Today's transfer wrap-up considers the fortunes of three strikers stuck in a rut and yearning for the good times.
Andy Carroll would probably have woken up this morning in good form. His team are in the fifth round of the FA Cup after beating Manchester United, he put in a decent shift, laid on the winner for Dirk Kuyt and very nearly snatched a late third when he hit the crossbar at the death.
His mood no doubt changed violently over breakfast, however, when he picked up the papers to read that his employers tried to flog him off to Manchester City last week for a player who hasn’t kicked a ball in about four months and can ill-afford to step foot in the city of Manchester ever again.
Reading on, big Andy would have discovered that Liverpool were prepared to take a massive hit on him and that the club to which they proposed to sell him had no interest whatsoever. We feel bad elaborating any further on Andy’s misery so if you want to know more, check out the whole story here.
There can’t be many strikers feeling as bad as Carroll at the moment, but Kevin Doyle would certainly be close. Poor Kev can’t buy a goal at the moment and with the Euros now within sight, he’s facing the prospect of losing his previously cast-iron status as a regular in the Irish first XI.
Doyler ain't had much to be cheering about lately
Mick McCarthy is losing patience with the Wexford native but there could be light at the end of the tunnel, provided by the glare bouncing off David Moyes’ magnificently ginger head.
Sky Sports are reporting today that Everton might make a dramatic last-gasp move for Doyle as they seek to improve their woeful scoring record. Moyes is a fan and was in for Doyle before he moved to Wolves three years ago so although there’s nothing concrete in this one yet, watch this space.
If Doyle does head to Goodison, at least he won’t have to learn how to pronounce the name of impish Russian winger Diniyar Bilyaletdinov. I recall Jimmy Magee having a similar problem a couple of years back, so much so that he just gave up trying to pronounce it completely.
Unless Jimmy is snapped up by Russian television (and we’re not ruling out the prospect), he too won’t have to worry about Bily as his move to Spartak Moscow was completed earlier today.
There’s not a whole lot of other rumours doing the rounds today, at least not credible ones, but one that did catch our eye was the proposed move of Alan Smith to League One side MK Dons.
It’s only on loan and Newcastle will continue to pay 95 per cent of his wages, but it’s a fair fall from grace for a man who was playing for Manchester United up until 2007 and claimed to be good buddies with Justin Trousersnake.
It’s not only Smith’s football abilities that are on the wane, he’s let himself go a little in the looks department as well. Once a spiky-haired ball of fury, Smith now wears a haggard, hippy-like long-haired do, a look that seems to have reversed the Samson effect for the former Leeds man.
It's not looking great for Andy, Kevin and Alan at the moment, but all they need is a positive attitude and things will get better. If they need any extra reserves of enthusiasm, they could do worse than look to this guy, who has it in droves.