Thursday, 1 September 2011

August Deadline Day 2011 - A Diary

Don't know how to 'Live blog' so just kept regular updates of the day. I make no apologies for inaccurate reporting or factual errors.

August 30th
23:52 - Just got in from work

23:54 - Check Facebook. Nothing of note

23:58 - Check Twitter. Nothing football related grabs me. Am momentarily sidetracked by a well known DJ doing a Q&A with his followers. It's not particularly interesting...

August 31st

00:06 - The @BBCNews account tweets the headline "Land Rover confirms new defender" with link. I become slightly confused as I wonder if Land Rover have signed Gary Cahill.

After clicking on said link, I discover the car manufacturer is actually releasing a new version of it's Defender model. The news doesn't have much impact on me. One of my great insecurities as a man is the fact I cannot drive nor do I have any great knowledge of cars. It's quite emasculating when pub conversations turn to engine sizes and "horsepower" and other such things I ought to know about. Instead, I gaze quietly into my pint. Feeling inferior...

00:09 - Check Newsnow - Only eye-catching but totally unsurprising news is that Tony Pulis might try and buy Hugo Rodellega from Wigan. If, 24 hours from now, Stoke haven't signed a big lumbering striker, I'll eat my hat.

00:12 - I become distracted. I'm now watching a video of two women doing very unhygienic things with apples. All of a sudden it's quarter to 2 in the morning. Better get to bed.

03:37 - I am awoken by a drunk crying woman outside my window. She is on the phone, clearly distressed. I wonder if she's an Everton fan.

08:00 approx - I toss and turn and find myself awake. Naturally, I check early transfer news. On Twitter someone says Mario Balotelli's page has been removed from the Man City website and Rio Ferdinand informs us that he has a toothache.

09:00 - I'm still struggling to get back to sleep. The news now is that Luka Modric will remain a Tottenham player bringing joy to the White half of North London but also an anti-climax to one of the most tedious transfer saga this summer.

Rumours suggest Japanese star Keisuke Honda is on his way to Arsenal prompting a number of car puns and gags that once again mock my lack of knowledge in this field.

11:20 - Managed to get back to sleep. Wake up, Check Facebook. Someone posts about spotting Alan Hutton somewhere or another. Someone else posts the joke that "Arsenal interested in Belgian defender Mark de Man. Apparently, they are also interested in his compatriots, striker Skor de Gaulle and goalkeeper Bloek de Schott." - I giggle.

- The hilarious @AnnieEaves on Twitter posts this hilarious tweet highlighting how crazy people get on days like this. I can't tell if this was made up, lost in translation or the after continuing effects of a Bank Holiday magic muchrooms session.

12:00 - In the absense of a big name move thus far, the Wesley Sneijder rumours begin to gather pace. "Spotted boarding a private jet", "Spotted in Manchester" "His dog's hairdresser has relocated to Stockport" etc.

12:15 - Honda not going to Arsenal. I breathe a sign of relief. Joe Cole apparently in talks with Aston Villa? Earlier rumours were that he was gong to France to play for Lille. Be a real shame if he bottles the chance to go abroad. I must sound like a stuck record given the number of times I've said English players need to broaden their football knowledge by playing in other countries.

12:20 - I post one of my best ever jokes on Twitter: "TRANSFER NEWS: In a last minute U-turn, I've opted for a Chicken and Bacon Sarnie for lunch instead of Fish. The fish said to be gutted." - No-one reads it.

12:23 - Apparently Carlos Tevez is staying at City. Another saga that concludes with an unsatisfactory dribble...

12:28 - There we go! Stoke look to increase Big lumbering striker quota by two as Cameron Jerome and Nik Bendtner are supposedly set to sign.

12:35 - The real beauty of Transfer Deadline day! Sky Sports' BREAKING NEWS ticker announces that Joe Cole is having a medical at Aston Villa. Just at the very moment everyone else discovers (via Lille + Liverpool's offical websites) that Cole has actually signed on Loan at Lille. Oops!

