So January the 31st has come and gone yet again and that means only one thing. No, not the end of the most depressing month of the year, or the full realisation of your Christmas debts; but the end of the chaotic and often mystifying circus of the football transfer window. Since being established, this surreal part of the football season has certainly brought with it a few surprises and a fair deal of excitement to the football maniacs out there. Of course, it also means we get to see the worst sides of the people involved. Managers, players, chairman and of course those dastardly football agents, looking to rinse every penny possible out of owners that are either money-mad or desperate. The players themselves are subjected to cringe-worthy interviews while club hierarchy spout on about 'projects' and 'building for the future'. The media either place heavy scrutiny on all the top clubs fighting for glory or the ones facing a relegation fight to stay in the richest football league in the world. So what happened this year? Well, it was not a record breaker, nor that exciting to be fair. Neither Manchester City or Chelsea had decided not to go ape-shit this time around, so instead leading the top of the spending list are two clubs in a scrap to beat the drop. Newcastle United chose to spend nearly all of their spare cash in France after foolishly selling their top striker to the aforementioned blueboys, thus becoming Le Toon Armèe. Facing possible ruin on the back of Mark Hughes' awful stint at the helm, my lot QPR splashed club record-breaking cash in a bid to get out of the bottom three, on a gigantic proverbial brick-shithouse of a defender and a couple of Tottenham sideliners. Meanwhile, Arsenal bought a nacho, Stoke got a Brek, Norwich literally begged at Celtic's management door and West Bromwich Albions' Peter Odemwingie had a mental lapse (As far as footballers go). Poor old Peter, gleefully getting a interview from Sky Sports and making a fool of himself in the process. Saying that, I do have a bit of sympathy for him. Clearly he was advised incorrectly, and under the time pressures of the transfer window, his actions are partly justified. However, he was labouring under a misapprehension, because both West Brom and QPR seem not at fault having not agreed anything concrete. Personally, I reckon someone at WBA has made a rather huge mistake, or maybe an agent somewhere has, but shit happens eh?
Can this monster help save QPR's Premiership status? Chris Samba: He's standing on the Pitch!
So after the storm of craziness, bartering and wheeling & dealing in the murky football planet of money and fame, what can we predict from the changes to the clubs in the top English league? As a QPR fan, of course I'm going to remain positive and say that we will stay up. Just. Some of you will mock of course, I understand that, but the new guys we got in are good, and have installed a new wave of hoop-blinkered confidence in me. I think that Norwich will find it tough to stay away from the drop finally showing their true second-tier quality in recent times, as will Reading, but the real shocker will be Aston Villa. A Big club with a rich history are the villains, but it may be time for that inevitable fall from grace that many other 'big' clubs have suffered from before. On other issues, I feel Tottenham have missed trick and should have signed a top striker such as David Villa. Honestly, due to me being utterly sick of seeing the same teams year in year out qualify for the Champions League, I would like Spurs to finish in the top four, just for the sake of variance if for nothing else! With their limited strike force however, that may not happen now. As for Arsenal, who the hell knows! They seems to look doomed to 6th and 7th every year, but still scrape into the top spots. Maybe they will again, I'm uncertain. The rest of my personal predictions are exactly the same as before the transfer window. Manchester United will win the Premier League, Fergie will trump everyone yet again. City will be second as they seem to be lacking the hunger from last season, and having lost their nutball Italian forward without replacement, the runner-up accolade seems certain. As for the other two top spots, I would love to see Everton and Spurs get them, but I fear that the damn blues will finish third, forth taken by either the Gunners or Spurs. As for Liverpool, victims of the mighty Oldham Athletic in the FA cup, nailed on 7th for me. Swansea will triumph in the League Cup, even though it would be awesome if Bradford City win. The FA cup looks to go to either of the Manchester clubs I feel.
Should the Hotspurs have pushed the boat out for this man?
I know a lot of people will not agree with this, but hats off to David Beckham and his gesture of fore-fitting his wages from PSG. Yes, I know many will say this is merely a publicity stunt to raise his profile yet even more, but is that really possible? Most people around the world already recognise Beckham's mug over the likes of Barack Obama! Can his profile be any higher? No, I honestly think that he just simply wants to play football for the fun of it while he still can, and if that means he can get an affluent club like Paris Saint-Germain to contribute several million to worthwhile charities, then that's all good in my view.
Don't Look Now!Driving at work today, I noticed this new billboard scattered around which gave me a bit of a start! Bloody Hell! A disturbing image of a womens face reflected in broken glass, depicting and truly creepy evil smile that Beelzebub himself would be proud of. We have all heard the chat about sexy women in revealing garments detracting drivers, but something like this waiting behind the next turn is bound to make many a mild mannered motorist jump out of their seat. It's for a Channel 4 drama series Black Mirror, but it looks like The Joker has melded with Stephen King's IT in female form! Effective yes, but is it really responsible to display such a scary image? Children will see it too, and I would assume get quite unnerved by it. This billboard seems to be doing the rounds all over the place at the moment, and I can honestly say I'm not a fan! Picture will follow!
The Pixel EmpireOur editor has been taking a hard earned vacation of late, but upon his return we will have many more gaming treats lined up for you. Alan has been consumed by Diablo 3, so expect some quality reviewing soon. He also will be looking at the next instalment in the Half Life series. A Batman double awaits for your retro pleasure where we add the good old Sinclair Spectrum to the roster of platforms we cover. We may also have an literal egg-travaganza coming to you soon too, but in the meantime why not relive some of our highlights over the past months? Shane examines an excellent stealthy jaunt with Mark of the Ninja, I relive the classic Super Marioland off the Game Boy, Alan blasts some baddies away with his tongue in his cheek with Cannon Fodder and Tom takes a look at the last Street Fighter title to grace the illustrious Super Nintendo. Enjoy!