The Transfer Window, since its inception, has become a miasma of all things nefarious. From its harmless beginnings, it has morphed into something truly grotesque and of late – has been the stuff of nightmares.
Endless rumours, countless spurious tweets and links that send you directly to the gates of footballing hell. People with far too much time on their hands and with delusions of grandeur so large they carry their own shadow have taken the excitement we all enjoy and contorted it for their own twisted means.
The buzz we all enjoyed when Dennis Bergkamp was revealed, when Mesut Ozil was surprisingly broken to an unsuspecting public, is akin to a child on Christmas morning. All football supporters have a sprinkle of innocent wonder when it comes to transfers. We all hope we are going to get that massive, bike-shaped present under the tree.
So, in order to save that wonder, that essence of youth which opens eyes wide through veritable joy, I have compiled a rudimentary guide of sorts. We all have mental scars which act as painful reminders to be wary, to be sceptical. This guide is a map of sorts, to take you by the hand and weave a far less dangerous path through the various pitfalls that can befall all of us.
So, grab your backpack, don’t forget your flask of water and for heaven’s sake, put that copy of the Daily Mail in the bin, and let’s put our game faces on. This is going to get messy.
1 – Trust No-One……..Or maybe just the chosen few.
There are many who call themselves ‘In The Know’. Some do this via their claimed employment. Others state that they have a cousin, twice removed, who is married to the guy who dishes out the Metro paper outside the offices of the person who has the phone number of the agent who knows. Others simply have cojones so large, that they believe their own hype and surf on their own wave.
Regardless, they all know nothing. If scientists were to round up the large collection of tweets, links, posts and photos that this hideous gaggle of morons disseminate each transfer window, and examine the percentage of truth in each – the findings would be that ZERO percent have come to fruition.
Heed not the large number of followers. Worship not, the false idols. These gasbags exist simply to take football supporters with a curiosity to know a little more about their teams transfer manifesto and lure them to a hellish place where each click leads to yet another site which is further away from the supporter’s required destination.
There are the chosen few that have been known to reveal only truths. These people, such as BBC’s David Ornstein, emit only veritas and worry little for follower count or Instagram likes.
So, to summarise, be wary of…..pretty much anyone apart from David Ornstein.
2 – The Sky Sports Ticker
Jim White and Sky Sports obsession with yellow matters little. They are filigree surrounding the only item of significance on Sky Sports News transfer window coverage – the slender ribbon of yellow at the bottom of your TV screen which carries breaking news.
All rumours and links bow to this humble strip of sunshine. When any signing is revealed on it, then you can consider it confirmed. Try to block out the excitable screeches from the silver haired White, who is simply a ghoul summoned to blight humanity. Instead, look only at the ticker, the ribbon which is drenched in veracity.
Or you could opt for your clubs website.
3 – Avoid Gossip Columns at all costs.
That striker who is reportedly unsettled at his current club, that guy who would be perfect for your team? Well, according to today’s gossip column, his agent has flown into London for talks.
The only problem is, tomorrow, he is in Manchester.
Gossip columns, those one paragraph nuggets of lies, are designed for the sole purpose of whipping up frenzy. The transfer window for these people is best served if the hype slowly boils over and ends in a steaming mess. Much like a One Direction concert then.
If you see one of these stories, exchew them in favour of looking on your club’s website. When your club’s site HAS one of these columns? Look upon it with despair, for we have all been forsaken.
Just take them with an almighty handful of salt.
4 – Do Not Devote Yourself to the Window
It may seem that the signing of the season is around the corner. It may appear that nothing else is of consequence. If we can just get this player, then the knock-on effect will have positive implications for the rest of the……
Let me stop you right there. You wish for a player to be signed as you are a supporter of this club and wish for better results – am I right?
Well, as you scour the web for news, you forget that January is awash with your club’s fixtures. Yes, that is correct – support your club. If we miss out on that player we all wish for, then so be it. We still have the most important factor in regards to being a fan, which is supporting your club. It may lead to travesty if cover is not acquired for a certain position, or if we are beaten to the punch by another club, but ultimately, we support the club, through thick and thin.
I do hope this will aid you, weary traveller. This guide is aimed at shortening the path, and avoiding the path more oft used, but packed full of trickery. January will fill you with the blues regardless, with broken New Years resolutions and the inevitable half a stone of extra weight you currently carry around your midriff. So avoid the hyperbole, steer clear of the ITK’s and keep your Sky Sports News app handy.
It’s going to be a long month.