It’s amazing what a night out can do for you. As I set out at Friday tea time, Bent and Bouaouzan in Chris Hutchings’ shopping trolley at the expense of Caleb Folan, things are looking alright on the transfer front. A visit to the exotic nightlife of Earlestown (don’t ask, although I think you may have to suffer my experiences at a later date, just so I can get closure) and a, all too brief, sojourn to Northern Lights later and I’m choking on my chicken burger as I remember to check in for the final score on the transfer window.
I’d last checked at about 11, with things still quiet on an incoming left-back, but even then I was certain that would be remedied by midnight. Now, more than three hours later, I don’t get as far as checking Newsnow as my squint at the BBC sport home page (it’s amazing how small the screen on my phone gets at 2am) tells me that West Ham have yet again done two late deals, one of whom was for some one named Camara.
Surely not, it’s a common name after all…
…but then again. Of course it’s our Mr. Camara, off on a season long loan to the only club side to have won World Cup. I didn’t understand the logic then and I still don’t now.
Even if we accept that the lad wanted away (and I suppose we do now) why the loan deal? Derby and City were supposedly ready with cash deals during the day but we’ve effectively let him go for nothing. As I understand it Henri is in the last year of his contract, if that’s true then the “with a view to a permanent contract” is a red herring, unless there’s a recall clause or he really upsets them, then we’re not likely to see him again.
Even if I’ve misheard and he’s got more than a year left then things still don’t make much sense. We’ve swapped a player who, fit and in the right frame of mind, could get us 15-20 goals a season for one, if we’re lucky, will get us 10. He’s gone from a club where he’d be first choice as a striker to one where he’s behind two or three players who are at least as good as him.
I’ve always had the feeling that Henri is best suited to being a big fish in a little pond. He might fancy the bright lights of the big city and the glamour of a club that gets more than a supporting role on Match of the Day, but I’m not convinced that it will suit him. Just imagine if the hammers don’t get the success they’ve paid for, how will our moody little scout feel then?
Still, the departure of Mr McKay’s favourite charge wasn’t the most worrying development. After all, he’s not managed to turn up since the first half of last season. Having a goal scorer is one thing, but when he can’t be arsed, you may as well have George Weah’s cousin in the squad.
The more worry aspect (when I finally got around to checking) was that Latics still haven’t found a left back. It seems that Placente never even made into the country and was left in Spain trying to negotiate the terms of his release from Celta Vigo.
Yes, you heard that right. Rather than negotiate a transfer fee, Latics had left it to the player to wheedle his way out of his contract. Although I could be being over critical, the fees that had been suggested were hardly fortunes and it’s probably more likely that the player (or his agent) fancied the extra few quid in their back pocket.
Eggs in baskets and all that? Well at least we’ve got Kevin Kilbane and there’s still an outside chance that the Argentinean will magically become a fee agent and sign outside the window. As West Ham have taught us, the rules are there to be bent, eh?
So a transfer deadline that promised to be, at worse, dull leaves Latics short at the back and shaky up-front, you know how I said the wave of optimism might be catching up with me? It’s just got a little bit easier to out swim.
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