Yet another summer transfer deadline day is upon us.
An idea that is supposed to give some sort of stability to clubs, to let them know who their playing staff are for the next few months, bizarrely kicks in weeks after the majority of leagues have already started. Thus having the completely opposite effect.
Following the comings and goings has now seemingly become a national sport in its own right. We have to be thankful for it sometimes, though. This time, it has at least brought an enforced ending to one of the “sagas” that has “entertained” us on the back pages whilst we have been sipping on our sangrias.
Marquee Club (photo credit: Wikimedia creative commons)
Aside from Gareth Bale and Real Madrid, though – a creased linen shirt of a deal, which has taken months to finally iron out, there are many other teams set to do business today.
Why do we get to this final single day and then start seeing managers, chief executives, chairmen, agents and players scampering around and loitering in car parks (I’m looking at you, Mr Odemwingie)?
And people like me writing last minute nonsense that few will read.
And spare a thought for the poor football club office juniors rooting around dusty cupboards for spare fax paper on the one day a year it is required.
Take David Moyes as an example.
The common consensus amongst the media is that a “marquee signing” is required to prove his mettle and show that some of the pulling power of Manchester United has not been lost with the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Yet, taking a less sensationalistic view, it can be said that the last incumbent of the Old Trafford hot seat worked minor miracles with an over-staffed, but less than stellar midfield. If the whole world could see the apparent problems then, upon his arrival, Mr Moyes would surely have had that area of the squad as priority number one?
So why do we arrive at the deadline day with no new faces at Manchester United? Was Mr Moyes’ bedding in period used to get to know the players and he didn’t want to begin by immediately suggesting there was an area of weakness – upsetting the previous regime and the current staff?
Perhaps the answer lies away from to doors of the managers and squarely with the money men. Is there actually any money being made available?
There are many possible reasons, but the perceived lack of action and the Chinese whispers of “derisory” offers and targeting the unattainable have morphed in to a constant white noise which soundtracked August.
As the calendar flipped over to September a pair of insipid performances have caused the clamour to make signings today to grown in to a din.
None of the above has helped to dissipate the feeling that this giant of a club is in transition.
The first few competitive games of the season should give managers and coaches a clue as to the attitude and quality of the squad, but with the window open until today and so many clubs still intent on spending, there is still the opportunity for knee-jerk reactions and hasty signings.
Today could be cast as a rather undignified and unsatisfactory end to the summer for the champions. Like a bargain-hunter making a last attempt to leave the sales with at least something – even if it is a purchase that may not resemble what they had hoped to buy. They won’t be the only ones, though.
Then again, desperation could be the catalyst for inspiration.
For me, the circus sideshow of the Transfer Deadline Day is an unwanted distraction once the season has begun.
However, as with my failed attempts to avoid listening to football phone-ins and the like, that does not mean that I won’t be checking in regularly to watch its denouement!