January Transfer Window: A Ridiculous Gimmick Football Could Do Without

illya mclellan@illya mclellan @illbehaviorNZSenior Analyst IDecember 23, 2010

Tempers flare in instant result footballs attempts.
Tempers flare in instant result footballs attempts.Clive Mason/Getty Images

Here it comes. What?

The transfer window, that time of the year that could well be compared to a mosquito: You hear it, buzzing some metres off, before it is right in your ear canal, buzzing at an ear splittingly tremendous volume.

Who's selling, who's buying?

These questions form the basis of the media's lead up to the event, interspersed with all out rumor, created by editors desperate to move copy.

The answer invariably is, those teams that do not feel prepared enough by the window that preceded the season; those teams that were not ready for the season.

Therein lies one of the principle reasons that this writer is convinced of the midseason windows ridiculousness altogether, scrap it and put the onus on football clubs to prepare properly in the time they are given.

Instead, the midseason window was created, in direct conflict with such notions as team unity and belief in organisation.

Organisation is mocked by an opportunity for clubs to throw money at the problem, instead of working things through and giving players selected for the squad preseason to have at least a year of play before they are assigned to the scrapheap.

This would only promote more concerted efforts from coaches and teams to work on the chemistry of their football over a longer period. Giving a boost to the game, for the simple reason that teams that play together and train together for extended periods under pressure, are more likely to produce a reasonably competent level of football. 

The midseason window is the nemesis of this idea. 

It promotes the greed aspect of football, agents playing a role in ridiculous demands coming from players while millions around the world starve and are unable to access basic health care. The media, of course, drive it in a big way, seemingly astonished at the amazing spectacle of it!

Every year, while teams are no longer trained over long enough periods to allow players to properly gel, fans wonder at the team they support and the bizarre confused antics that they act out in some of their games.

The mistimed runs and the lack of synchronicity—these things creep in as teams are forced to deliver the best football ever seen, when they are haphazardly thrown apart and together during two "windows" that do nothing to promote team stability and concerted progress based on teamwork and organisation.

One is, of course, necessary.

Two, however, detracts from the game—we do not get to see the true skill level that could develop over extended periods of play. Players thrive on knowing the game of their team mates, for if they know the game, they know the objective and manner in which it will most likely be achieved, due to training and methodical practice of tactics. 

Take away players from teams because they have not delivered enough by a certain date is directly associated with the overindulgence in the entire idea of teamwork not involving development and discipline. 

This idea pollutes the game. 

The instant success mentality destroys true football.

A team has to play together and train together for up to a year before they can really start to play as a team. Tottenham under Redknapp have demonstrated this, but of course also the arrival of Rafael Van Der Vaart, who was signed in the early season window, and in so being not part of the extended bleat that is this article.

The example of this transfer is actually a good one—it shows the progress that can be made by building a team unit and then making good transfer business in the beginning of the season window.

In the midseason window, it is well known that players are often purchased for exorbitant sums and then fail to deliver. Only the true greats are really capable of instantly merging with a team unit.

The second half of the season is not, in most cases, long enough. You could argue the point that players do sometimes achieve this and are normally gifted exponents of the game. The rub lies in how they could have been even better for the teams they left.

Van Der Vaart is a good example also of the bloated nature of football, wasting away at Real Madrid while thousands of teams around the world could have used his services. Given a lifeline for him at Tottenham, he shows that he can play very well. The anger at his treatment by Madrid, who are good examples of the instant football mentality, could well be a driving force in his ambition to inspire his new team to great things. 

This treatment came about directly as a consequence of the quick fix mentality that is encouraged by such things as the January transfer window.

The player was left to sit on the bench and pay in the reserves because of the clubs option to try to sign someone who might just maybe play better than the current squad member, who will be off loaded to another club or left as an emergency option in the reserves, like Michael Owen at Manchester United for example.

Fans are being deprived of a genuine talent in excellent form with Owen festering in the United reserves. Still, an immensely gifted player but sitting in the reserves thanks to the bloated nature of the United squad.

Something again that was earlier related to quick fix mentality.

In an aside that goes completely against the grain of my piece, it must be said that after the debacle that was Sam Allardyces's dismissal from Blackburn that it looks like a good out for Christopher Samba if he can de-camp to Spurs. In certain situations, these things actually make good sense, as the transfer window provides an opportunity for a player to show his complete disdain and disgust at a management decision like the one that took place when Venky's sacked Allardyce.

In this place, the midseason window could do some good.  

I stand by my article though and condemn it, for I am of the mind that is completely vile, like Smaug the Dragon, sitting gloatingly on its treasures, laughing to itself at how it has fooled everyone. 

Smaug of course is defeated, thanks to the chink in his armor and a sure archer. 

It would be a dream come true if it is eventually phased out. 

The prospects in some ways are good, as it may no longer prove viable because of the new financial rules being brought in to tighten up spending and loans taken by football clubs. 

It should be phased out, encouraging greater accountability and preparation by clubs for the long term cohesiveness of their playing side.

So that they no longer have to rely on a midseason window that destabilizes the very fundamentals of the game.

Here it comes. Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Heading for your inner ear, with its annoying drone, signalling a media frenzy that becomes very boring very fast. 


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