Monday, February 28, 2011

City 1 Fulham 1; and Hughes on the defensive (irony overload).

In a result that undoubtedly delighted lazy journalists, United fans (happy anniversary Blues, 35 years and we're still here) and residents of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, Mark Hughes FC held Manchester City to a 1-1 draw at Eastlands — in doing so picking up Fulham's eighth point in the last four meetings between the clubs at the CoMS.

Of course, we could talk about the match — such as how ineffective we looked without David Silva, how we actually looked more likely to score when a striker (Dzeko) was replaced with a midfielder (Uncle Pat), or how on earth I managed to miss a penalty from three yards yesterday — but people will not shut the fuck up about how good it was for Poor Old Hard Done-By Mark Hughes to get revenge against the three-DM-playing, job-stealing, poster child of negative football Roberto Mancini, as if he was the only manager in the history of football to be replaced before his contract had expired.

Having said that, a 'handshake' between Hughes and Mancini spoke volume of the disdain that they have for each other. Hughes is obviously aggrieved because Roberto took his job, Roberto unhappy that he was stuck with Roque Santa Cruz.

Hughes said of the 'snub': "I always think you should offer your hand in whatever circumstances, no matter how difficult it is.

"I did it and did it with sincerity after my team had been beaten 4-1 at Craven Cottage earlier in this season. I acknowledged his team were better.

"Maybe I misread it but I don't feel Roberto really acknowledged the efforts of my team and what we had done by the manner he offered his hand, by not looking at me."

Mancini rightly countered with the accusation Hughes had done exactly the same thing in November following one of City's best performances of the season.

"In London he did the same," said Mancini. "I know he said something but I couldn't understand what."For you it is may be the best thing in the match, for me, no. It is not important. He should be happy. His team got a draw against us."

Spot the difference?

In fact, Hughes was lucky to receive anything other than a bloody lip after the cheeky way he had a dig at Mancini and the club during the week, then having the hide to defend the job he did at Eastlands. Maybe if he spent more time worrying about defense on the pitch rather than off it, he'd still have a job at City...

"If you look at the City side now, I would suggest some of their main performers, and strongest, are the likes of Vincent Kompany, Nigel de Jong and Carlos Tevez. They've had a huge impact for City." he claimed. Obviously neglecting to mention the fact that Vincent Kompany wasn't a regular starter for Hughes, and has come to the fore this season playing exclusively at centre half. Or the fact that under Hughes, de Jong was a destroyer who passed sideways or backwards, but is now vital link between defence and attack.

He's got some nerve if he's claiming Tevez was his signing. He might have signed while Hughes was manager but that's about it.

If you spend several billion pounds on footballing talent, such as: Jo, Tal Ben Haim, Pablo Zabaleta, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Vincent Kompany, Glauber Berti, Robinho, Wayne Bridge, Nigel de Jong, Shay Given, Craig Bellamy, Gareth Barry, Roque Santa Cruz, Kolo Toure, Carlos Tevez, Emmanuel Adebayor, Joleon Lescott, and Sylvinho (enough players to make an entire match day squad and still leave out Jo) you'd expect one or two of them to be not all that bad, wouldn't you?

And he's doubly cheeky for suggesting that the reason those players he did sign, only underperformed because of the new manager.

"Along the way, some purchases haven't worked for whatever reasons, not really in terms of the ability those players have, but because of circumstances and the thinking of the management team and the coaches. And that happens when there's a change in management."

I'd take City under-performing our way to third place this season any day of the week, than what Hughes dished up under his tenure. Alas it seems that it's not only the managers who can't help but reopen old wounds.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sydney Blues 5-a-side: Official team photo

We'll be posting match reports and videos shortly, but here's a look at the worst side to represent Manchester City since Stuart Pearce was manager...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

[VID] Manchester Derby in Sydney

Here's a little taste of how we celebrated/commiserated Derby Day from the other side of the planet. Enjoy!

