The window-slamming, shirt-burning Premier Preview

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Pinch, punch, first of the month, and you feel that pseudo-rhyme may be on the lips of many a Premier League manager as he kicks his director of football and/or chairman square in the groin for failing to bring in the players he needs.

Yes, the transfer window is closed, bringing an end to maniacal ravings from all corners of the footballing globe and giving Sky Sports News a free reign to cover sports other than the beautiful game for once – a chance they will obviously take. Obviously.

Some clubs have been busier than others in the cattle market, and though this is a preview blog, it would be off not to review the successes and failures of the transfer window, wouldn't it? Yes, it would.


Arsenal v Everton (7.45pm)

A last-minute swoop for 19-year-old forward Apostolos Vallios from Iraklis Thessaloniki may not have been every Everton fan's idea of a replacement for the sadly departed Steven Pienaar, but never let it be said the Toffees don't look towards the future. This would be why they've let ageing carthorse Yakubu out on loan to Leicester, where he's already showing that he's not, well, an ageing carthorse…

Arsenal have been quiet, but are similarly keen to let players out on loan, though they're much more of the youngster variety. Holed up in hotels for the foreseeable future are Aaron Ramsey, Gavin Hoyte, Henri Lansbury and Jay 'JET' Emmanuel-Thomas, among others, including the superbly named Wellington Silva, an 18-year-old forward temporarily at Levante.

Continue to let such brilliantly-monikered names go, even on loan, and Arsenal could struggle this season.

What won’t happen: Any kind of system whereby teams with amusingly-named players are given bonus points, unfortunately

What will happen: Home win despite the Gunners being hamstrung (ho ho) by Samir Nasri's absence.

Sunderland v Chelsea (7.45pm)

Like a coke-hound with a biology-defying party trick, Chelsea have paid through the nose for Fernando Torres. Still, what a prospect a frontline of Torres and Drogba would be: it might even be enough for Ancelotti to drop his 4-3-3 along with the underperforming Nicolas Anelka.

When Lampard is injured, Chelsea's midfield of Essien, Ramires and Mikel lacks ingenuity, and having Malouda further back down the pitch to pick up the ball and make things happen could enhance their attacking options, especially if they have Torres and Drogba on the end of any plays.

Sunderland paid £6 million for Beninianianian (Beninise? Beninish?) midfielder Stephane Sessegnon, but stealing Sulley Muntari away from Inter on loan could end up being a deal of better value. The third Ghanaian (Ghanaish? Ghanaese?) at the Stadium of Light still has a lot to prove and knows the Premier League already.

What won’t happen: Torres to score a hat-trick on debut and reveal a T-shirt with an image of Roman Abramovic holding Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley in a double headlock on it.

What will happen: Score draw

"His burning shirt caused toxic fumes - Torres, Torres..."

Manchester United v Aston Villa (8pm, 5 Live Radio

Who'd be Anders Lindegaard, eh? You sign for £3.5 million and already everyone is discussing who will be Edwin van der Sar's replacement. Time to prove himself beyond all measure, and a safe game between the sticks here would be a good start.

Villa have been busy bees during the transfer window. The most surprising move was James Collins on loan to Shrewsbury, until this blogger realised it was the young striker, not the grizzled Welsh defender. That really would have been a drop down the ranks.

Brad Guzan's loan move to Hull, bizarrely coinciding with Vito Mannone's shift at the same club, defeating the object of the keepers moving to get first-team football, means the Villans' deputy dawg is now 35-year-old Andy Marshall, still young enough to Brad Friedel's illegitimate grandchild.

Selling Steve Sidwell was wise; Curtis Davies, perhaps less so. Loaning out Stephen Ireland, John Carew, Isaiah Osbourne and Jonathan Hogg shows innovation, too, as does the purchase of Jean Makoun and Daddy's Boy Michael Bradley.

Villa have also bought some journeyman called Darren Bent, whoever he is.

