It’s transfer deadline day. The window closes at midnight and the football world is agog for the last-minute defenestrators.
Down the Blue Bell speculation is rife: we’ve had several dead certs that have appeared in the Teesside area in the last 24 hours.
Yesterday morning, David Beckham was definitely walking a dog down Linthorpe Road at half-eight (he’d had a severe haircut and grown a droopy tache but it was 'definitely him');
at lunchtime, a cabbie dropped off Jamie Carragher at a branch of Bairstow Eves Estate Agents and he was definitely eyeing up the bigger properties;
and in the late afternoon Richard Keys was apparently thrown out of a mixed doubles tennis match for shouting 'Smash it!' every time his opponents threw up a defensive lob.
"Call that a smash? Do me a favour, love"
As it turns out, none of it was flamin’ true. Instead, Middlesbrough plunged into the black and white film archives and come up with some bloke from Casablanca. I was hoping it was Paul Henreid, but it turns out it’s some Charlie called Marouane Zemmama.
Which begs the question is 'Who’s Zemmama?' Huh? Well here’s what it says on Wikipedia:
« Marouane Zemmama est un footballeur marocain né le 7 octobre 1983 à Salé et évoluant actuellement au sein du club d' Hibernian FC. » Well sacre bloody bleu.
Nevertheless a stack of bollocks rumours from a bunch of long lunchtime lager specialists makes more sense than what actually happened yesterday.
Liverpool and Chelsea are the culprits.
You remember Liverpool? Unbuilt stadium, temporary Messiah in charge, rest home for the expensive liabilility. So obviously it’ll be a home from home for the big rumbling Geordie with a piss-poor ponytail.
But 35 million quid? I mean I even heard a couple of hedge-fund managers saying that was ridiculous and they treat money like bog-roll. The best you can say about Andy Carroll is that he’s promising. He was also one of them local boys made good, Newcastle through and through, a lad who couldn’t get out of bed of a morning without blowing Blaydon Races across the top of an empty Bottle o’ Dog.
Turns out he’s a Geordie Rooney. A magpie, yes, but a dirty thieving one. Unless you believe that the lad had no choice in the matter. Blaming Ashley will suit the Gallowgate, so I fully expect that to be the case. But it’s way too much, man. There’s not been a more stupid purchase of Tyneside talent since my Missus bought Jimmy Nail’s cack album Crocodile Shoes.
Carroll’s now officially worth more than Balotelli, Tevez, Ferdinand, Rooney. I mean crikey the lad’s good. But is he worth getting on for 100 Kenny Millers? Carroll’s fitness record is a tad ropy n all. Then again, if Chelsea are going to splash the cash for hamstrung pretty-boy Nando Torres for £50 million. It’s a kind of horse-trade in Sicknotes.
While the dartboards of Gateshead might not all be wearing a newspaper cutting of Andy Carroll’s face, chances are that an effigy of young Torres might be adorning the top of this year’s Croxteth bonfire.
"Burn 'im, he's a Cockney!"
Torres, much like the shambling bucket of greed that is Darren Bent, has spent most of the season playing like a lazy shiftless pillock. Or, if you will, Nicolas Anelka (at his worst). Of course it appears that there are reasons for this and those reasons are that he should’ve left in the summer.
Torres’s strike rate for ‘Pool is undeniable. He’s a cracking player, true enough. But even one as gifted as that lad finds it hard to really compete when his finger is permanently wedged up his arse.
At least Koppites can content themselves with the knowledge that in Carroll and Suarez they’ve got a couple of lads who will really put a shift in. Plus with Suarez, Dalglish has got himself some decent back-up to Beppe Reina between the sticks.
Of course the staggering thing about the amounts of money changing hands yesterday is that it takes place in straitened times.
I was under the illusion that football might just get affected by the enforced penury that the Eton Debating Society are about to slide us in to.
If there’s one thing that really makes you choke on your meat pie n peas it’s having some family-moneyed chinless pillock telling you how we’ve got to hold our frigging noses and swallow some bitter pills.
(It’s like having Eamonn Holmes telling you to eat more salad. Or the Taleban advising you on the best schools for girls.) I mean what the fuck would they know? The only belt-tightening they’ve ever experienced is probably just some part of a fag's initiation ritual.
"I say George, are you tightening my belt?"
We were told that Chelsea’s days of big spending were over; that Liverpool’s debts were so astronomical that they were a FSA judgement away from bankruptcy. Now they’re spending money like they’re Real Madrid after a wink from the Spanish Government.
I dunno about the rest of you decent souls out there but me, I just hope these deals go tits up. I don’t wish the individuals ill – in fact to be honest I think Carroll is potentially the number nine England have been lacking – but a club that gets into grief and just unfurls a wad of blinking tsunami of wonga to redress the imbalance makes me despair.
And what’s more this transfer window business seems to have created a world where financial power is simply heightened. All day yesterday all I can think of was ‘Arry Redknapp with six phone son the go desperate to snap up anyone.
Apparently he nearly got Charlie Adam. Yeah, cos you’re well short of midfielders aren’t you mate?
I tell you next year just put everyone who’s available in a big fuck-off pen in the O2 arena and all the chairmen and managers can play Cash in the Bastard Attic with them.
Fair Play Rules? To quote one of the most twatty of current phrases 'Bring It On!'