And of course, if you haven't done so already, please drop us a vote in the Etihad Coming Home competition so we can reprise these scenes at Eastlands!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

[VID] Vansan Kompany v Manchester United: Player Performance

Thanks to the wonderful TheAntMcfc for taking the time to compile this bit of YouTube goodness, showing just about every touch Vincent Kompany made in the recent Manchester derby.

Apart from the unfortunate slip before that goal, Rooney was almost as deep in Kompany's pocket as he was that time with the grandmother...

Well done that man.

Six-Yard Shay to Retire?

Shay Given's City career — if not his football career — is in extreme jeopardy after re-injuring his troublesome shoulder.

Given damaged the joint carrying a bag of balls from the team coach to the training ground during the warm-up for the Ropey League clash against Aris last week. The most pressing concern is that the joint was apparently under no real stress at the time of dislocation.

Given is expected to have a third operation to cure the persistent dislocations, however there is a chance that it would severely limit mobility in the joint, and could mean that Given may have no option but to retire.

As someone who has had frequent shoulder concerns over the years myself, from experience, Shay will have trouble regaining the confidence to have absolute trust in the joint.

But it seems that either City, or Given, or both, knew that there has been trouble for a while.

At the start of the season, Shay was seemingly desperate for a move. Arsenal, Fulham, Newcastle, Celtic, and even Roma were all mooted as potential destinations for the ROI shot-stopper. However, none of these came to fruition, and Given would "fight for his place" until January, and pick up the odd game here or there.

Was this Shay Given's last contribution to the Premier League?

However, once the January window opened, things started to get cold (as they usually do when you leave a window open in winter I suppose). There was a suggestion that Given could drop down to the Championship to get games, but the most likely deal seemed to be an emergency loan to Blackpool (who only have the underwhelming Richard Kingson to choose from), but that didn't transpire either.

In the space of five months, Given has gone from being the hottest property on the transfer market, to a gamble only willing to be taken upon by a relegation-threatened team with one fit keeper. Something just doesn't add up.

Whilst there's no doubt that our current number one (or rather, twenty-five) is the best option we have at this moment in time (and for the next ten years to come), it would be grossly unfair for the career of a talented keeper to end on the back of three Ropey League and a Care-less Cup appearance this season.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Aris 0 City 0; Fresher-in-foil, and pulped programmes...

Regular readers (or more correctly, people who mistakenly click on our links on NewsNow) may have been disappointed relieved to see that we haven't as yet commented on the big Ropey League blockbuster between Manchester City and Aris, Aris, Who The Fuck Are Aris FC from earlier in the week.

We could argue that LiP has better things to do at 4am Wednesday than watch football. Perhaps sleep, or even, you know, engage in a relationship with a member of the opposite sex. But, you don't become the leading only Australia-based Manchester City blog by being distracted by other such frivolities.

Truth be told, apart the odd chortle at the names of a few opposition players — a practice now customary since Alan turned out for Energy Drink Consortium FC — there was nowt much to write home about.

Ricardo Faty and Darcy Dolce Neto were popular choices in the comedy-name stakes — although if Aris are to progress to the next round, he Asda play better than he did on Wednesday, but there's probably Lidl chance of that happening.

Neto also had the annoying habit of going down way too easily when approached by other men. Which in my personal experience with women of Greek heritage, seems to be a common trait...

Personally, I was a big fan of the rice-cracker enthusiast Sakata, who thankfully for the home fans, comes with his own ready-made, fresher-in-foil, terrace chant.

However, a couple of days after the match itself was long forgotten by those that sat through the 90 minutes of blah, it was revealed that this bit of Photoshop genius somehow made its way into the Official Match Programme:

Doctored photograph of the Manchester City squad, starring such players as Lionel Messi, Zlatan Ibrohimivic, and Loyal Wayne. Francesco Toldo makes an appearance as Where's Wally/Waldo. [SPOILER] Wally can be found just to the left of Joe Hart and the right of James Milner.

