Although last weekend saw some important match-ups in the Premiership, the focus was Sundays transfer deadline. Premiership rules state the transfer ‘window’ closes on August 31st until the month of January (when it is again open for one month).
This leaves to several times desperately trying to reinforce their line-ups for what amounts to the first half of the season.
No suprises that Chelsea were the heaviest spenders, with their purchase of French international Claude Makelele from Real Madrid for #16 million taking them past the #100 million spending mark. The Blues also purchased Alexei Smirtin for #3.5 million before immediately loaning him to Premiership newcomers Portsmouth.
An intriguing move saw Arsenal striker Francis Jeffers move on loan for the season to his former side Everton. Jeffers, who has struggled to settle at the Gunners, was a former prodigy at Everton before being sold three years ago. His return signals the possibility of an intriguing partnership with new ‘boy wonder’ Wayne Rooney at Goodison Park. Everton also spent money on signing Motherwell striker James McFadden and Sunderland midfielder Kevin Kilbane.
Loan deals were very popular on deadline day as clubs who do not have much budget were able to pick up players without having to pay a transfer fee. Leeds bolstered their defence by signing Milan’s Brazilian defender Roque Junior for the season. He became the sixth player to sign for Leeds on loan so far this season. Elsewhere, Manchester City continued building their squad with a double swoop on Real Madrid’s England international Steve McManaman and Sunderland’s USA international captain Claudio Reyna.
Their was also an interesting swap deal between Tottenham and Charlton which saw Chris Perry and Paul Konchesky switch clubs for a short spell.
Their was action on the pitch, and it was again a bad weekend for Alex Ferguson. Fresh from stinging critcism from former United player David Beckham in the serialisation of his autiobiography in the British press, he saw his United side turn in a lacklustre display as the fell to a late James Beattie goal away at Southampton.
This allowed Arsenal to move three points clear at the top as they overturned a 1-0 half time deficit to defeat Manchester City 2-1 to leave the Blues winless in the league at their new stadium. The Gunners are the only side to win all of their games and have posted their most succesful start to a season in their history.
A miserable week did not end well for Newcastle. After they were bundled out of the Champions League in midweek, they were defeated at home to Birmingham courtesy of a David Dunn strike in the second half.
There were two 0-0 draws at the bottom end of the table as Wolves got their first points of the season against Portsmouth and Bolton remain winless following their home match against Charlton.
Middlesbrough also remain winless after a late goal from Mark Viduka took all of the points for Leeds in a 3-2 win at the Riverside.
Adrian Mutu continued his goalscoring start at Chelsea, but they needed an equalising penalty from Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink to earn a 2-2 at home to Blackburn.
It was a bad day for Tottenham as they were thrashed 3-0 at home to London rivals Fulham, whilst Liverpool manager Gerard Houillier eased the pressure as his attacking formation did the trick in the Merseyside derby at Everton. Two goals from Michael Owen and a debut strike from Harry Kewell saw them home comfortably by a margin of 3-0.
Premiership notes returns in two weeks as there are no fixtures this coming weekend due to the international fixtures taking place.