Transfer deadline day, or National Jim White day as some have come to know it, is one of the most eagerly anticipated dates in the football diary. The drama that builds up at the end of the months of January and August leaves footy fans glued to their televisions, smartphones and tablets for hours on end. Here's a round up of some of best and worst moments from the latest transfer deadline day and a few things we wish we'd seen.
Dedicated reporters dodging dildos and bananas
Renowned for fun, transfer deadline day did not disappoint this year, however it wasn’t a purple dildo nor Harry Redknapp’s car window that stole the show, but a blow up banana. An Italian reporter was simply doing his job when he received what can only be described as a ‘wet banana’ to the ear when a passer-by started acting up.
The passer-by then continued to annoy said reporter ending in a Benny Hill style chase up the road and, a few Italian hand gestures later, the man was gone. Unlike the dildo (#transferdildoday) the banana unfortunately didn’t get the twitter acclaim it deserved, nor did it hit on the transfer-deadline-day-stupid-fan-o-meter anywhere near the two Norwich fans who decided to dry hump each other like rabid dogs on camera a few years back.
However, there was a seismic shift sent through the world of transfer deadline tomfoolery that reporter’s worldwide ain’t got time for no shit anymore, so beware you fame hungry, dildo wielding, banana blowing up fiends. Other than #bananagate, Everton gave a reporter a tray of sandwiches for his troubles, now that’s more what we like as journalists, food bribery, unadulterated and unnecessary but nonetheless, tasty.
Dumb and dumber: stupid things the pundits say
Transfer deadline day always throws up some fantastic quotes and announcements every year. Whenever Jim White puts that yellow tie on, the high-ups at the BBC and Sky always wheel out the same people with the same stories. Didi Hamann will turn up and talk about how he never actually wanted to go to Bolton and everyone will seem surprised. Proper shockaroonie that. Robbie Savage will keep chatting about his weight loss when he moved from Birmingham to Blackburn as well. It’s probably going to take him many years before he realises no one cares.
But my favourite quotes are those that clearly contradict what’s been said before. When asked which team he’d support if Newcastle United did not exist, Danny Graham said, “put it this way, I would stay as far away from Sunderland as I could.” Then on the 31st of January he announced that "as soon as I heard about the interest from Sunderland I didn't even have to consider any of the other options that were on the table.” Nice one Danny. There was also this peach from PSG boss Carlo Ancelotti concerning David Beckham: "I know that he is leaving the Los Angeles Galaxy, but we are not interested.” David Beckham, January 31st: “Bonjour.”
This transfer deadline day has also provided us with perhaps the most bizarre and entertaining announcement of a signing in recent history. Once Steven Fletcher had been signed by Marseille, the club posted this: “he will not leave you unmoved. He will not go unnoticed. Marseille has added a Scotsman to the mix. And if you know anything about the mentality of that people, you'll know that's good news. He may not be known as a technical player, but he is 1.85m tall." Words fail me.
The saga of Saido spoils the day again
As expected, the overly hyped January transfer deadline day ended in a damp squib, somewhat overshadowed by the imminent arrival of Guardiola to Man City in July. Meanwhile it really wasn’t Berahino’s day as he was unable to escape the clutches of Jeremy Pearce and West Brom, which following a childish squabble after being denied a move to Tottenham, led to a Twitter tantrum, stating that he would never play for the Baggies again. Although he has been played occasionally, by a bemused Pulis.
Then 2016 came knocking with interest from Newcastle, Stoke and Spurs, all in dire need of striking options, potentially providing an escape route for Saido. However there were no offers from Tottenham or the Potters. Furthermore a massive (especially for the normally tight wad Mike Ashley, who must have taken a fever this January) £21 million bid from the Magpies was rejected, who later signed an old Football Manager favourite, Seydou Doumbia, this meaning that there was no move for the considerably overpriced Berahino.
However it’s not such a sad ending after all, with an apparently very happy/passive aggressive Saido carrying on his tradition of deadline day tweets, declaring that he would not make the same mistake again and would be going to sleep. Whether he was actually locked in the Hawthorns changing room by Pulis and Pearce, or unable to pull off an Odemwingie style escape due to Storm Henry stopping him from taking a helicopter ride to St James. It looks like we will have to wait until the next transfer window to see what happens next in this tiresome story.
Scenes we'd like to see in the next National Jim White Day
The current government would surely be forgiven of all their mistakes should they declare National Jim White Day an official holiday. A whole day to sit in bed, watch the yellow bar scroll monotonously from right to left bearing news such as ‘A. German joining Partick Thistle' and other shockingly uninteresting news would be a dream come true for many football fans. However, sometimes, as suggested, transfer deadline day leaves us with a bad taste in our mouth – the taste of lacklustre, overhyped nonsense. What scenes could be the spice in a particularly bland transfer curry?
One has to begin with Peter Odemwingie. The king of the transfer window. Put him on the M6 southbound and you’ve got yourself the beginning of a great deadline day story. And he’s wearing Jurgen Klopp’s glasses for the hell of it. Old Peter reaches QPR and who’s waiting for him but Harry Redknapp, out of retirement, leaning out of his car window having just signed Robert Lewandowski for QPR.
Jim White’s yellow tie falls off in excitement, unnecessary studio pundits Thierry Henry and Jamie Carragher share another ‘special’ knee touching moment and the oversized twitterbot crashes. However, the works are not expecting one final spanner. The lawyers in charge of Ander Herrera’s move to Old Trafford are in charge of the transfer and it turns out they’ve actually been lying about everything. Robert Lewandowski’s actually still in Dortmund, Harry Redknapp’s actually at home having a glass of vino with the Mrs and Peter Odemwingie’s actually signed as manager of Wealdstone FC. Phew.