Upson, Muamba, Larsson, Transfer Deadline Day

Posted on January 31, 2007 
Filed Under Blues News

It’s transfer deadline day and that can mean only one thing – Sky Sports News for most of the day hoping that we’ll sign someone. Regardless of how balanced and how good a squad might be, I find it impossible to believe that any football fan won’t be keeping at least one eye on the footy news today.

For Blues fans, the only two possible transfer deals that might happen are Matthew Upson to West Ham United and Sebastian Larsson from Arsenal to Blues. SSN have been claiming all morning that West Ham are set to make a final bid of £8m to land Upson.

If what Bruce and the board have been saying is true then that’ll fall flat on its face and we’ll go into February with an £8m centre half on our hands. It’s not a bad place to be in I suppose but after watching Upson’s last 2-3 games, it looks as if his mind is elsewhere and I’ve never seen him tackle as rashly as he has done over the last 4 or 5 days.

He could’ve easily broke Kitson’s leg on Saturday and again last night jumped into a tackle just outside the Tilton penalty area. Thankfully not much contact appeared to be made and with the manor of the defeat, it’s happily been glossed over.

Meanwhile Steve Bruce has again reiterated his stance on Upson. He’s not going and he’ll continue to play to get Blues into the Premiership… full stop. The problem is that he doesn’t appear to be focused on doing that, his mind appears to be elsewhere and how can the bloke give 100% to a club who he seemingly doesn’t trust?

Blues hold his contract and, as Brucey says, they can move the goalposts if they wish but in the end, if we do not find the ‘real’ Matthew Upson again this season, who are the real losers? It isn’t going to be Matthew Upson is it? He’ll still sign for someone else at the end of the term, we’ll be out of pocket and a centre half down – regardless of which division we’re in next year.

Last night I tried to get into the ground nice and early to gauge the the reaction to Upson. From where I was in the Tilton corner, no-one appeared to have an adverse reaction and he wasn’t given a fantastic reaction. Just one of the lads in blue as far as I was concerned. So at least that, I feel, is a positive. I just hope that this nonsense of transfer talk and rife speculation can be put to bed at midnight tonight and once again, Birmingham City can become the main priority.

Over the last couple of days there’s been a flood of stories about Upson on Newsnow. Perhaps the most interesting is this one on TribalFootball. I’ve never personally heard of that rule and if it were true, surely there’d have been more instances of it happening? Besides, the club’s pretty hot on that sort of thing and I suspect that Karren Brady and co would know exactly what’s what in regard to a potential move by Villarreal. Still, interesting story.

The other is from Blues ‘keeper Maik Taylor saying that Upson will not spit his dummy out. He doesn’t need to to upset the apple cart, as I think has already been proven somewhat.

Onto Fabrice Muamba… there’s a good chance he could be at St Andrew’s again next season. Whether that be on a permanent deal or a loan move again remains to be seen. According to this article in the Birmingham Mail a day or two ago, what Muamba does is up to him but Wenger’s preference would be for him to stay at Arsenal and go out on loan again next season.

The article also states that Everton, Reading and Fulham are interested in the combative midfielder. Personally I think we have a very good chance of signing him if we go up. But going up is now appearing slightly less likely than it did twenty-four hours ago!

Muamba is picking his words very carefully and it’s obvious that he’d love to make it at Arsenal. I can’t say I blame him. From the few Gooners that have previously visited the blog and left comments, they do not seem to see Muamba as a future Arsenal player and I’ve read that they’re more upset about losing Larsson than the prospect of losing Muamba!

That to me seems crazy but Muamba seems to be the perfect Blues player. Gets around, puts challenges in, runs all day and has an element of skill about him. It’s hard to believe that he’s still only 18. Along with Clemence this season, he’s looked the only central midfielder who’s consistently deserving of a first team spot.

Next year, promotion assumed, I’d probably suggest that we’ll get him on another loan. He’s already said he likes it here and he obviously doesn’t want to burn his bridges with Arsenal until he’s sure that all chances have passed. Fair enough, I can’t say that I blame him. Overall though, this relationship that we’re developing with Arsenal seems to be a profitable one and from speaking to Gunners fans over the last few months, they seem genuinely interested in what sort of impact the players are making – regardless of if they’re going back to the Emirates Stadium or not.

And speaking of Arsenal loanees, what is holding the deal for Sebastian Larsson up? We’ve been told that it’s just a couple of days away for the past month or so now and I’m getting itchy feet. I like Larsson and I’d love him to sign but I’m beginning to panic a bit about the prospect of not going up and him suddenly deciding that he has better options elsewhere. It would be nice to get that one sorted before the end of the day.