It was apparently not before Garry Cook thumbed through the programme at a pre-match function that the error was discovered, but how Aris managed to cock this up is anyone's guess. Surely an electronic communique in the weeks prior to the match could have confirmed that yes, City do/do not have a first-team squad size that rivals any NFL team. Even typing "Manchester City ομαδικός φωτογραφία" into Google images (that's "Manchester City Team Photo" for those who don't live in the land of the Doner) reveals a few interesting results, not least of which a Three Wolf Moon t-shirt. But alas, no bloated team photo.

Whilst Garry Cook saw the funny side, unfortunately all but a select few copies were destroyed (one can be yours for the bargain-basement price of £182.77 if that's your go). And unfortunately for the fans in attendance, the pulping of the match souvenirs meant that there was one thing less to distract them from the tedium on the pitch...

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sydney Blues: Supporters' Club 5-a-side [Feb 27]

It's that time of year again... thanks to Lee from Footy Fans Down Under, we have another Supporters Club 5-a-side tournament to contest. And we really need to up our game from last time out. With City's fortunes improving on the pitch, it's about time we got our act together and showed everyone else how the boys in blue play football.

Supporter's Club 5-a-side Tournament Details
Date: Sunday 15 August 2010
Time: 10:30am
Location: Harbord Bowling Club, near Manly
Cost: $20 each
Bring: Footy boots (plastic moulded), Manchester City home kit

Whilst it’s 5-A-Side squad numbers can be up to 12, plenty of games will be played so a good idea to get a good squad number, a rolling sub system will operate. We're aiming for at least ten.

The competition venue will be the Harbord Bowling Club on the Northern Beaches, it has bar facilities aswell as food available etc so ideal for teams bringing supporters along, venue for after competition presentation to be confirmed – we have moved from our previous venue due to the demand and this will enable us to use more pitches.

Again we will be using synthetic surfaces so all good from a weather perspective.

Information is also be available at the FFDU website.

If you can confirm you are good to play, please join the Facebook event.

Football ability is not a major requirement, but a sense of humour is. Brendo should be there to serenade us on the ukelele and I can back him up on concerto vuvuzela. Roberto Mancini might even make another appearance...

Eurovision: Lech Poznan 1 Braga 0

Just a quick around the grounds in other Ropey League news.

Manchester City sister-club and celebration pioneers Lech Poznan are on track to qualify for the last 32 of the competition, thanks to a 1-0 win over SC Braga.

The build up to the match was marred by a UEFA ruling that Poznan was to play the match in a reduced capacity stadium, due to insufficient stewarding amongst other breaches.

Which brings us to this:

To "ensure" that the stadium abided by the new conditions, Poznan ultras wore hi-vis stewards jackets, partly to make sure that everyone in the stadium was "safe", but mostly as a way to stick two fingers up at the powers-that-be.

That's the kind of wit and banter City fans can relate to, especially considering our Invisible-man-singing, banana-waving history.

Hopefully we get to play them again, and hopefully it's at Lansdowne Road. Come on you Poznan!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

United 2 City 1; and the Greatest Goal of All-Time Evaarrrrr

Just over forty eight hours on from the latest installment of the Most-Massive-Manchester-Derby-of-all-time, we're still digesting the ramifications of Wayne Rooney's Bestest-Ever-Derby-Goal-of-all-time. This is assuming of course that "best", is a synomym for "most shinned".

But anyway, much like the Conquistador of Mexico, and the Belgians in the Congo, football supporters have short memories. Sho-wo-wort memories.

Apparently now Loyal Wayne Rooney is "back" after fluking his fifth goal of the season (sixteen less than at the same date last campaign), after months of indifferent form and generally playing like a busted arse (and getting a 100% pay increase to do so) the sycophantic circle-jerking over the White Heskey has returned.

The Daily Mail is going so far as to suggest that it may have been the best goal scored at Old Trafford ever — despite the fact that Rooney was his rubbish, anonymous self for 77 minutes. And the fact it was shinned. And the fact it wasn't even the best goal scored at the Theatre of Tosspots this season...

