1 September 2011

Transfer deadline day

In the actual real world the transfer window is a relatively calm period where teams bring players in and also ship players out.  Sometimes some of these deals are complex and take a long time and are only completed on the final day, but most are completed in time for the season's opening fixture.

On even rarer occasions a deal might be finalised almost in the last minutes of the last day, but this is very rare.  Usually for a deal to go through at the last moment in this fashion the team in question will have had to have lost 8-2 a few days previous or something.  

Completely detached from all reality on the other hand in Sky Sports land, transfer deadline day is second in importance only to Judgement day itself.  The apocalypse; heaven, earth and hell fighting it out to the death.

Twice a season the Premier league, Sky Sports News and their minion reporters standing in completely empty stadium car parks come together in an explosion of manufactured hyperactivity to offer minute by minute nothingness presented in an explosion of graphics, no-news tickers and bullshit.

If you poured Christmas eve, Hogmanay, napalm and a can of Iron-Bru into a human sized plastic mould, left it to set in between transfer windows and cracked it open on the last day, you'd have Jim White.

Jim White is an absurd detonation of nuclear Scottish bullshit. Fully capable of devastating an entire country's football fans in only three hours simply by forcefully insisting again again that everything that is going on is awesome even when nothing is actually going on.

"The pressure is building and it's all going to go off big time.," he shrieked every twenty minutes or so although we're never clear if he's talking about football transfers or his ejeculation. Very reminiscent of the Sky News reporter sat outside an air base somewhere waiting for a plane to take off which may or may not be heading towards a war zone some 8,000 miles away.

Yesterday Sky Sports News even had exclusive footage of Jim arriving at Sky's studios to present Sky Sports News. Which is just someone arriving for work. The world came very close to folding in on itself at that time and it may have if we weren't interrupted just in time by a reporter stood outside Stoke's stadium informing us that everything was at fever pitch because there was every chance Peter Crouch had just been spotted buying a can of Redbull at a service station somewhere on the M6.

Ironically the utter sheer complete bollocks of Sky's 24 hour ejaculation of graphics and noise was almost appropriate for the level of transfer activity at Arsenal.  Five signings and some of them I had even heard of.

We will never know of course what would have occurred had Arsenal not suffered their most humiliating defeat since Napoleon was still causing us trouble.  I suspect Arsène Wenger may still have tried to insist that our squad had the quality and mental strength to win every trophy currently up for grabs in the professional game making Jim White's exclamations seem comparatively understated.

Mertesacker I think is the most reassuring of the lot.  I've always secretly been an admirer of the square heads.  Arsenal are in desperate need of some Teutonic evil at the back.  You can say what you like about Jens Lehmann and his temperament. Some players may have exploited his crazy, but the vast majority were frightened of him.  Even his own team mates.

A 6ft 6 centre-back barking orders in German - which is the second most sinister language next to Russian - at everyone, even the referee is exactly what we need.  Coupled with the lunacy of 6ft 6 Wojciech Szczesny and you've already got a half way decent defense.

Neither are likely to accumulate many bookings as their name's are quite long and a referee under pressure may just opt for a stern warning.  Mertesacker I think has only one yellow card and one red card to his name in four years.

With a Brazilian left-back too who I assume is a tricky little sod it's tempting to dream of a future where we don't let eight goals in anymore in one game.  Or even surrender a four goal lead at half-time.

Or where the players don't bump into each other trying to get away from where they might get hurt.  There's a chance even that Arsenal could keep a clean sheet before Christmas.

I'm not sure what I make of the signing of Arteta and Yossi Benayoun.  Perhaps along with Tomáš Rosický if they can synchronise their injuries they might play enough games between them to cover a whole season.

Finally the Korean dude will I think be the surprise of the new signings.  Korean captain, so must be a decent enough player but also with a work ethic only Asian people seem to posses.  They seem to be able to run forever and while I loved Cesc Fabregas he did seem to have this tendency to mooch about in midfield for the last year or so of his Arsenal career.

A Korean darting about the place without ever stopping for breath might be the inspiration the other players need to shake them out of the malaise.

Not even Jim White's world of hyperbolic fantasy and ludicrous over-optimism could have persuaded me that Arsenal had anything other than a relegation battle to look forward to this season, but now with Spurs being Spurs and Liverpool being Liverpool, I'm wondering if it's even within the boundaries of actual reality to target the fifteenth top four finish in a row?

The pressure is building and it's all going to go off big time.  Or something.

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