David Preece: Hold deadline day during pre-season when we're starved of competitive football
The more I think about it, the more I think the transfer window staying open after the first day of the season is ridiculous.
And I say this having been seen sat on every side of the metaphorical fence of arguments for and against the transfer window.
It amazes me that clubs will be three games into the season and still desperately rummaging around the broken biscuits and “Whoops!” sections of football’s supermarket to save their season before it’s even had a chance to begin.
You’d think three games wouldn’t be long enough to give a true indication of how the season was going to pan out.
But when you have rumours of mounting pressure on Garry Monk at Leeds United and David Moyes’s admission that this will be another year of struggle at the Stadium of Light after just two games, then it hits home just how critical those first few weeks of the season really are.
So why are so many clubs unprepared? Why are the hopes of a brand new season demolished before fans have had a chance to reach the conclusion of their dream, like pins in a bowling alley, simply because they’re club hasn’t been diligent in their recruitment?
Writing this column allows me to wear the three hats I’ve worn over the years; that of the supporter, the player and now coach, so I can see the pros and cons from all angles.
The only positions I haven’t been in is at board level, but if I was, I’d feel the weight of responsibility lying heavy on my shoulders if I’d got to this point of the season and there were numerous holes that needed to be filled within the fabric of my squad.
My biggest sympathies lie with those clubs who do go about their business in the right manor, only to see their playing staff plundered in late August and left to do their own dash around the aisles on what is essentially Christmas Eve.
Occasionally, I allow the supporter in me to blurt out idealistic sentiments when it comes to the clubs with which I hold the most affection, so on first hearing of Everton’s interest in Lamine Kone, and his desire to see what they had to offer, I got out my bucket hat I bought for the 1992 FA cup final and stuck it on.
Initially, my first thoughts were just throw at him whatever he demanded to get him to stay and build the side around someone who had not only become a cult hero in a short space of time, but was of the calibre of player needed to lift the club above comfortably above the safety of 17th place it has become synonymous with.
Keep hold of Kone, Kirchhoff and Defoe, come hell or high water, and then use them as the starting point for future stability and success.
When you take off the supporters hat and replace it with you a Tony Pulis style coach’s cap, your opinion shifts and you know that once a player has had his head turned, it’s difficult to get it back to the place it was prior to the interest in them.
I’m not totally against having a transfer window but I just think it would serve every one much better if all business was concluded by the first day of August and we could just concentrate on the football and every manager knew the hand they were playing with for at least the first four months of the season.
And if they were left short come the deadline, then it would force clubs to lean on their youth system, at least temporarily, if injuries and suspensions leave them bare of experience. That’s what those players are there for after all.
If clubs were really trying to be frugal, they wouldn’t leave themselves open to being held ransom by players and prospective buyers.
And it’s not like we have to do away with the circus of transfer deadline day either.
If you’re a big fan of Jim White’s impression of Dale Winton monitoring demented players with their agents in tow, scurrying around the UK motorways, we can hold deadline day during pre-season when we’re starved of competitive football.
Go wild in the aisles? Have a leisurely stroll round in the shops in the Springtime, thats where you’ll find the real value for money in the long run.