What won’t happen: So many new faces to settle at Villa straightaway, even if Bent did score on debut

What will happen: Comfortable home win

West Brom v Wigan (8pm, Sky Sports 2 & HD2)

Snapping up Carlos Vela on loan could be a brilliant signing for West Brom, presuming, of course, that they can put themselves 3-0 up at every opportunity so the Mexican can slot into his usual 10-minute two-goal game-already-won cameo role. If not, it could be an interesting scenario. "Hang on, gaffer – we're not winning. In fact, we're losing. What am I supposed to do in this situation?"

Wigan, meanwhile, have concentrated all their transfer focus on a marauding bundle of tumbleweed, drifting slowly and effortlessly across a typically empty DW Stadium.

Frankly, it's bizarre a Latics side threatened so intensely by the doom-laden spectre of relegation have been so quiet, £600k deal for Kilmarnock's Conor Sammon aside. Take a look at the picture on his Wikipedia page. That's what £600k gets you these days.

Still, it's good to see these two teams on TV for a change. That’s a nice token from Sky Sports, who know midweek fixtures bring fewer viewers and that there are few better alternative games anyway. Time to crank up the relegation-hype-ometer and tick one off of the rota.

What won’t happen: A thriller, sadly, despite the presence of two attacking teams

What will happen: Home win


Birmingham v Manchester City (7.45pm)

Whisper it but the Sheikhs of Manchester have been oddly quiet, Edin Dzeko the only real signing. Some of the chaff has been thrown on the compost heap, too, with Adebayor, Bridge and Santa Cruz all departing on loan. This is almost approaching sensible business. It won't last.

Speaking of sensible business, Birmingham have done very well to nab Curtis Davies, Obafemi Martins and David Bentley, who scored a peach the other day. That said, this blogger thought they made some excellent signings over the summer and look where that got them: a relegation battle.

What won’t happen: Birmingham to go down

What will happen: Birmingham to have a happy season either, with a defeat here one of many to come. Still, Wembley, eh?

Blackburn v Spurs (8pm)

A £3.5 million late snap-up of Mauro Formica represents some fascinating business by Venky's Rovers, as does a loan move for Barcelona's Ruben Rochina. The chicken magnates will be hoping Formica, bought straight from the Argentine leagues, is less of a balls-up than Wigan's capture of Mauro Boselli.

Jermaine Jones has already impressed on loan from Schalke, though, winning Man of the Match on his debut against West Brom.

There were some... interesting shenanigans from Tottenham on transfer deadline day. Badly in need of a left-back and a world-class striker (Crouch and Defoe have scored one league goal between them this campaign), Spurs not only put in bids for two midfielders to add to the 10 they have already, but woefully inadequate bids at that.

Charlie Adam may have been lured away from Blackpool with the club being remunerated an eight-figure sum (the bid was in excess of Liverpool's £10m), but the offer was made too late in the day to secure signatures from all the required shareholders – this at the end of a month of opportunity. That, my friends, is amateur hour.

And the less said about the £500,000 bid for Phil Neville, the better.

What won’t happen: Quite possibly, Ledley King to feature in any serious capacity again for Spurs: he undergoes groin surgery tomorrow, and given his luck...

What will happen: Away win, 2-1

"Aguero...wait, Rossi. What about Forlan? Errrrm, Phil Neville? No? Balls..."

Blackpool v West Ham (8pm)

You do wonder what some players think when they choose to move to West Ham, a team seemingly destined to be relegated this season. For Gary O'Neil, it is at least a temporary step up from Middlesbrough, but you feel Robbie Keane and Hoffenheim's Demba Ba could do better.

But what is desperation for first-team football on Keane's part is an absolute bargain on West Ham's, especially given Spurs originally said the Irishman was not to depart except on a permanent deal. And £3m recouped for Valon Behrami, sold to Fiorentina, will please the beancounters huddled away in a windowless room under Upton Park.

