WHEN THE WINDOW SHUT

What a transfer window. Hargreaves and his dodgy knees went to City. Crouch and his capable knees went to Stoke. Arteta went to Arsenal. And Gary Cahill stayed at home. Jim White played a blinder as usual. I can't wait until the window opens in January. Such great entertainment!

Carlos Tevez out. Sergio Aguero in. One Argentine bulldog for another. It was almost such a neatly done deal. But Tevez's transfer to Corinthians fell through, and with reports today that David Silva and team-mates plan to welcome Tevez back into the fold, it looks like the two Argentines will have to battle against each other for a place in the team. As a Manchester City fan, this is a good problem to have. But for gamblers, it poses an interesting dilemma: who will be City's top league scorer next season? The bookies favour Aguero at 5/6. But now that Tevez looks likely to stay, 2/1 looks a very good price for the man who won joint-topscorer in the league overall last season. Of course, there's always a chance Baliotelli could surprise us!

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Berbatov to join Pastore?

Dimitar Berbatov has had a frustrating few years. The Bulgarian left Tottenham for Man United in 2008. Despite occasional spells of good form, he has failed to claim a permanent spot in the team and his form has suffered accordingly.

If you are a big football fan, you should check out football scores for today.

Paris St-Germain, who have just signed former Palermo star Javier Pastore for £37 million, are reportedly interested in signing Berbatov. Alex Ferguson is said to have no problem with the possibility of Berbatov exiting the club. There's always been something Gallic about the way Berbatov plays his football that would suit to French style and temperament. If he were to recover his form, a partnership with Pastore could set not only the French Ligue 1 alight, but also the Champions League in years to come.

One thing is for certain: French football is on the up.

Free-ee Joey Barton


Joey Barton was Newcastle's undoubted player-of-the-season last year. The pinpoint accuracy of his crosses ensured Andy Carroll scored bags of goals in the first half of the season, and ultimately led to Newcastle's securing an outrageous £35 million for the big lad. Not subject to the chance of the roulette-wheel, Barton's crosses made the ball land on the number nine every time.


Perhaps it is for this reason that roulette-loving Newcastle owner, Mike Ashley, has decided that Barton is no longer welcome at the club. The troubled midfielder is being offered to clubs on a free transfer, and was today told to train alone. Though at 29, Barton is bust by the terms of blackjack, he is by no means bust on the pitch. He remains one of the liveliest midfielders in the game and, having displayed real signs of maturing on and off the pitch, Barton is playing the best football of his life. Manchester United are said to be interested him. Arsenal could do with him, too. Where do you think he will end up?

Sergio Aguero Signs

Argentine hotshot Sergio Aguero has signed for Man City in a deal believed to be worth £38 million. He's regarded as one of the most promising players in the world. Could he be the final piece in the moneyed jigsaw that is Manchester City? Comments please.

Robinho: The Thorn in My Side

Robinho was influential in Brazil's 2-0 win over the Republic of Ireland. How it pains me, an Irish Man City fan, to see Robinho, a man who couldn't score a goal to save his life at City, score one and set up another against Ireland. He's been having a go at Mancini in the press, so unless the Italian is gone by the time Robinho's loan spell at Santos runs out, I can't imagine him playing another game at City. I wonder if his return to form will yield bigger money for the Blues than would have been possible before he was let go on loan?

There's Only One Jimmy Grimble

In yesterday's Irish Times, Andrew Fifield lamented the relative dearth of quality films about football. And he's right: when compared to Field of Dreams, The Full Nine Yards, even Friday Night Lights, football can't really compete with traditional American sports. The Firm, Green Street, Bend It Like Beckham, each one worse than the next. The Damned United, he argues, is just about the only decent film about football. And still, he's right.


Only he forgot one, an all-time classic in my household. There's Only One Jimmy Grimble has everything you want in a family film: high farce, Manchester City, adversity overcome, dreams realised and Robert Carlyle. And, more than most films about football, it feels rather authentic. If you haven't seen it already, you should.

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