Something caught my eye this Monday morning whilst being simultaneously being smacked repetitively in the face by Sky Sports News' new, garish, all singing, all dancing look. It was our old friend Brian Swanson who's smily face popped up to inform us that there were only fifty-nine days left until the transfer window was shut. It felt like some loony evangelical signaling the countdown to another rapture. The world had definitely gone mad.
The whole point to this misguided hype was originally fill the back pages at a time when, quite frankly, little or nothing was going on. (Unless you count tennis?) But in these days of 24 hour, saturation coverage the demand for a story, any story, has been cranked up a ratchet or two million. This was perfectly illustrated yesterday as a flock of vultures descended on Tottenham's Chigwell base on the first day of training sniffing for that morsel of meat amongst Harry Redknapp's very own bare bones. Some grainy pictures of new signing Brad Friedel and a few words from the man himself at the gates, brilliantly interrupted by an impatient driver honking behind, was all they got. Anything worth reporting? Not really. It didn't stop Sky from repeating the interview ad nauseum for the next sixteen hours though. (Including that minor incident road rage which was by far and away the most reportable aspect to the interview.)
I'm not saying that I myself don't get caught up by the speculation that drives the industry at this time of year, it's more the case that I don't believe most of it. You wonder sometimes on how much is based on leaked information from the from the clubs, agents or players. Probably its just a squabble of bored and desperate journalists attempting some sort transfer window jenga. If the newspapers have been making up stories for years why not twenty-four hour television? Remember, just because it appears faster, stronger and in high-definition does not necessarily make it true.