Date: 1st February 2011 at 10:06am
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What? Not Danny Welbeck? So, who have we got then?

Yes, I know the joke is ten hours old, but I put it up there for historical purposes. For those of you who are not aware, when the signing of Daniel Sturridge was announced last night, the official website, in a startling return to form after the excellent Nat Lofthouse tribute, used a picture of Danny Welbeck to illustrate the deal.

Yes, the transfer deadline day came and went with T’Wanderers pulling in one more player and managing to keep hold of all the ones that are already here. So, in a month where prices once again went stupid, our outlay was the £2.5million spent on David Wheater and any loan fee that we’ve had to pay Chelsea, who are probably scrabbling round the back of the sofa now for any loose change.

The Sturridge saga went on for a bit longer than we would have wanted. Reports suggested that he was in the north early on in the day and The Mirror had reported his signing by midday. However, with Liverpool looking for a striker to replace Torres holding up the Spaniard’s move to Chelsea and then Newcastle dithering over a million here or there, we were all left twiddling our thumbs. Once Torres reached London, the deal went through.

It did appear at one point, around the time that Carlos Vela’s agent demanded money for facilitating a move that he had little, if anything, to do with, that we would be left swinging in the wind for anybody coming in. That we have managed to secure Sturridge is, to my mind, a better deal.

I said early in January that my thought was that Vela didn’t show when it was really needed, and that thought hasn’t changed. It isn’t Vela’s fault that his agent decided to line his purse and Bolton fans are not the only ones that have applauded St Owen’s stance. As for Sturridge, try not to pay attention to his lack of goals at the top level. He has been used primarily as a substitute, both at Chelsea and previously at Citeh. He has the pace that we are sorely lacking up front and could concievably play alongside any of our three other main strikers.

Breaking into a side where the two main strikers are Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka would have been no mean feat and his chances have further diminished with the signing of Torres. The clever money in West London is that Anelka will be moved on in the summer, or that he will move on himself after reports that he may have been a makeweight in the Torres deal. And we all know how Nic reacts when he thinks he is unloved. Sturridge himself was mentioned as a possibility to go to Liverpool, but both were turned down flat. Sturridge, however, is a talent who can be nurtured and although he was targeted by Citeh fans after his move down south, he appears to have moved for his career rather than his money.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Sturridge is good friends with Little Jackie Wilshere and spoke to him before the move:

‘I’m good friends with Jack and he told me all about the club too. He said how much he had enjoyed his time here and how good the set-up was. I’m friends with Fabrice Muamba through England and there are other players here who I have known for years as well.’

Whilst you’d hope that the move wasn’t dependent on the say so of a nineteen year old, it’s good to know that Jack can still say good things about the club even though SuperKevinDavies tried to decapitate him earlier in the season. Hopefully, Sturridge will return to the Bridge a more rounded player than he came, which will be good for us, good for Chelsea and, possibly, good for England.

Somewhere in the middle of the transfer merry-go-round, Johan Elmander was mentioned as a replacement for Carroll at Newcastle. It says a lot for Elmander’s dip in form that this was met with some form of unmitigated joy by Bolton fans on Twitter. That the story turned out not to be true, or negotations started too late, doesn’t deflect from the fact that most people wouldn’t have been too upset if the Swede had gone.

Par example:

Coyle says ‘Elmander going nowhere.’ A perfect description of a typical Elmander performance. @SpewsAt10

Lets hope for Elmo’s sake the goals are a lot wider at St.James’s. @FredMadagascar

I kinda hope he goes, we need more consistency up front. @AlexFriel

And from our North Eastern Friends:

Good, he’s (rubbish) RT @nufcfans: Latest: #Bolton manager Owen Coyle says striker Johan Elmander is going nowhere @richy_waugh

Really not excited by this Elmander talk. Don’t really rate him. @tomziemer

Rumor that #NUFC backup striker plan will be Elmander?? Shoot me now! @scuebydue

Granted, there were some Bolton fans who didn’t want Elmander to go and there were some Newcastle fans who wanted him to come, but you had to pick through all the naysayers to find them. Elmander’s stock has fallen quicker than a depressed stockbroker off Canary Wharf since he started umming and erring over a new contract. In hindsight, it would have been a mistake to let him go anywhere due to the initial lack of numbers, and we needed an extra striker rather than a replacement. However, if Elmander wants a new contract, or, indeed, go anywhere else worthwhile come July, he needs to pull his head from wherever it currently is.

Two final things on the transfer window. The Metro reported that Mr Vinegar had given up on his pursuit of Gary Cahill who had been linked with a move to Arsenal for the month of January by…..The Metro. A case, indeed, of blowing smoke up your own arse.

Secondly, Andy Carroll’s move to Liverpool will surely put paid to SuperKevinDavies’ long term England future. Whilst he was at Newcastle, there was a chance he may have gone unnoticed. Now he is at Liverpool, in what, you have to admit, looks like a tasty forward line, he will be a shoo-in. England’s friendly next week does offer the captain a chance of a call up. However, for one, he wasn’t picked for the last friendly as ‘we know what you can do’ and, second, Carlton Cole scored a goal last week.

We return tomorrow, with a Wolves preview. Am off now for a walk down the canal, turning left at the old Big Breakfast house. Jealous?


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