David Silva shows immense skill and awareness to arse-volley Manchester City's equaliser.

Slur Alex Ferguson was the first to administer a virtual reach-around to Loyal Wayne: "All the talk will be about that winning goal. It was unbelievable. It was reminiscent of Denis Law although I'm not so sure that Denis ever put them in with such ferocity." Speaking of Denis Law goals at Old Trafford...

Even Loyal Wayne couldn't wait to talk up how good the strike was.

"I think it might have been the best goal I've ever scored... it almost certainly rules City out of the title race unless a disaster happens..."

...yo Wayne, I'm really happy for you, I'mma let you finish but Benjani had one of the best Old-Trafford-unintentional goals of all time...

Unfortunately, Wayne is dead right. That's pretty much curtains for our title campaign. No matter how well we played on the day, no matter how unlucky we were not to get anything — we didn't. And that's what makes this result so hard to take. With so much on the line, so much more than pride to play for, we've come up short against United again.

Despite claims by Summerbee et al that "United should be looking over their shoulder" we're just as far away from them lot as ever.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

New section launched: Eat Like A Fan

On the back of the Official Site launching a new Features section, we too at LiP will be bringing you exclusive access to the day-to-day running of a football supporters club, such as giving you the chance to have the same meals as your favourite Sydney Blues in Eat Like a Fan.

Fox Sports Australia Derby promo — starring us!

Well, one of us. And I suppose it's not really starring. But the voice you hear in this promo is our very own Huddo putting on his hammiest Mancunian accent (which inexplicably goes a bit Scottish at some point).


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Manchester City v United: Derby Day late-mail

It's all well and good to be flippant, ironic, or even some occasions funny (well we try) about City — because let's face it, football is just a game, even if Bill Shankly may assert otherwise.

However, this is Derby Day. This is what being a Manchester City fan is all about.

Whilst avoiding the obvious allegations of being "bitter" and "obsessed", as a Blue, this is the first match I look out for when the fixtures are released. Playing United is the biggest game of any season — but especially this one, considering that it now true meaning in the context of both United's and City's season.

For what is football without its rivalries? The tribalism of your teams' colours as congregate for the away game (or black if you're a United fan *wink*), the frisson one experiences with a hint of danger in the air, as you gesture to the other fans as you make your way down Platt Lane George Street on a Saturday afternoon. You know a fight might just kick off at any moment, and you know you're better than them because of who you support, and they are weak scum, because of who they support. It's a Lesson In Pride, if you will.

But as for the day itself, I hate it and hate it in equal measures. The result is amplified: wins are orgasmic, defeats are crushing, while draws just infuriate.

In his Derby preview, Roberto Mancini loves it. The nutter.

"I like to play this game. I like to play at Old Trafford because it is better to win there than at home" commented Mancini.

"Because when you win away in a derby it is more important for our head and our personality."

"It is a derby and an important game — one team top of the table and one team third. Every game is difficult. Nobody thought United would lose against Wolves."

"But this is a football." Wise words indeed.

If fed, will score.

As for the teams, despite our assertions that the would be fit for the match, it really does seem that Rio Ferdinand will be out for this match, with Chris Smalling the underwhelming replacement at centre-half.

Javier "Chicken Tikka" Hernandez is unlikely to be involved as his transatlantic flight after international duty only landed on Friday, although he'll probably come of the bench and pop-up with a 90+6' winner.

Manchester City forward Mario Balotelli is battling to recover from the knee injury that has kept him out, but even if fully-fit, this is not a match I would play him in. Not only because he's first up after a spell, but also I think he would be goaded into doing something daft by United's persistent fouling.

Nigel de Jong will not be fit to play as he struggles to overcome an ankle injury. And this is the most important out — probably bigger than that of Ferdinand for United. For mine, I don't think we keep a clean sheet (and hence, pick up a result) without him.

