Welcome to the fourth Sweet FA podcast of the 2016-17 season. Regular panellists, Rob Mitchell and Hugo Jennings, discuss all things transfer-related. The main focus is on the business done by each Premier League club, plus the problems with the loan system and whether the date on which the transfer window closes needs to change.
Hugo and Rob look into the business of every single Premier League club in some depth. Many of the clubs who were looked at in the first podcast of the season have done little business since, but some have seen their squads change dramatically.
Following on from last week’s podcast, Arsenal fan Hugo looks at each of Arsène Wenger‘s new signings as well as giving some insight into the departures of Joel Campbell, Serge Gnabry, Calum Chambers and Jack Wilshere. Linked in with the latter of those four, the two talk about how well Bournemouth have done in the transfer market. As for newly-promoted Burnley, have they done enough to help ease any relegation fears?
When talking about Chelsea, the topic of discussion moves onto the loan market. Is it good for football that both the Blues and Manchester City have a large surplus of players who end up being continually farmed out on loan?
Next come Crystal Palace and Everton, with some focus on Yannick Bolasie, as well as Hull City and the turmoil going on at the top of the club. Hugo and Rob are full of praise for champions Leicester City, as well as Liverpool, who have managed to fetch £75m in player sales without getting rid of any of the team’s best players.
When talking about the Manchester clubs, Hugo compares United’s business approach to what it was like under Sir Alex Ferguson. We look at the difference between their squad and City’s and how the consistency of José Mourinho‘s side matched against the unpredictable brilliance of Pep Guardiola‘s will make for an exciting title race.
The next section sees a look at the business of the North East clubs, Middlesbrough and Sunderland, and sandwiched in between those two we look at the impressive work of two sides chasing the European places, Southampton and Stoke City. Elsewhere, will Swansea have enough consistency and firepower up front to steer clear of the Championship?
Next, Hugo begrudgingly praises Spurs for their efforts both in adding to the squad and getting rid of the dead-wood, before looking at whether Watford are at risk of being overtaken by some of the clubs who finished below them last season. We look at West Brom’s disappointing window and the Saido Berahino saga. Lastly, are West Ham are in too much of a rush to be considered a “big club” and is this putting too much pressure on the club?
The final section of the podcast features a discussion about the transfer window itself. Is there any need to change the date on which the window closes? Would any of the changes being suggested be possible to put in practice?
Robert Mitchell covers a range of sports for Lastwordonsports.com, including the NFL, Rugby, Formula 1 and the Premier League. Author of the Co$t of Winning column focused on the business of sport, he is also the host of Last Word Radio’s Rugby show Absolute Flanker and an analyst on Sweet FA.
Hugo is the Editor-in-Chief of LWOS World, a regular on Sweet FA and occasional panellist on Treble Radio. He mostly writes about Arsenal, Spanish football and cricket. He is a season-ticket holder at Arsenal.