Will Manchester United ever sign Leighton Baines? Or Wesley Sneijder? If you created a word cloud for United’s previous 5 transfer windows those two names would be in text so large, you could spot it from space.
Can Arsenal finally capture Karim Benzema or even his predecessor, the lesser-spotted Gonzalo Higuain? Is this the season that one of the Top 6 finally get Joao Moutinho, a player who has been linked with them all in the recent past?
Every year the same teams are linked with the same players (or at least the same player types). Occasionally the moves do appear near to completion, although most never get out of the starting gate. The truth is that we view these small whispers just the same. We revel in them, rolling about and basking in them no matter how unrealistic they might be. This is what becomes of us when there isn’t any real football to watch.
The main issue with transfer chatter is that (excuse me for sitting on the fence now), nearly every source is a fibbing fibber who fibs to such a degree that they begin to lose touch with the real world. I don’t just mean the occasional shifty journalist or fan-turned-keyboard prankster; the levels of dishonesty seem to engulf the entire sport.
The players themselves are just as guilty yet for some unbeknown reason this is rarely picked up on. Every season without fail there is badge kissing and club eulogising yet come the summer comes around and the same players engineer transfers to rivals whilst rejecting any notion of a switch to anybody that’s asking. Robin Van Persie claimed , “I love this club, this is my seventh year now. I want to repay the Club and the fans and everyone with trophies.” then switched less than 2 months later to Manchester United (and kissed the club crest in his first season.) Carlos Tevez publically stated that he was homesick for his native Argentina and wanted to leave Manchester United at the end of the 2008-09 season; he went on to sign for Manchester City that summer and stayed till 2013.
The clubs are no better. They go on record and tell lies, then staff members go off the record and lie even more. Players sign long contracts and are said to be a big part of the clubs future success, yet they’re covertly dealing with agents to transfer them out. Official statements claim, “We have no interest in signing (insert name here)”, when in actual fact the club’s scouts have been tapping them up a few seasons.
The agents are probably the worst offenders. Lying seems to be part of the job description as they conjure up false links and transfer bids to increase their players value and reputation purely for the end goal of lining their greedy pockets with as much money as possible.
Is it any wonder that nearly every rumour turns out to be rubbish?
So if we know that what we are reading is fiction rather than fact, then how come every paper contains plenty of transfer reports? The answer is the same as why the world is so overpopulated with fast-food chains. Nearly everyone who eats at places like McDonalds is well aware that we should be consuming food that isn’t assembled and served in under a minute, and that has only positive nutritional benefits to our bodies, but we just can’t help ourselves. It’s not healthy, it’s not natural, and it never fails to leave a regrettably disappointing aftertaste once finished. However, these companies will keep processing the stuff as long as we keep gobbling it up it. The same goes for the media (which despite looking just as appetising at first glance) results in us getting the press we deserve.
In the grand scheme of things ‘the silly season’ isn’t as unhealthy as a large bacon double cheeseburger meal with a triple thick chocolate milkshake. You could spend the intermission of the summer examining high-minded, scholarly studies on the finer details of the beautiful game, or perhaps learn the chronological history of football’s development way back to 2,500 B.C. But it won’t take long before even the most learned of fans will become lured in by the transfer window’s developments.
Depressingly, the modern culture of football seems to revolve around unhappiness. Even supporters of the biggest clubs can’t be satisfied as they don’t win the title every season. At some stage, (and for those who cheer on average teams this is the norm), your team will be beaten and in a manner which is so disheartening that you’ll contemplate why you ever built up your expectations to begin with.
So then why not live in the near future with the prospect potential happiness, rather than the bleak today? Tomorrow can always be enjoyable because nothing has ruined it yet. In the coming days and weeks your club really does get those extra few much needed players who transform the team into realistic trophy hunters and cause competitors to start paying serious attention. There, in a nutshell, is the reason we give acceptance to and put our faith in the modern ways of sports journalism despite the dire rate of successful rumours that become confirmed transfers. Hopes and dreams will ever triumph over the bleak reality; especially with us fickle football fans.