The transfer window is now well and truly open, blowing a gust of signings in to new clubs. Managers everywhere are doing all they can to persuade players to jump in to their particular ship. The traditional bait remains: swathes of cash, first-team football, and the chance of a fresh start.
There is, however, another tactic. Football is an emotional game. Should we therefore be surprised that transfer stories are full of the language of love?
Take Blackpool’s attempted seduction of recent free agent, Francis Jeffers. Manager Ian Holloway can show Jeffers round the training ground, hand him a decent wage packet, and take him for a tour of Blackpool’s seaside attractions. He knows, however, that that might not prove enough. He needs a personal touch. A splash of romance. He needs to show Jeffers that he’ll be a generous, tender lover.
What can I say? Ollie just loves Franny.
Sometimes romance makes way for pure lust. Take West Ham’s charged pursuit of Nice striker Loic Remy. Nice President Patrick Governati told L’Equipe:
“West Ham are hot for the player and we want to complete the transfer before the end of the month.”
With Gold, Sullivan, and Avram Grant in charge at Upon Park, no wonder there’s such a lascivious edge to their transfer dealings.
Former West Ham substitute Freddie Ljungberg, meanwhile, has been sleepless in Seattle for long enough, and after a good deal of speculation, could soon be switching teams. Seattle coach Sigi Schmid says:
“At this point, he is exploring options … I know I have my feelings and my judgements on that thing.”
Whatever you decide Freddie, we’ll still love you just as much.
As the transfer window begins to creak towards closing and the media go transfer mental, keep an eye open for similarly romantic overtures/childish observations. It breaks up the monotony.