This is getting fun. I'm tempted to call in sick. Will they really need me at work?

12:40 - I finally see the Paulo Di Canio video where he goes at it with one of his players - I'm now wondering what possessed me to believe he was going to be a great manager who would take The Robbins up at the first attempt. What a wasted bet. May as well have just set fire to my money instead.

- Looks like Anton Ferdinand is off to QPR. The most tragic thing about this is that if/when they get relegated, he will probably leave and join another Premier League team. I actually mildly respect him for being able to blag a career in the top flight for so long.

- I arrive at the gym before work. Wearing an Ajax shirt was an error. 712 journalists stop me on my journey from Tufnell Park to White City to ask me if I'm joining the Amsterdam club. I'm forced to make a statement reaffirming my commitment to my Saturday team and explain my choice of shirt is strictly down to the fact I've done no laundry this week.

15:20 - A couple of actual confirmations from North London. Scott Parker signs for Spurs and Andre Santos joins Arsenal. I like Parker but as I've questioned before, do his good performances only ever come at poorer clubs? Can he hack the step up? Time will tell.

I know next to nothing about Santos so I asked a Brazilian friend if he will be any good for Arsenal. this was the text response I received:

"Worse than Clichy even Traore better. Only God knows how he is Brazil first choice..."

Let the good times roll

- More craziness. The BBC's always reliable Dan Roan starts commenting on fruitless speculation regarding Kaka and Sneijder.

16:30 - Apparently Arsenal and Everton are in talks over Mikael Arteta. Interesting move for Arsenal. He's hardly Fabregas but they need something. Craig Bellamy is set to rejoin Liverpool. I could insert some generic joke about a golf club here but I won't.

16:40 - West Ham are apparently taking David Bentley on loan from Spurs. Also Henri Lansbury from Arsenal. Pretty much the same player though, right?

17:15 - More Big lumbering striker news from the Potteries. Bendtner deal fallen through. Pulis turns attention to Peter Crouch instead.

17:42 - Jermaine Jenas looks like he's joining Aston Villa on loan. Deadline day insanity looks to have plagued even the best of us as arguably the country's most respected football writer Henry Winter tweets the following:

"Jenas for #avfc. Could be one of the best deals. If he plays week in/out, & McLeish makes him believe, Jenas could be a cm star again"

I'm sorry, AGAIN????

18:00 - The transfer window shuts in Italy. My dream move to Parma is scuppered. I fire my agent.

18:30 - While discussing Henry Winter's insane tweet, a friend points out the rumour that former Spanish international and two time La Liga winner Vicente could be on his way to Brighton adding "I still assume he's awesome because of Champ days."

- Curiously, I discover that another Champ favourite of mine Zdenek Grygera has signed for Fulham.

- The BBC as doing a Football Focus deadline day special. My favourite part is when Dan Walker throws to Mark Bright at Loftus Road who informs us that Shaun Wright Philips is sat in a nearby hotel waiting for the go ahead to sign for QPR. I imagine poor Shauny bored out of his skull sat on his own playing Angry Birds and watching Hollyoaks.

18:56 - Martin Keown makes the bold statement that Everton won't miss Arteta because they have young Ross Blakley who will go on to be one of the best players in English football. No pressure then, Ross.

19:15 - Back to Sky Sports.

19:16 - Arteta deal off! It seems as though thrifty Arsenal aren't prepared to stump up the cash. Can't say I'm shocked.

19:18 - Anton Ferdinand still not a QPR player. The Superhoops are also in for Sebastian Bassong as they attempt to fill their defence with the most mediocre players imaginable.

- Twente attacking midfielder Bryan Ruiz is supposedly having a medical at Fulham although Mike Ashley is said to be sending down a helicopter to literally hijack the deal. When did football become an episode of 24?

