Early Doors

Breaking the transfer tedium

Early Doors

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After yet another frustrating day in which the big summer transfer sagas moved no closer to completion, and Carlos Tevez's protracted departure from Manchester City even regressed, Early Doors, in a moment of desperation, suddenly recalled a quote from Bill Murray's character in Groundhog Day.

"I was in the Virgin Islands once. I met a girl. We ate lobster, drank Pina Coladas. At sunset we made love like sea otters. That was a pretty good day. Why couldn't I get that day over and over and over?"

Instead, ED finds itself stuck in a particularly vicious time loop where Cesc Fabregas forever remains an Arsenal player, Luka Modric is still in situ at Spurs and Alexis Sanchez and Javier Pastore are yet to be moved on from Udinese and Palermo respectively.

To reference another cinematic classic, ED feels a bit like Marty McFly, stranded in 1955, but without Doc Brown and having to forever fend off amorous advances from his own mother. Yes, the unyielding, repetitive churn of transfer speculation really has become that traumatic. And there's still a month left.

Of course the capo di tutti capi of interminable transfer sagas is that revolving around Fabregas. It is a deal now a year in the making and yet the two clubs appear to be significantly far away in their respective valuations. If this transfer was a footballer, it would be a disinterested, late era Tomas Brolin, lumbering sluggishly across a pitch with nothing on his mind but selling vacuum cleaners.

The fact Barcelona are unwilling, or perhaps unable, to just pay £40 million and put us all out of our misery leaves this intractable negotiation open to hysterical analysis and emotional debate. Has Cesc been morally kidnapped? Has Wenger betrayed a promise made to his captain last season? Is Pep Guardiola the most dreamy manager in world football? Okay, maybe not that last one.

Barcelona, though, are particular experts in the drawn out saga.

Doesn't it seem like an eternity ago we were being told Sanchez would be granted permission to leave Chile's training camp ahead of the start of the Copa America. Now the final is fast approaching and he remains an Udinese player. We can only pray for a mercifully quick end at this point.

Some clubs offer a beacon of hope in these dark times though. Praise the Lord for Liverpool, whose admirable willingness to pay far over the odds for overrated British players has seen them conclude the majority of their business commendably early.

Manchester United have taken a similar approach in some respects, though their will-they-won't-they flirtation with Wesley Sneijder seems them lose critical marks. Sort it out Sir Alex.

The general status is one of faffing, of stalling and of obfuscation, the likes of which Rupert Murdoch and his robot sidekick James would be proud of. Well, what this situation clearly needs is a great big foam pie right in the chops, and ED thinks it can be the reckless individual to provide it.

Many have suggested scrapping transfer windows altogether, but this is not the correct course of action. After all, Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini can't be expected to claim every single day of the year that he has received an offer of 50 million euros for Pastore, can he?

No. ED's answer is much more palatable, and revolutionary: open the transfer window for one day only.

Open the window for one day and usher in a veritable orgy of transfer activity. It would only last 24 hours, but what a ride it would be. Clubs and agents all it like sea otters as oppressive time constraints demand they have to drop the posturing and games and actually get deals done.

For added entertainment, ED suggests limiting the number of private jets available to players booked in for medicals at the other end of the country, ensuring airport departure lounges become arenas in which the protagonists battle to the death for that final Learjet - a bit like Japanese cult classic Battle Royale, with deadline-day specialist Benjani probably emerging triumphant after poisoning Robbie Keane's bowl of soup.

Each player could be armed with a weapon of his choice. Joey Barton has reportedly already requested a cigar.

Of course, there might be other casualties. Sky Sports News would have to ensure Jim White was heavily sedated throughout, lest the excitement, in the words of his colleague Jamie Redknapp, caused him to literally explode.

But it would surely be worth it, sacrificing a few for the greater good, if it meant we no longer had the faux excitement and soul crushing banality of the status quo.

It is not entirely unrealistic: just look at how Spurs signed Rafael van der Vaart in the space of a few hours last summer.Transfers can be conducted without the laborious process that currently accompanies them. We can change things for the better.

After all, something needs to break the cycle of waking up at 6:00am, hearing "I Got You, Babe" on your radio alarm clock and knowing that, yet again, you will have to read another story about Luka bloody Modric.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Hate to say this but I struggle with Ed Milliband because of his lisp. Sorry leader of the country cannot have a speech impediment #lispist ... I've nothing against lisps in everyday life just authoritarian figures having them especially elected ones. Labour no chance next election ... They should of put his brother in charge, better front man. Also he stabbed his brother in the back for top job. Ed is a helmet IMHO." - Joey Barton offers his services as a consultant to the Labour party during a rant on Twitter. Well, if David Cameron did employ Andy Coulson...

FOREIGN VIEW: "We've had some luck in these past few days and we had it again today. Clearly we have to improve. We've got five or six injured players, another player suspended and we can't go into the final and do the same as we've done in the last few days. Playing for another goalless draw and waiting for the penalties would be too much." - Paraguay keeper Justo Villar promises the country will change their ways after reaching the Copa America final, where they will face Uruguay, without winning a match and without scoring in the knockout stages.

COMING UP: Chelsea's pre-season continues with a fixture against the Malaysia All-Stars, and we will be providing live commentary on the game that kicks off at 13:45. Fulham are also in action as they take on Crusaders in the second leg of their Europa League second qualifying round tie at Craven Cottage. That kicks off at 19:30. Meanwhile, our experts deliver their verdict on the best No. 10 in Premier League history.

The Tour de France enters Stage 18 and hopefully we will have another dramatic day in the mountains. In the world of cricket, the 2,000th Test match takes place at Lord's as England face India. Can Sachin Tendulkar secure a 100th international century?

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