Football Diary

by Patrick O’Connor


THE transfer window may now be closed but its after-effects are still being felt.

The Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger claimed it was a traumatic period. The summer saw him lose two of his best players in Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas and Wenger was then left with a rather frantic scramble in the last few days of the window to bring reinforcements in.

Wenger said: “In my job, you expect to suffer. That’s why when I go to hell one day, it will be less painful for me than you, because I’m used to suffering.”


Another manager less than happy with transfers was the Sunderland boss Steve Bruce who slammed “parasites” he claimed affected striker Asamoah Gyan’s form after his goal for Ghana in the 1-1 draw with England in March.

During the transfer window Gyan was consistantly linked with moves to a big European club but Sunderland said they did not receive a single bid.

“Since that game at Wembley, all the parasites, as I call them, hover around. People are in his ear constantly trying to engineer a deal for him. It’s very difficult, the constant speculation no matter what you try to quash or quell, and the people around him, the people who want to make a fast buck, and it affects him in the end.”

Bruce added: “He was going from Real Madrid to Bayern Munich to Valencia to Atletico Madrid.”

But only a few days later the angry Sunderland manager revealed that Gyan had indeed left – to join Middle Eastern club Al-Ain on a year long loan.

He was less than happy with the player, saying: “It’s quite simple. I had a conversation with him less than 48 hours ago and at the end of it he shook my hands and said he wanted to remain a Sunderland player.

“Then another offer comes in from a team in the United Arab Emirates and he’s desperate to go, so I don’t want anybody to hang about the place when they don’t want to.”

Because transfer window deadlines differ around the world, Gyan was able to sign for his new club but Sunderland cannot bring anybody else until January.

“It’s a shame because of the timing of it we have to wait 15 weeks until we can find a replacement,” said Bruce.

Well, I suppose it’s one way to get supporters on your side.

Premier League club Newcastle United have launched their own range of ladies’ lingerie.

Utilising the club’s black and white strip, the collection features suspenders, bras and camisoles and there are also some lace French knickers, maybe in tribute to Newcastle’s three French signings this summer, Lille’s Yohan Cabaye, Lens’ Mehdi Abeid, and Sylvain Marveaux from Rennes.

Ooh la la!

Chilling words for the rest of the Premier League from Manchester City’s boss Roberto Mancini after a comfortable 3-0 home win over Wigan.

“We had 15 chances in the first half and we scored only one goal – this is a problem because the game can change any moment. Next time it’s better if we close out the game in the first half. We need to improve because we have started the season very well but the season will be long.

“If we want to arrive at the end of the season still at the top we need to improve.”

Manchester United you have been warned.