The fax machines have all been turned off, the Sky Sports men (and women) at the training ground have gone back into their shells, The kids waving dildos behind them have gone home for their tea and the silly rumour season has booked itself a little mid-season holiday to the brothels and nightclubs of Manchester, Liverpool and London in search of some souvenir photos to use to embarrass some witless professional. Yep the Transfer window is over and we all know what we have to work with for the next few months.
It is at this time of the year that a new breed of football afficionado emerges from their IP addresses to unleash their venom. It’s the season of the lesser spotted (or in some cases spotty) championship manager. We all know them – they have studied every single player on the planet, digested every single statistic generated by geeky students (so desperate for any form of paid work they spend hours counting passes, headers, assists, goals and probably even farts, of every player for the pittance that the likes Opta might throw them as a reward). They have overdosed on the gospel that is twitter and now they want to give us their opinion, for free, and so often that football forums up and down the country are bursting at the seams with newbies that know more about the game than any manager that has ever walked the planet football.
We should have signed a striker, We should have signed a defender, we should have kept that midfielder with rickets, we should have spent million on the next 10 year old Wayne Rooney, we should have saved all the money so we can subsidise the chairman’s half time buffet.
And let’s be honest – we all have our opinions and will often overstate our case to attempt to prove we know more about our respective teams than the people that are entrusted with choosing their squads and who work every single day with these players . people that talk to their players and know exactly what happens on a wet Tuesday morning in December on some frozen or muddy (and often both) training pitch but we know better despite our only contact with these players being through watching them get it wrong once or twice a week. If we are lucky they prove us right but more often than not we are searching Google for Jamie Oliver’s recipe for Humble Pie.
At the end of the day we have to trust the people that have spent their whole working lives in the circus that is professional football and know what they want and know what players they think will help them to achieve that. Buying twelve superstars is not always possible and is no guarantee of success. If you are new to a team and trying to implement a new philosophy surely what is more important is to get the players that you already have to buy into that philosophy and then tinker with what you have over a period of time until you get it right. Not always easy when the internet warriors that think they run the game get on your back the moment a new signing / manager chairman gets a decision wrong or makes a mistake.
These things take time but in this modern world of instant gratification money breeds success, TV money and rich oligarchs tend to dictate who gets that success (and when they get to watch it), the authorities are toothless in the face of that TV / Billionaire Sugar Daddy money and simply cannot enforce any of their rules designed to combat it and the whole transfer activity in the game has been compressed into a huge TV media event twice a year. Meanwhile we the fans pay ever more expensive money to witness all of this.
The window is over – I do not necessarily like or agree with all of the signings or departures but there are reasons for these signings and sales that people that know a lot more about the game than I ever will have made. Hopefully they have made the right decisions and for the right reasons, and maybe not signing someone simply because they were being touted round by their agents will prove in the long term to have been very astute.
Some signings work, some don’t but if your manager says he is happy to work with what he has who are we to question him? Results will tell a story come May and even that may not be the whole story. It might only be the first chapter but in this day and age the long novels are out of fashion – they don’t sell papers or make good TV and if everything was perfect just what the hell would ITKs tweet about to get their 15 minutes of infamy?