19:44 - Big talk that Yossi Benayoun is joining Arsenal on loan from Chelsea. Reaction of Arsenal fans isn't exactly one of excitement. Looks like Yossi is going to have to score a hat trick on his debut in order to get gooners onside. Hardly a marquee purchase.

20:30 - I see Jeremy Paxman walking the corridors at work. I don't ask him who he is signing for.

- Bolton sign David N'Gog from Liverpool. Bolton fans weep. After a year playing out of his depth for Everton, Jermaine Beckford signs for Leicester in the Championship returning to a level where he is more comfortable.

20:53 - Rio Ferdinand tweets to inform us he has had two teeth removed.

20:54 - Sky Sports News' Jim White almost explodes as he brings us news the Spurs are linked with a move for Kaka.

Wait, WHAT???????

21:02 - The excitement doesn't last long as Harry Redknapp is stopped leaving the Spurs training ground to deny the Kaka story. Well, that was an excitable few minutes, wasn't it?

Redknapp says Spurs failed in a bid for Gary Cahill which leads me to wonder, given Arsenal's failure to sign him and little interest from elsewhere, what sort of crazy money Bolton were demanding for a player they are likely to lose for nothing in 9 months?

'Arry also says Spurs turned down a £40m bid from Chelsea for Luka Modric. I know it's very easy to over-simplify these things but surely £40 would have more than enough to reinvest and sign the striker and centre back the team are desperately crying out for?

@Ghostgoal quickly tweeted: "Ironic that the one manager who speaks to Sky Sports News is also the one guy I wouldn't believe a single word from. Straight-talking 'Arry."

21:12 - Heading out of Tottenham is Wilson Palacios who joins Stoke along with Cameron Jerome. Peter Crouch still in talks. Pulis seems to be building a pretty formidable side at the Britannia and could lead them comfortably to a top half finish this year. Who would have thunk it?

Unfortunately, an improving team will never change the nightmare-inducing ugliness of the Stoke fans behind the Sky Sports reporter tonight as the deals are announced.

21:20 - Arteta to Arsenal back on! The player himself seems hellbent on joining the Gunners and asked to leave Everton. - The Blues themselves look to have landed Real Madrid's forgotten man Royston Drenthe.

21:23 - The Sky Sports reporter at Sunderland makes a joke about chamomile tea. I die a little inside as the absurdity of this day reaches a nadir.

21:51 - It looks like Yakubu is joining Blackburn. I still haven't forgiven the fat oaf for his miss against South Korea at the World Cup last year. I expect the bloater has got an unlimited supply of Venky's chicken written into his contract.

- Vicente is not going to Brighton unfortunately but Shefki Kuqi is going to Oldham.

- Wow! Raul Meireles has handed in a transfer request half an hour before the window shuts! Has he been asleep all day?

- Another BBC Football Focus special. A comedy moment as DAN Walker in the studio throws to DAN Roan at the Emirates.

"Over to you Dan"
"Thanks Dan"

The farce is complete as the next story is about the signing of Scott Dann from Birmingham to Blackburn.

- Over at QPR there are more surreal moments as both Anton Ferdinand and Jason Puncheon and filmed sprinting into the club attempting to seal their respective moves. This is followed by Shaun Wright Philips giving the most unenthusiastic interview by any player joining a new club after his move to the hoops is confirmed.

- Home from work as the window shuts to the news that Peter Crouch is probably going to be a Stoke player, Mikael Arteta will be wearing Arsenal colours from now on and Raul Meireles has swapped Liverpool red for Chelsea blue. Nik Bendtner goes to Sunderland on loan.

For the next hour I sit and listen to Dave Bassett and Iain Dowie talk nonsense. My housemate points out the irony that for all their extensive coverage, Sky have made the two worse signings by getting Bassett and Dowie in. Listening to them rabbit on makes me consider how much more fun it would be if Morbo from Futurama was presenting on Deadline Day.

Follow me on Twitter

No comments: