear sports stars are putting their futures at risk with every hit to the head.

Concussion and a fractured eye socket have similar symptoms, including double vision and if a player gets hit in the same spot again and could cause a complete break to the skull.

All head injuries should be treated with the same importance and if there were more research into fractured eye sockets and the effects they may have, would Dustin Martin be playing this week?

 

  1. Cameron Mooney on Gary Ablett’s return to Geelong

On the Wednesday program of 1116 SEN’s ‘The Run Home’, Geelong premiership player Cameron Mooney questioned Geelong’s attempts to recruit Garry Ablett.

Mooney acknowledged that everyone at Geelong would love to see Ablett return to the club, but suggested Geelong’s attempts to lure the two time Brownlow Medallist “contradicting” everything the club has done under Chris Scott.

“It will be contradictory, throwing out Bartel, Kelly, Chapman, Joel Corey and getting another 34-year old,” said Mooney.

Mooney did however say he would love to see Ablett at the club and believed it would be a good deal for the Cats if they could get him in the cheap.

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  1. No seatbelt for Sticks

The Footy Show got Stephen Kernahan to do something many people have tried over the years and that’s re-sing ‘Stand by your man’.

But as much of an achievement this is, they failed to ensure Kernahan abided by the law.

Kernahan sat in the back of a Toyota Hilux with no visible seatbelt on, singing the Tammy Wynette tune, with Richmond star Alex Rance and country singer Lee Kernaghan.

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It isn’t the first time Channel Nine have had an issue with talent wearing seatbelt’s.

Late last year Channel Nine cricket commentators Shane Warne, Michael Slater and Kevin Peterson were given infringement notices by the Tasmanian Police for not wearing seatbelt’s.

Channel Nine will be hoping Victoria Police don’t notice the misdemeanour or read this article.

Expectations low for Wrestlemania 33

Wrestlemania 32 will go down as one of the greatest spectacles in sports entertainment history.

The event had everything; a crowd of 101,000, unforgettable matches, extravagant entrances and the reunion of ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin and The Rock.

Topping the feats of lasts years event is no easy achievement but it’s safe to say Wrestlemania 33 will fail to replicate last years extravaganza.

Wrestlemania 32’s main event of Triple H and Roman Reigns was by no means a match for the ages. But compared to this year’s main event, it will be a match to remember.

Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar would be a top billing main event if it was 2004, but in 2017 the match is less thrilling.

In their match at Survivor Series, Goldberg defeated Lesnar in 86 seconds.

Then for the Universal Championship at Fastlane, Goldberg defeated Kevin Owens in 22 seconds.

It is understandable that the WWE are giving Goldberg squash matches.

In his return to the WWE, Goldberg branded himself as a superhero and someone for children to look up to.

But are the WWE giving Goldberg squash matches to make him appear indestructible or is it because at the age of 50 and a retired wrestler for 13 years, Goldberg can no longer perform in a gruelling match?

At the grandest of stages a squash match will not be accepted by the WWE universe, especially as the match is a main event.

If Goldberg relinquishes the title to Brock Lesnar that would also be less than impressive.

Lesnar is a prize fighter and only wrestles at pay-per views, meaning there will be no matches against the universal champion on Raw programming.

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Brock Lesnar

Without the Universal champion featuring on Raw, only the United States champion, the Tag-Team champions will be seen on Raw.

The United States championship and the Tag-Team titles are almost irrelevant on Raw and without the Universal champion on the program, viewers may skip the show.

The Universal championship isn’t the only concern for Raw at Wrestlemania.

The Women’s Division has brought a breath of fresh air to the WWE and the three-way battle between Bayley, Charlotte and Sasha Banks will deliver at Wrestlemania.

But the build up to the match has been disappointing and Charlotte losing at Fastlane was an error of judgement by the WWE.

Charlotte had an undefeated pay-per-view streak, which was broken at Fastlane.

Charlotte’s streak was similar to the Undertaker’s Wrestlemania streak as fans became engrossed the longer it went.

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Charlotte was undefeated in 16 pay-per-views

It would have been appropriate to end the streak at Wrestlemania instead of Fastlane as the streak would have brought extra publicity to the match.

But for some reason the WWE decided Fastlane was the ideal place to end the streak.

The red half of the WWE isn’t the only reason Wrestlemania 33 will be a failure.

Two rumoured matches from Smackdown will also leave the WWE universe unimpressed.

 

Nikki Bella is expected to retire after Wrestlemania and the perfect ending to her career would be for her to team-up with her boyfriend, John Cena.

In recent weeks Bella and Cena have teamed up, only to be attacked by The Miz and Maryse, signalling the two couples will go head to head at Wrestlemania.

The match is perfect to link with the Total Divas reality show but for someone as renowned as John Cena, the match does not reach expectations.

It is unclear how long Cena will continue to wrestle and a match against the Undertaker would be the perfect ending to both Cena and Taker’s careers.

But at Wrestlemania 33, Cena will be wrestling in a reality match and the Undertaker will be up against ‘The Guy’ Roman Reigns.

The final disappointment heading to Wrestlemania is the likely match between AJ Styles and Shane McMahon.

Styles has been the WWE’s star man for the past year and a match against Bray Wyatt looked certain until Randy Orton decided he wanted to fight Wyatt.

On last weeks Smackdown Styles told Shane McMahon he was not afraid of the Smackdown boss and this has set off rumours of a feud between the pair.

After the year he has had, Styles deserves a match against one of the best wrestlers in the WWE.

But instead he will have a match with a man known more for his daredevil feats, than his technical in-ring ability.

Fairy tales to flops – How 2016’s underdogs are 2017’s underachievers

298 days after winning the Premier League title for the first time in their 133 year history, Leicester City have done the unthinkable and sacked manager Claudio Ranieri.

The man who brought sport it’s most fairy tale moment and will no doubt have a statue resurrected in his honour in the city of Leicester was sacked in the cruellest of fashions.

Leicester sit 18th in the EPL and look like a team void of confidence but with Champions League football still to play, the question remains; Why was Ranieri sacked now?

Manchester United persisted with David Moyes until they were eliminated from the Champions League and by then they were sitting a lowly seventh in the Premier League.

Leicester were never going to win the Premier League this season and the owners were not deluded enough to believe they had a chance of backing up last years feats.

Leicester City chairman Vichai Srivaddanaprabha’s only expectation for the club this season was to avoid relegation, while focussing on having successful Champions League campaign.

It’s safe to say the club have done there best to not deliver on this expectation and for this reason Ranieri has been sacked.

But Leicester isn’t alone in failing to deliver a season after achieving unexpected success.

2016 will be remembered as the year of the fairy tale story in sport.

Teams like Leicester and the Chicago Cubs broke droughts that span over 100 years, while others like Adelaide United and the Sydney Thunder won their first championships.

But as already been evident in 2017, these unlikely winners have failed to deliver in their title defence and have returned to positions they have routinely held.

Leicester have always been a ‘yoyo’ club, constantly moving between divisions and never really established as a Premier League side, having only been in the Premier League for 11 of the competitions 25 yeas.

It’s highly unlikely Leicester will ever win the title again but it is plausible that they will be relegated in the year’s to come.

For a man that brought so much joy to a small team, the Foxes owners were swift to axe the history maker.

2016 saw two teams in Australian sport break their ducks and win their first titles.

Adelaide United were crowned A-League champions for the first time following a 3-1 victory over Western Sydney in the final.

A-League Grand Final - Adelaide v Western Sydney

Courtesy: A-League

In the post season the Reds lost key players including Bruce Djite, Jimmy Jeggo and Stefan Mauk and have struggled in their title defence, winning only three of their first 21 games and sitting bottom of the table.

Another team who created history last year was the Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash league.

The Thunder have always been the seller dwellers and had finished last in three of the opening four seasons of the competition.

But under the captaincy of Mike Hussey, the Thunder claimed their first title in the fifth year of the competition, only to again finish last in 2016-17.

The form drop of these teams is a warning to the Western Bulldogs, Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Both the Bulldogs and the Cubs have yet to start their title defence but the Cavaliers have proven it is difficult to achieve.

Apart from a catastrophic form slump the Cavaliers will win the Eastern conference and feature in the NBA playoff finals series.

But Cleveland’s form is not as good as last season and pressure has shown, evident when LeBron James ranted about needing a playmaker.

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Clevelands LeBron James

Few of the underdogs from last season may have success this year but for most, 2017 will be the year the underdog returns to their rightful place in the pecking order.

‘Never say never’ as an in-ring return looms for Daniel Bryan

Former WWE Champion and current Smackdown General Manager Daniel Bryan has refused to rule out a return to the wrestling ring.

Speaking on Talksport’s Gorilla Position, Bryan declined to end speculation that he will be returning to the ring.

“Never say never”, Bryan said when asked by James Delow whether his on-air feud with The Miz would lead to a match.

“If you were to ask WWE the answer would be no but the one thing about (WWE) or any type of fighting or sport is that you never say never”.

“I look at it from a doctor stand point and I’m like ‘is there anything more I can do to get cleared?’ and right now I’ve done everything I can possibly do. It’s an unfortunate scenario for me”.

A return to wrestling would be a massive back-flip for Bryan who retired last year following advice from medical experts.

In his retirement Bryan revealed he had suffered 10 documented concussions while wrestling and that the concussions had taken a toll on his brain.

A return to wrestling would likely see Bryan face off with The Miz.

Though The Miz would be seen as an obvious choice for a challenger considering the two have had a public feud on Smackdown, questions would need to be raised as to why Bryan would arguably risk his health to fight The Miz.

Sting and Goldberg are two wrestlers who have come out of retirement in recent years and both have fought in drawcard matches against Triple H and Brock Lesnar.

The Miz may have improved his in-ring performances and is now one of the top heels in the WWE, but he is still way off the standard of Triple H and Brock Lesnar.

A return for Bryan should only occur if he is given a drawcard match, possibly against someone like the Undertaker.

Aside from medical experts, Bryan would also have to convince wife Brie Bella that he is capable of returning to the ring.

In the wake of his retirement Bryan suffered depression and lived alone for a few months, putting strain on the couples marriage.

The couple are also expecting a baby in April and this will likely see Bryan have a break from the WWE circuit to focus on his family.

10 MUST read facts about Shaquille O’Neal

  1. Shaq named his apartment the ‘Love Shaq’.
  1. 32 children have been injured by playing on a seesaw with Shaq.
  1. A Shaq screen sunk the titanic.

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  1. The only thing bigger than Shaq is his salary.
  1. Women have been impregnated just by saying the name Shaquille.
  1. Shaq’s mother was in labour for nine months, while trying to give birth to Shaquille.
  1. Ever heard of the story of when Shaq and Kobe were roommates?
    Of course you haven’t because it never happened.

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  1. Why did the chicken cross the road?
    Because the chicken got word that Shaq was armed with a bottle of BBQ sauce and was ready to use it.
  1. Shaq likes to listen to Barry White while eating BBQ chicken.
  1. Footage of Shaq eating BBQ chicken has been banned in 11 countries because it is deemed too graphic.

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