The waiting game
Oh God help us, roll on 16 August and the return of the footy. If I don't get me some footy soon I'm going to be chewing me own arm off.
Instead of which we get a forest of tedious speculation every bleeding day and it's exhausting and contradictory and you just want them all to shut up and the season to start.
Roy Keane's buying half the Spurs first team - although only Tainio (who sounds to me like a very small man who does a magic act) - has actually put his name to paper.
Andy Johnson's off to Fulham - over David Moyes's dead body, but then £10.5 million for a hard-working, goal-shy striker with a tumbler's reputation is a Darren Bent of a deal. And the arch-tumblers Drog and Ron are sadly nursing their injured leggies and staying put while moving next week if they can ever break free of them star striker manacles long enough to get out of the Premiership.
It's as comprehensible as the blinking stock market.
Of course the speculation gets most feverish when it's the big clubs who are involved.
There may well come a time when the likes of Berbatov, Adebayor, Keane, Barry, Arshavin, Drogba, Ronaldo, etc. are all ordered to turn up in a school yard somewhere between England and Spain. And Fergie, Rafa, Big Phil, Laporta and Guardiola, Calderon and Schuster will all turn up and Fifa boss Sepp Blatter will announce to the coaches - "Right, lads! Start picking up". Fergie'll be hairdrying Calderon when he points at the gelled tumbler, Adebayor'll be sulking in the corner cos he wasn't picked first, Drogba will go down in a melee caused by the late arrival of Ancelotti. Wenger'll be looking through the railings, wondering why his lads keep joining the other players without so much as a 'merci, monsieur', and muttering darkly to himself that if he'd have wanted to be in charge of a feeder club he'd have gone to Crystal merde-ing Palace. And after the dust has settled on the feeding frenzy there will be some who don't get selected... and strangely enough, they're the ones with the biggest smiles in their faces cos here comes Becks with the one-way tickets to La-La Land for the worst of the best.
But why does it all take so bloody long for A Player to sign for A Club anyway? It never used to be like this. I swear all it took was a phone call and a bulging brown envelope and matey on the fringes of the England set-up would be off to a new club and no more was said about it.
Football transfers were just announced. There were never these stories circulating in every kind of rag about who wants what from where by when. 'Course all that ends up happening is that Gareth Barry, a bloke who had the audacity to claim he wanted to move to a club where he might win summat after 10 years at Villa winning nowt, is getting booed by dimwit fans who don't see the man's motives for what they are. If Barry is forced to stay cos O'Neill and Benitez keep up their staring contest then are they still going to jeer him for being open about his ambitions? Wouldn't you be better off singing the bloke's praises and emotionally blackmailing him into a rethink? And Barry did at least take to the pitch for an hour which is more than AJ did for the Toffees.
His actions are a damn sight more understandable than Harry Kewell's Galatasaray move, which required an earnest open letter to Leeds fans from the Aussie sicknote. I'm sorry but there's more than just a little change of scene in that move, Harry. If it needs a gesture like that then you're probably best not bothering in the first place.
Of course, these waiting hours can also be filled up with the usual abysmal amateur psychology from Fergie, too. Oh what a canny prankster the Glasgow Beetroot is, ha ha. Man U will be playing the Chelsea Pensioners this season, he says. Erm, the average age of the first teams at Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge..? 28. I know the journos like this sort of piffle but frankly I'm well bored of it. His empathy for Arsenal's injuries at the same press conference just shows how much neck he's got - I'm sure Arsene loves a little public patronising. When it comes to this sort of twaddle he's Alexander the Grate.
So for God's sake, you Premiership prima donnas, hurry up and make your minds up where you want to be, don't listen to them tapeworms - I mean agents - who are hoping to siphon off that little bit extra for their own new Audi TT leatherette interiors, sign on the dotted lines now or you'll end up being one of them crappy little inset photos on the new squad pictures!
And then you can do what the press in this country can't do. Do Your Talking On The Pitch. We'll soon see who's worth what...
I cannot wait for all the column inches of unverifiable tosh to be replaced by some reports on a match between two football teams with three points at stake.