It’s started again: the month long FIFA festival of rumour, speculation and innuendo, commonly known as the January Transfer Window. Just to think, when those fine upstanding men of world football’s governing body dreamt up this whole fiasco, they justified it on the grounds that there was too much speculation over players’ futures under the old system!
What’s there to like about the transfer window if you’re a Newcastle fan? In its relatively short history we’ve seen the departures of crowd favourites like Shay Given & Andy Carroll and while neither has exactly set the world alight since moving on, what might’ve happened if they’d stayed? Now we have speculation (false I can only pray) linking the likes of Coloccini, Ba and Tiote with moves to ‘more fashionable clubs’ and with friends like the national press at a time like this, who needs enemies?
Last Sunday I listened to some Fleet Street hack opining on Radio Five about the dire state of Man United’s midfield, following our 3-0 demolition of them in midweek. He had the answer: “they should bid for Tiote and Cabaye in the transfer window”. Five minutes later he suggested the reds might also be interested in some young Everton prospect… “Not that I’m suggesting they plunder a club like Everton”, he added. Presumably, it’s entirely acceptable for them to ransack the centre midfield of Newcastle though! Don’t even get me started on the recent musings of ‘Arry the Barsterd’…
Some home grown proponents of the ‘window’ might point to the fact that both Kevin Nolan and Ryan Taylor were signed in the same month that Given left – both of whom went on to write their names in Geordie folklore. However, neither really shone during the season we signed them and there’s my point. Players signed in the window don’t generally get the same opportunity to bed themselves in as summer signings. It smacks of short-termism, clubs in desperation straits (like we were when we bought Nolan and Taylor) hoping that a change is as good as a rest – when, as we found out to our cost three years ago, it rarely is.