Aside from the Muamba, Larsson and Upson stories… it looks like a quiet day for us ‘Noses. It won’t stop me checking like a maniac though.


9 Responses to “Upson, Muamba, Larsson, Transfer Deadline Day”

  1. Worcs Blue on January 31st, 2007 2:47 pm

    I think we should sell Upson today if West Ham come back with an £8 million cash offer as rumoured. It was mentioned in the papers today that under some UEFA rule Upson could buy himself out of his contract in the summer (for £1 million it said) and go elsewhere. I am not sure whether we would get any compensation but if this is true we should get waht we can now!!

    I don’t think his form has been that great since he came back from injury and we did pretty well before then with Taylor and Jaidi in the centre.

    £8million is too much to turn down in my opinion and I don’t think we’ll get the best out of him if he is made to stay against his will. He might try and play (because he’ll be in the shop window) but he is not really going to care whether we are promoted or not as he won’t be staying. I don’t wany anyone playing that does not care about the club and who now seems intent on getting himself a three-game ban!!

    I think the left-side of the team is weak defensively anyway and this will be worse if he goes. With this in mind we should perhaps aim to keep Marcos Painter as cover and maybe seek to get West Ham to throw Etherington in as part of a deal. He’s a good player and I think would create real competition for McSheffers and offer someone that can cover left back too. If not then we desparately need a specialist left-sided defender in from somewhere!

    I don’t think we’ll sign Larsson or Muamba today. As I recall once you have a player on loan this can be turned into a permanent deal outside the transfer window. I am sure both will want to know that Blues will be in the Prem (and that Arsenal don’t want them) before they sign as both are good enough to get into a lot of Premiership teams. I guess this will suit Blues as well as it keeps money in the bank for longer (or at least the overdraft smaller from what Sully said last week!!).

  2. Aff on January 31st, 2007 2:50 pm

    Hard to disagree with too much of that, mate :)

  3. lister on January 31st, 2007 2:51 pm

    The FIFA rule sounds like a new one, and reportedly Upson can buy out his contract at the end of the season for around £1m – sounds like a lot less that £8m.

    We cocked up the transfer window last year – looks like we are going to do the same again. Promotion is not assured – West brom and Southampton are likely to finish strong, and Derby have become 1 nil specialists. Preston are still in the running, and Colchester look like they are on a roll.

    On the other hand, the more players Bruce has to choose from is simply giving the fans more reasons to moan about his team selections!

  4. Football - » Upson, Muamba, Larsson, Transfer Deadline Day at Joys & Sorrows on January 31st, 2007 3:12 pm

    [...] Original post by Joys & Sorrows and software by Elliott Back   [...]

  5. Bluebottle on January 31st, 2007 3:22 pm

    Yep, have to agree too, you might have thought that Upson would’ve felt he owed us at least to the end of the season, having been out for so long. He could have then also been sure he was joining a club that was going to have more than half a season in the Premiership. But he wants away right now, badly wants away, so I think we should let him go. No matter how consumate a professional he may be, his form will suffer if his heart’s not in it. £8 million seems good money – the story was that his value wouldn’t drop that much between now and the end of the season but if he can indeed buy up his contact for £1 million then that argument is obviously no longer valid.

    Bruce, however, seems to have backed himself into a bit of a corner, with his recent statements and is going to look a bit silly if Upson does go. Of course, all of this may have been a bit of brinksmanship to squeeze as much money out of, presumably, West Ham as possible and if this is so, it seems to have worked. Might have messed up on a replacement though – unless we have some dark horse lined up.

    I also have to agree that the Premiership is far from a foregone conclusion. We have rarely played to our potential this season and even during our winning streak we flattered to deceive.

    Gawd, it’s never easy being a Bluenose, is it?

  6. Eamonn Canadablue on January 31st, 2007 5:18 pm

    Don’t forget about the gunners 25%

  7. oldburyblue on January 31st, 2007 8:20 pm

    Yesterday my opinion was that Blues should stick to their guns regarding Upson. After last nights match I changed my mind and am glad that he has now gone. No more distractions..everyone pulling in the same direction. “If thine eye offends thee..pull it out”. “One bad apple”..etc etc.

  8. Mojo on January 31st, 2007 10:33 pm

    Upson is nowhere near an £8m player so take the dough and let Wet Spam worry about his mistakes. It just makes us look daft when Bruce / Brady / Gold say HE’S NOT FOR SALE etc and then sell him!

  9. lister on February 1st, 2007 12:02 pm

    Time to move on. We have jaidi and tiny, with ngotty and bombscare as cover. Should be enough for this division. More concerned about bruce’s choices for midfield. We lost to colchester (and to reading) because we reverted to hoofball. Time to give Kilkenny his chance – I think Muamba will learn a lot from him.

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