I'd expect Roberto to pick pretty much the same XI that dismissed West Brom 3-0. Aleks Kolarov in midfield was a revelation last match, and along with Pablo Zabaleta would provide ample defensive cover against The Smooth Criminal on the left side of the pitch.

Carlos Tevez, with his bulldog-like approach, will most likely start up front on his lonesome, to a chorus of boos from the travelling United fans.

If (and it's a big if) we take the game to United early, I reckon we can get a result. Not a Nostradamus-like prediction by any means, but that's about as confident a statement I can make. They won’t sit back and defend.

And that might well help City, who have taken a few teams apart on the break this season. And aside from a few Mark Hughes-esque defensive performances, we've been strong at the back.

But if Don Roberto reverts to his big-game tactic of safety first like he did against Arsenal, then this could be the longest ninety ninety-six minutes of our lives.

Obligatory mention: don't forget to click this link and vote for Matt Coleman (Crouchy) in the Etihad Coming Home competition. Because it's important. But this is a football.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Manchester City v United Preview; and Fergie's mind-games...

It's often been said that Sir Alex Ferguson (those three words took about two minutes to type, my fingers were repulsed by the thought of pressing those keys) is a master of various dark arts.

Fergium Durationis: the ability to control time, whereby a mere gesture to his watch is enough to add an extra four, five, or even seven minutes of injury time if need be are added to the fourth-officials board — depending on the amount of goals required.

Domicillia Decisionium: the ability to ensure his team get home-town penalty decisions, even when many many miles from Manchester Trafford London.

Lastly, there is the less common It's-a-week-before-Derby-Day-and-fark-me-I-have-no-fit-players spell. In the lead-up to last year's Derby in November, a malevolent mystery virus just happened to sweep through Vermin Towers, infecting Patrice Evra, Nemanja Vidic, and Dimitar Berbatov along the way. Or in the case of Paul Scholes, it was terminal Gingervitis (boom boom).

Of course, all four of those players lined-up for United in the 0-0 draw — a match that would probably still be going if it was next-goal-wins, with or without the aforementioned Fergie Time.

This week's injury doubt is Rio Ferdinand, who sustained a bout of ankle-knack before TheInvincibles lolarious defeat to plucky little Wolves — no doubt getting just the right amount of injured to miss a meaningless England friendly on Wednesday, yet still be fit for Saturday.

"He turned his calf in the warm-up and he'll be out for a couple of weeks, I believe," slurred Ferguson.

With defensive replacements Chris Smalling suffering from being-just-a-little-bit-shite-itis, and Gary Neville out with I'm-too-shite-scared-to-play-in-case-I-feed-the-Tev-enza, Rio will make the most overblown and ill-fated comeback since the last John Farnham tour. And the one before that.

As for the match itself, long-gone are the days of looking forward to the Derby wistfully hoping that likkle ol' City could maybe, just maybe, steal a 1-1 draw before the Rags canter to another trophy. Three points to either side could well determine final league positions, even though we're so from the end of the season even Aleks Kolarov wouldn't have a go from this range.

Of course, it's an important game for Manchester City's players, and the only thing more important to those players than important games is sycophantically telling the world how important they are. Oh, here they are already. That didn't take long.

"Playing against United is always special, but what is important for us is to get focused on the game and try to win and take the three points." said Patrick Vieria, in what we pray is his only Derby contribution.

"We are confident and we have world-class players all the way through the side. We have younger players and older players and it's a good mix here. They are a top team, they have the experience of winning titles. They are looking to do that again and it's up to us to go and put a spanner in the works..." James Milner rambled, in a statement so cliche-ridden and banal we have lost the will to live, or type.

Rio Ferdinand snorting a line takes a tumble before last week's defeat at Wolves. Meanwhile, rubbish blog authors resist obvious references to Duran Duran.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Etihad Coming Home: Voting NOW Open!

As part of the 'Coming Home' promotion, Etihad Airways, Official Club Sponsor, has been offering fans the chance to fly from any Etihad destination in the world to the City of Manchester Stadium for one of the most eagerly anticipated games of the season – City versus Tottenham in April. There are eight finalists to choose from.

