First Touch

The Transfer Window Is Closing Soon

Silly season isn’t too far away. Just a few days until January transfer window closes and Chief Executives everywhere are starting to lose their grasp of reality. C’mon, at least one of them is digging Balotelli’s agent’s number out of their Filofax.

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I love the thought of Ed Woodward reaching for his Filofax. It appears that most of his ethos is shrouded in the past. Of course he has a Filofax and nothing quite as de rigueur as an iPad.

Football already revolves in a bubble, unanswerable to anybody, happily making multi-millionaires out of boys who just passed their driving test and who, some of the time, have more hours behind the wheel than on the bloody pitch.

With the end of the transfer window on the horizon events just get spectacular..and not in a good way. I’m just a little devastated that Harry Redknapp isn’t currently in employment. (No, pontificating on the TV screens doesn’t count, I’m afraid).

Harry’s Game

There’s not a better sight in football than Harry Redknapp completing an emergency stop at the gates of the training ground,window-opened before the befuddled TV reporter can shove his furry microphone in Harry’s direction and a split-second before he realises how painful a Range Rover is sat atop his immaculately shined shoes. Redknapp and reporter, professional to the very end, and neither offering anything that can be deemed newsworthy, or the remotest bit interesting. I just love the drama of it all.

And whom does Harry Redknapp think he is kidding: we all know that Kevin Bond (his ever-faithful assistant) gets thrown the car keys the other 363 days a year. Those two transfer windows and Bond’s chance of glory is within touching distance. I could have sworn I’ve seen them playing rock, paper, scissors behind those conifers at the Spurs training ground just about out of view of the cameras. That never goes well for Bond, either.

“Winner gets to drive. No, you won Bondy.Best of 3? nope, best of 5 now.” Fade, until Harry proves victorious.

Window Dressing

There can be nothing so exciting this year. So, what do we have to look forward to? Jim White looking so happy with himself that you are sure as shit that he’s going to announce world peace, or, a cure for cancer and instead tells the watching public that Accrington Stanley have signed a Liverpool youth player for a nominal fee. World peace has to wait until the August transfer window, I guess.

Of course, if proceedings lull at any point, the Sky cameras always have the option of sending out a poor work experience boy with a microphone to the gates of Brentford FC (sadly now with only three pubs on corners of the ground instead of the previous four) at closing time to interview any “passer-by.”

Cue much contrived hilarity, as a large array of plastic instruments find there way into camera shot. Ann Summers profits boosted considerably twice a year and one of the main opponents of the abolition of the transfer window system. Possibly. Enough of the theatrics, let’s get down to the football. Brazilian striker Alexandre Pato flew into England recently and is in the process of rubber-stamping his loan move to Chelsea. This move becomes permanent if all parties, his parent club Corinthians, Chelsea and the player himself, agree to the relationship progressing further in the summer.

Pato To Chelsea

Rumours of Pato becoming the next Radamel Falcao are hopefully wide of the mark for Chelsea fans, but his lack of success in his first spell in Europe, when playing for AC Milan, don’t bode particularly well. Pato managed only 16 goals in 43 appearances for Milan in a five-year spell: hardly a return to whet the appetite.

Before any Chelsea fans in New York reading this bury themselves under two-feet of NYC snow and hibernate for the winter, Pato still has time on his side. At only 26 years of age, Pato may regain that mojo that saw him touted as the next Brazilian superstar. Time will tell. Rumours of two elderly gentlemen, in a Range Rover, engaged in a game of rock, paper, scissors at Heathrow arrivals were unsubstantiated as this column went to press.

Rarely has this been said in the last few seasons, but Newcastle United are having a very productive window. Maybe productive isn’t the right word. Yes, they have signed a number of players in recent windows. It’s just that those players haven’t been very productive.

Loic Remy Return?

I guess, what I’m trying to say is, that they haven’t merely signed pure dross this window. So far. Jonjo Shelvey and Andros Townsend have both come in already; for a reported £24m. The rumour mill has been going into overdrive around Newcastle that Loic Remy may return to the club on loan from Chelsea.

Remy was nothing short of prolific in his previous spell with the Geordies and the fans would welcome his return.  Yes, he’s struggling for form at Chelsea, but that has to be partially down to his lack of significant game-time. With Shelvey and Townsend providing chances for him that form could easily return.

I understand that Mike Ashley is nothing more than a pantomime villain figure at Newcastle Football Club, but this trio of signings would provide some much-required positivity on Tyneside. Ashley may finally be putting some money where the food usually goes.

Teixeira To Liverpool?

As for my boys at Liverpool, they could have done with winning that Californian lottery to help bring in a whole new team. OK, slight exaggeration, but at least half a team. Yes, they scraped past Stoke and that sees Jurgen Klopp take Liverpool to Wembley for the Capital One cup final, but I don’t think too many people are kidded on by their anaemic performances this season.

Alex Teixeira (Shakhtar Donetsk) is the current object of Liverpool’s desires, but seem unwilling to meet the required £35m price tag on his head. Klopp may not delve too deeply into the transfer market this window and wait for the more reasonably priced summer window.

Heaven knows they need an influx of players and a thorough clearout of a whole host of under-performers before next season commences. Keep your eyes on your teams transfer-dealings as the hours count down towards the close of play and your eyes on the TV screens, as I’m off to purchase a dildo, a blow-up sheep and some petroleum jelly. Beware all you roving reporters out there.

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