Blackpool, meanwhile, have had a stunning transfer window, keeping hold of Charlie Adam when few people expected it and securing the services of wily old dogs Andy Reid and James Beattie. Hollywood they may not be, but the Tangerines will be more than happy with a few BAFTA-nominated supporting roles.

What won’t happen: Reid and Beattie are both sent off on debut, getting into a punch-up over who gets the top bunk

What will happen: Surprise away win

Bolton v Wolves (8pm)

Since Bolton's reserves are so crap, apparently, that Owen Coyle refuses to let them warm the bench, it's a bit surprising the Scot hasn't tried to bring in more players during the transfer window.

Daniel Sturridge is an excellent signing on loan, and David Wheater just what they need at the back (a man who looks like The Beast in Disney's The Beauty and David Wheater), but you expected a few more bargain buys to make their way through the Reebok's back door.

Wolves have shown the faultless ambition that sees them 19th in the table, snapping up Jamie O'Hara and Adam Hammill. In fairness – turning into Jamie Redknapp here – the pair could literally be good signings, but they're not game-changers, or indeed, season-changers, Richard.

Similarly, Adriano Basso is a superb third-choice keeper for any Premier League team, but even on a free transfer the 35-year-old won't set Molineux alight.

And one more thing: buying Jelle van Damme - £2.5m. Selling Jelle van Damme after six appearances - £2.5m. The name Jelle van Damme – priceless.

What won’t happen: The Belgian's buddy Marmalade Seagal to join on a free

What will happen: Home win

Fulham v Newcastle (8pm, Sky Sports 2 & HD2)

Gael Kakuta and Eidur Gudjohnsen, strangely not wanted by Stoke, are two highly impressive loan signings for Fulham. Newcastle's equivalent is the recently much-traveled Stephen Ireland, who would struggle to settle into a ridiculous tattoos convention at the moment.

And believe it or not, Toon fans, there is life after Andy Carroll. A couple have feared for the club's safety now that The Man Known As Horse has gone (for £35m!), but they needn't worry.

Newcastle should be safe this year, and have a decent-ish collection of strikers in Peter Lovenkrands, Leon Best, Nile Ranger and, uh, Shola Ameobi. Their best bet was to take the money and run, survive this season and then shop in the summer when prices are marginally less insane, rather than panic-buying last night. They made the right decision. Maybe Mike Ashley was asleep - or up to his nose in mashed potato.

What won’t happen: As easy a game for Fulham as they had on Sunday

What will happen: Fulham ride high FA Cup spirits into this game and sneak a victory

Liverpool v Stoke (8pm, TalkSPORT Radio)

Making Jermaine Pennant's deal permanent was good news for the Potters, as was stealing John Carew away from Villa. He'll fit into their style of play nicely, just as fancy-pants flair boys Tuncay (now at Wolfsburg) and Eidur Gudjohnsen (Fulham) didn't.

The Torres transfer was a bolt from (or rather to) the blue, catching many Liverpool fans off guard - but there was no need for the ritualistic burning of his shirt outside the Liverpool training ground. This is not The Wicker Man.

But rather than get into another unhealthy debate about the rationality of some Liverpool fans - the shirt-burners were after publicity more than anything else anyway - it's worth taking a look at the final result of that frantic final day of the transfer window.

Liverpool have, essentially, paid £7.5m plus Fernando Torres for the services of Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll. There's no way Torres should have parted company for £50m - even in football terms, he's not worth that - but it does mean Liverpool have come out all right.

Even the frankly ridiculous sum of money paid for Andy Carroll, a man with one cap and into his second season of top-tier football, now one of the most expensive footballers of all time, has been all but wiped out by the Torres transfer. It's absurd that over £100m would be exchanged on any footballers, of course, but Suarez, Torres and Carroll - well, that just takes the proverbial bourbon.

It's also bad news for those who bet big on Torres to stay with Liverpool at pathetic odds of 1/8.

What won’t happen: A stylish away win

What will happen: The Dalglish bandwagon rumbles on