Well, we're one of these finalists.

If you want to read about why we think we should be chosen, view our entry, and read a bit more about the Sydney Blues, click this link to go to the Coming Home mini-site and Send Blue Roo Home.

We'd love it if you could take the time to vote, it would make our season. To do so, simply click this link and follow the prompts.

Much appreciated,
Matt Coleman (aka Crouchy)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sydney Blues: Derby Day

You'd have to be living in Josef Fritzl's basement under a rock to not know that this Saturday is not only my birthday, and the third anniversary of Huddo's stay in Australia (if Howard was still in Government he'd have been deported by now, the flamin' galah), but Derby Day.

If you're in Sydney, then of course, come to Cheers Bar where we'll be meeting for the game. I reckon you might have to get there a bit early though, it will definitely be busy. Kick off is 11:45pm local.

We'll be taking some video of the day, which we'll post later on this site and our YouTube channel. So bring your best voice as we play out another tedious 0-0...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Birmingham 2 City 2; this is a football...

Manchester City stumbled to a 2-2 draw away at Birmingham, which coupled with the previous games against Villa and Wolves, means that City have only picked up four points from the last nine available — all against teams in or near enough to the relegation zone. When you consider the uninspiring efforts against Leicester and Notts County in the FA Cup, Manchester City are in a dire run form, and certainly not that of a side that has/had title ambitions.

And of course, after every poor performance, comes the obligatory 'it's all my fault' interview where Mancini, just predictable as a Carlos Tevez penalty (it's always right down the middle!) will squeeze in at least one mention about football being "a strange".

It's Roberto's way of tucking us in, pulling the blankets up nice and tight so we don't catch our death, before he kisses us on the forehead and tells little LiP that "everything's going to be just fine... you get some sleep now... it's important..."

"I am disappointed with myself because I am the manager, and if we don't play well I blame myself. But we can't concede two goals every game, we must do something (about it) and we must play better."

"We played well for the first 50 minutes and then we forgot to play. I should change something. We must think about improving — we should try to play football again, because in the last few weeks we've forgotten this."

"We didn't play well. Sometimes it's impossible, in January and February the team are tired, but a team like us should be able to defend strongly and win 1-0."

"Football is strange..." (There it is!)

"Three months ago, we were nine points behind Chelsea. But we have to play like a team, play football and not concede goals..."

The problem is we've heard it all before from Roberto, about changing the system, being more positive, and especially about football being strange. I'm all for trying to eke out a tense 1-0, or even putting eleven men behind the ball and drawing 0-0 at tough away games like Arsenal. I don't even mind when we play James Milner and Jo as inverted wingers (okay, maybe not in the case of Jo). But when we're leaking goals for fun we may as well just throw caution into the wind sometimes. It just seems odd when you've spent the GDP of Tonga and Sao Tome and Principe combined (I did the maths) on footballers, you're still letting the opposition dictate the game. Especially opposition like Birmingham.

Of course, the cause wasn't helped by a sickening collision in the first-half between Maicon Richards and Nigel de Jong, with the midfielder requiring stitches to a gash — although it's probably more akin to hammering out a ding in the side of your car. Maicon was knocked unconscious, and had to be stretchered from the pitch. Compared to the last person that took on de Jong, he got off extremely lightly...

In better news, Ratface Gary Neville has retired football at the age of 47, leaving the game to concentrate on his life-long goal of finally growing a proper moustache. Although he'll most likely still be on the bench on the Derby to run up the touchline giving it the big I am, the gormless prick.

Here's a highlight reel showing his best contributions of a stellar nineteen-year career. (I think you know what video is coming next...)

@SultanaofBrunei: My stream is so far behind that Dickov's just equalised and is currently sliding on his knees...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

MCFC app now in iTunes store.

The long-awaited Manchester City iPhone app ("Cityapp") has arrived. A little steep at $5.99 perhaps, but it looks pretty damn cool all the same.

