WHY I HATE THE TRANSFER WINDOW
Last night, my world was thrown into turmoil. I was innocently watching Road Wars on the brilliant Pick TV, hidden in the depths of Freeview, when an advert appeared for Sky Sports News' wall-to-wall coverage of transfer deadline day. I'm convinced that, some time in the future, people will pinpoint this as the moment that society collapsed on itself and we had to start from scratch. I could genuinely think of few things that the world needs saturated coverage of less, save for perhaps the voices inside Mark Lawrenson's head. Then I turned the tele on again this morning, and an overexcited reporter screamed that Marouane Fellaini had arrived at the Everton training ground, as if "Everton player arrives for training with Everton" was the headline that we'd all been waiting for. Then Harry Redknapp stuck his head out of a window and into a microphone and the whole thing became beyond parody, like every Twitter joke had been melted down and reformed as a sick, sick reality.
Nothing more in football sums up the absurd excesses of consumption and rampant capitalism than deadline day, with rumours spreading about how Alan Pardew could really do with a third choice left back at Newcastle, just in case. As if Derek Llambias is a little bit worried that a new, particularly aggressive strain of Bird Flu might mutate from a turkey to Shane Ferguson. It just becomes a day of clubs signing players they don't particularly need, whether this is in the Premiership or in League One, where the day has been predictably dominated by Swindon Town and Bournemouth, two clubs who have signed players over recent months that have offered them less than just shredding the money and using it as confetti at home games would've done. Bournemouth, in great form and with two top notch right wing options in Wes Fogden and Josh McQuoid, decided that spending £400,000 on Matt Ritchie was reasonable, whilst Swindon, who spent most of yesterday teetering between administration and a lucrative takeover, have brought in Danny Green and are on the verge of a deal for Cheltenham's Marlon Pack. Paolo clearly isn't content with the division's best creative central player in Simon Ferry and a whole host of other options, he just needs more. Di Canio has become uncontrollable in the transfer market, signing people seemingly because it gives him something to do.
Then there's transfer deadline day at Notts, which is quickly becoming the most predictable, infuriating time of the year. Rather than trying to sign pointless reinforcements for areas that don't actually need reinforcing, we genuinely do need a player - in the one position that we've needed a player for about five transfer windows in a row. Each deadline day seems to end the same, with Notts having lost out on every single striker in the Football League, for varying reasons. I'm half expecting tonight to end with the news that a deal to bring Febian Brandy back to Meadow Lane fell through after he fell down a pothole on London Road. This time may just be the most farcical wild striker chase that Notts have been on yet, however, with us being on the verge of leaving ourselves with Enoch Showunmi as our only genuine striker. I don't need to think of a joke or a metaphor to tell any of you what a ridiculous situation that would be.
Even more annoyingly, it doesn't really end today because the loan market reopens in a few days, meaning that we can console ourselves at 11pm tonight with the knowledge that, in a week's time, we can scrape around at the bottom of the bargain bin and find Chris Iwelumo lying around with some broken custard creams and a six-pack of lager that's been bent out of shape. Actually, scratch that, Paul Dickov has pointlessly taken him to Oldham, having ignored the fact that his team really don't need another immobile oaf lumbering around upfront. Then it'll get to loan deadline day, and the whole process starts all over again, only without the wall-to-wall coverage. Even Sky Sports News struggle to get excited about Bradden Inman extending his loan spell at Crewe until the end of the season.To paraphrase Bill Shankly, next time the transfer window opens, i'm drawing the curtains. Then maybe hiding under the duvet as well.