Thursday, 30 August 2012

Transfer Deadline Day: The 24 hours we wish would last forever

It is almost here. Forget Manchester City's last minute heroics against QPR last season. Any football fan will tell you that for twists, turns and more drama than an amatuer Gilbert and Sullivan production, nothing quite beats Transfer Deadline Day.

As a fan of Brighton & Hove Albion, getting all excited about last minute dealings is something I am having to get used to.

Usually our players were not good enough to be in demand elsewhere and we were too skint to go tempting others away. Or at least anyone worth getting excited about / we had ever heard of.

All that has changed though. We are now Big Playes in the Championship transfer merry go round.

But, like any bitter pensioner will confirm, change is not always for the best.

We are only halfway through Transfer Deadline Day Eve and the Albion already look to have lost winger Craig Noone to Cardiff City. The mooted £1million plus fee does sweeten the deal but it is never nice to lose players before you recruit any. It leaves you having to buy two players when perhaps before you only needed one. One to replace and one to improve the squad.

Norwich City have become something of a transfer bully in recent season. First they half inched Andrew Crofts, then came back to sign Elliott Bennett - he of 127 assists in his last season.

Now they are rumoured to have once again returned to Sussex to cajole (see> beat Gus Poyet round the head with a tin of Helmann's until he agrees to sell) Craig Mackail-Smith into joining the exodus to Norwich.

Norfolk'ing chance you may say. But you may be wrong. Despite a slight change in style, Mackail-Smith does not sit comfortably in Poyet's preferred 433 formation.

And, with his tranfer warchest (what a great Transfer Deadline Day word) not overflowing as much as the manager would like, it may be a case of selling before he can by.

Will he be able to get someone in before the window slams shut? Such is the gamble of Transfer Deadline Day.

Twitter has been alive with rumours. More will crop up the closer the deadline gets. Already the Albion have been linked with Emile Heskey, Michael Owen, Shola Ameobi (or, as Bobby Robson called him, Carl Cort), Jay Bothroyd, Grant Holt, Rickie Lambert, Stephen Dobbie, Dave from Brighton Social Sunday 11 and, perhaps most depressingly, Bobby Zamora.

Zamora won't be coming back, whatever some fans think. Chance would be a fine thing. But then again, how many of the others mentioned are actually realistic? Even Dave has to have his kids every other Saturday.

And there in lies the attraction of Transfer Deadline Day. It allows fans 24 hours of unrestricted, unrealistic dreaming. Spurs fans become convinced they will sign Messi, Arsenal fans pretend they have not become a selling club and, here in Sussex, we can aspire to sign a host of unwanted Premier League strikers.

It is as if someone has put the experience of playing Championship Manager into a blender, mixed it up, and then injected it into the veins of every football fan. The hit may only last 24 hours or so. But for some of us, particular lower down the football pyramid, those 24 hours are enough.

So, come on Mr Poyet. Do your best. And if in doubt, have a look on Twitter and some of the forums. You won't find yourself short of suggestions.

1 comment:

  1. Personally, I hate it - even when it goes well as it ended up doing. (See my blog for my own thoughts). It also does exactly the opposite of what I assume the authorities thought it would do when they introduced it.

    And we have to sit there AGAIN in January and sweat on CM-S being sold, even if we're top of the league.