It features video highlights, match commentary, and even a compass to see just how bloody far we are from CoMS (for the record, 10588.7 miles).

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Deadline Day Round-up; City in "not ruining football" shock...

It's that time of year where every train passenger/airport worker/stadium passer-by suddenly becomes ITK and has an uncanny ability to spot obscure footballers in large crowds, whilst others sit at home bashing their F5 key in a manner not seen since Track and Field. It's Deadline Day!

Whilst the top three teams in United, Arsenal, and City, are quite happy to play the cards they've been dealt, confident in the squads they've been working with all season (the signing of Edin Dzeko, notwithstanding), the teams chasing that final Champions League spot have engaged in some quite extraordinary panic buying.

The deal most talked about was that of Fernando Torres to Chelsea, for the British record fee of £50million. Chelsea may have an ageing forward line, but they are taking a massive risk in signing a player with ordinary form in the last eighteen months and a chequered injury past, for quite silly money (and that's a big call coming from a City fan).

Just in case there wasn't enough proof that the world has gone completely mad, Andy Carroll will join Liverpool for an astounding £35million, hot on the heels of the £23million paid for Uruguay striker and back-up goal keeper, Luis Suarez. Suarez of course, comes fresh from Ajax in the Eredivisie — the same league that gave us gems such as Afonso Alves and Gorgeous George Samaras.

That's more than £1m for every goal Andy Carroll has scored in all competitions in his career. Ever. For that kind of money, if you were a Newcastle supporter, you'd drive him to Anfield yourself — very carefully, mind.

I suppose if you're a Liverpool fan, you could think of it as replacing a somewhat-out-of-form Torres and a rather rubbish Ryan Babel with a brand new pair of strikers for just a little over £2million. But they'll be too busy going back down to Deedpoll, or burning replica kits to realise that maybe, just maybe, this isn't such a bad deal for them after all.

With Torres lowering the average age of the Chelsea squad to approximately 47, that leaves little room for Daniel Sturridge, who will begin his career decline on loan at Barcelona Bolton. You can't help but think it's a little bit of karma from the player who demanded £55,000 a week to stay at City, on the back of just three Premier League starts.

Speaking of careers on the decline, Stephen Ireland will join Newcastle on loan, lasting just 153 days at Aston Villa, failing to impress Gerard Houllier and indeed, most of the Villa faithful.

Ireland made just 12 appearances in all competitions, and completed 90 minutes on just two occasions — the 0-6 loss to Newcastle and the 0-3 loss to Liverpool. You can make of that what you will.

Without Robinho to attract the attention of three defenders while he saunters up the pitch unmarked, Ireland has been found to be just a little bit average. And with a midfield of Barton, Nolan, Tiote and Gutierrez, it may be another spell of bench warming for The Footballer Formerly Known As Superman.

Manchester City were uncharacteristically quiet, with the only deal of note being a rather uninspiring interest in taking Sebastian Larsson on loan from Birmingham. Larsson only had six months left on his current contract, so you'd assume Brum aren't that keen on retaining him. Despite the player's obvious interest in the move, Birmingham apparently rejected the deal, obviously failing to recall our generosity in loaning them a keeper that single-handedly (well double-handedly I suppose when you think about it) carried them to a top-ten finish last season.

Elsewhere, 'Arry Redknapp (the man who gets sexually aroused every time he signs a new player because of the massive brown envelopes stuffed with cash) amazingly failed to make a single transfer for Tottenham on Deadline Day — presumably because he'd run out of ex-Portsmouth players to buy. Names such as Sergio Aguero and Diego Forlan were bandied about, before making a last-minute play for Blackpool's Charlie Adam. Because if there's one thing that Tottenham need, it's more midfielders...

A staggering £241m was spent during the window, however only £27m of which came from Manchester City's only purchase, Edin Dzeko. Maybe now people will shut the fuck up about City paying too much/ruining the transfer window/killing football/buying the league/causing global warming...