by Tony Attwood
When I fist started watching football back in the Bronze Age, we didn’t have a transfer window. Clubs could transfer whomsoever they liked, as long as they were British or Irish, whenever they liked, all the way up to around six weeks before the end of the season. You couldn’t buy players at the end of the season for fear that clubs might try and buy themselves out of trouble, or buy the champiionship.
The date never seemed quite fixed, and I’ve never been able to find out how it was organised, although a pal who was a bit of an insider at the Football League once told me it was adjusted depending on when Easter fell. to give clubs a chance to buy in new players after the traditional broken leg weekend of three games in four days.
Now of course we are much more civilised. We buy players in a rush on the last day of August or first day of September, then finish off the deals a bit later, and then play make believe from the very next day. And we can buy them from anywhere in the EU.
(Of course in the old days, we didn’t want foreigners in the club because they were all girlies and would fall over every time they got tapped on the head). (Unless they were Irish, because we had a no-passport agreement with Ireland so you could travel back and forth at will.) (Actually I have always wondered why we get films in the UK of people who have illegally got into the EU all trying to cross the channel at Calais. Why don’t they go to Dublin, and head north across the open border?) (Perhaps I shouldn’t have said that). (Hello?)
[Back to football Tony] Tony
[OK Tony] Tony
Hello Dr Billy the Dog McGraw here, senior psychologist at the University Hospital of the North Circular Road. Tony, has just popped out for a moment with some of my colleagues to have a personality re-unification procedure – a minor operation that generally takes only a few seconds and involves vigorous swings of a cricket bat at about head height, and I’ve been asked to pick up the tale.
So did you know that “Real Madrid will not rule out the sale of Arsenal target Alvaro Arbeloa in the January window.” Apparently so. I read it on a web site.
Actually it is not all fantasy, for Steve McDermott who’s interesting life we’ve covered on the Arsenal History Society blog has returned to Arsenal as a scout.
And some of it seems moderately possible. Joachim Löw the Germany manager did an interview on Sport1 which translates roughly as, “Mesut is on the right track, he had recently really strong performances for Arsenal.” As for Podolski, he said, “It is not easy, but he will master it – I’m quite sure.”
I think those quotes probably are something he said, they sound roughly right. But back in fantasy land, “Real Madrid star Sami Khedira is desperate to secure a cut-price January switch to Arsenal.” That is according to the Daily Star, who also “revealed” that the player has finally “agreed personal terms with the Gunners over a move to the Emirates Stadium.”
I would have thought a nice house in Hampstead would have been more his style but still, whatever turns you on. Oh but hang on, “Arsenal are yet to agree a fee with Madrid for the 27-year-old midfielder,” so cue some “Wenger dithering” headlines soon. (Although I am busy dealing with any bishops I find lurking around to see if they can ask his holiness (that’s the pope, not Tony) to fix up another football match as the window closes so we can be sure of doing a surprise deal.)
But “Khedira has entered the final year of his contract at the Bernabeu and would be able to leave the Spanish giants on a free transfer next summer,” as one blog helpfully reminds us.
“Madrid president Florentino Perez is keen to avoid losing Khedira for absolutely nothing in nine months time and is prepared to do business in the new year.” So its Arsene dithering again then is it?
Hope springs eternal however… “Fresh reports in Spain claim that Khedira is hopeful Arsenal and Madrid will be able to negotiate a package that will allow him to complete a switch to join Arsene Wenger & co in north London.” That is north London mark you, not Middlesex or Buckinghamshire where other London clubs might be in a year or two.
And just as you get one potential signing, several come along all at once. “Arsenal target and outstanding Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi will listen to offers for his signature, according to the Fichajes.net website.”
And “The in-demand Argentine striker is one of the games hottest properties and is showing the kind of ability he has this season for the Italian side.”
However, “there are a number of top clubs looking at possibly taking him away from Serie A In January or the summer window, and that means he could leave if the right offer comes in.”
So another striker just as we are going to get Giroud back and already have Danny. Hmmm.
But whoooooo…. hold your horses, we ain’t done the Daily Express yes. While endlessly pressing for the UK to leave the EU (which would rather scupper quite a few of these transfer deals, what with everyone else becoming Johnny Foreigner again, and us only able to sign British and Irish players like the old days, the Excess, sorry Express gets all worked up over “Fresh reports have claimed Arsenal are trying to lure PSG star Edinson Cavani to the Premier League.”
And yes, “Arsenal are lining up an ambitious move for Barcelona left-back Jordi Alba,” as “The former Sevilla man has been the subject of transfer talk since the summer window, as there is talk that he is no longer happy at the Camp Nou.”
Which only leaves the Daily Star which says “the Gunners are eyeing up a potential deal, as Arsene Wenger looks to add a world-class left back to his squad”
So there we are. It is all go. Meanwhile, have you noticed, we might have Theo on the bench for the Hull game?
Why do we write about other clubs (clue: its in our banner headline on the home page)
Tony is now in recovery and will be back with us shortly.
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