‘HAPPY JIM WHITE DAY!’, the admin of the SportBible enthusiastically tweets. He’d been waiting for that moment for well over 7 months. Nothing against Jim as he’s basically our de facto Director of Communications now but day? He only turns up for the last 3 hours. In the meantime though as Sky constantly counted down the hours, minutes and seconds until he arrives the presenters tried in vein to outdo him, spontaneously combusting about the same rumours all day, with the same clips being rolled out as they put the viewing public through the equivalent of several groundhog days until something of actual interest definitely did happen.
Yes, the circus that is deadline day has thankfully been and gone. A day in which ‘banter account” admins who rate players off FIFA hero worship Jim White, and everyone suddenly thinks they’re an ITK and claim to have a mate at the club.
I don’t know if it’s just me or not but I watch Sky’s coverage with quiet satisfaction nowadays. Safe in the knowledge that when they cross over to some poor soul stood there in an empty stadium or training ground car park with nothing to report, we caused it. It was summer deadline day in 2014. Poor Alan Irwin, outside Finch Farm with absolutely nothing whatsoever to report on, suffering the misfortune of having Jim White scream down his ear all night, then had the ignominy of having a purple dildo shoved in it. From then on, the days of weird teenage mutants crowding around at Stoke going mad at average signings being reported were over. We should’ve given the dildo a statue.
The transfer window does funny things to Evertonians. We become multi-lingual detectives, closely analysing any picture we can find of Koeman or Steve Walsh meeting a supposed target and dissecting foreign articles in desperation that we get someone decent in. And of course who could forget the time we all started tracking planes and watched a dodgy stream of Dynamo Kiev and Andriy Yarmolenko playing in a friendly because we thought he was signing? Good times. Sadly, no more. Damn you Dortmund.
After hours and hours of rolling news and nothingness from an Everton point of view, finally something happened. Oumar Niasse looked like he was off to Palace for £10m, but no. At the last minute for poor Oumar, it fell through. But never mind, he’s like a new signing isn’t he, our Romelu replacement eh lads? Lads, lads…. No? Ah well.
Meanwhile Arsenal were “considering an enquiry” from us for Lucas Perez on loan. Only problem there was, he had his heart set on Deportivo. That’s twice he’s pied us off now. Someone must’ve forgotten to remind Sky to update the scrolling news cos while they were still showing Arsenal’s “consideration”, up came the flash that he had in fact gone elsewhere. Good work lads.
We knew that winger Nikola Vlasic would be confirmed and he was conveniently just as Jim White had arrived on the scene. To be honest I don’t remember him from when we played Hajduk Split in the Europa League but at 19 he’s someone for the future. And if he turns out to be a cross between Luka Modric and Davor Suker it’ll be £10m well spent. However we were waiting on that target man and left footed CB that Koeman had been going on about for ages. Why when we knew for several months that Lukaku was leaving did we leave it until late? When it became obvious that no one in those positions would be arriving, the fume levels began to kick up a notch as you’d expect.
But then, in a PR masterstroke from an Everton point of view, news came in from Chelsea. Ross Barkley had actually decided halfway through his medical, fuck it I’m coming back. Unbelievable. Awful decision making on and off the field, who knew? Suddenly no one was talking about our striking inadequacy, attention had now switched to Ross being a dopey idiot again. Why would you turn down an opportunity for Champions League football at the champions at the last second it seemed? Maybe he’s patched things up with Koeman after all and wants to stay? Or maybe he knows that he’d be able to walk for free in the summer, with a massive signing on fee in his pocket knowing that he wouldn’t have the pressure of a £30m price tag on his shoulders. Paul Merson, I don’t know what’s happened to him in the last year but he has turned into yer da, lamenting the increasing foreign influence over English football. “BARKLEY CAN’T STAY IN LIVERPOOL ALL HIS LIFE!!!”, he raged, conveniently forgetting that he spent most of his football career holed up in several bookies in London.
Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, Jim White then screams at the top of his voice “we can now hear from Majority Shareholder Farhad Moshiri”. This was it. Farhad’s first appearance on telly. He had practically spoken through Jim in tweets and statements ever since he’d invested, now we had the chance to hear him for real. And WOW. Whoever it was it definitely wasn’t him, his voice sounded like something out of Fonejacker, confirming that he’d “wired the monies” (as the sketch goes) for Vlasic and others, praising the good business we had done. Unfortunately he had in the process shut down any hopes of late deals, but who’s arsed, Jim White had definitely been had off by someone ringing him and pretending to be a billionaire and he bought it. A moment that arguably rivals the dildo in Everton transfer window history.
To finish off then, a brief word on the window itself. It’s been decent, the business we’ve done but in my view it’ll only be that due to our failure to fill the Lukaku void. Had we brought in someone like Christian Benteke, Michy Batshuayi or even the pipe dream of Costa for a bit, it would’ve been an excellent summer as we would’ve strengthened in several areas, but it wasn’t to be. Ok there’s more goals in the team now and more creativity through Sigurdsson but like I said earlier, we had known for months that Rom was heading out the door, so why did we not make getting a proven 20+ a season replacement in a top priority? Another worry is that with the loss of Callum Connolly to Ipswich on loan, there is even less depth defensively. What if Leighton Baines was to get injured for example? It’s either Luke Garbutt or Cuco Martina out of position. Grim.
Thankfully it’s all over now and we can finally have a break from all the wannabe Itk nonsense and get back to the footy. Unfortunately though this week it’s the international break and you know what that means. Those “Rule Britannia!” lovers who seemingly still think we’re an empire will be out in force again. Next Saturday cannot come soon enough.