The Byron Bulletin #1 // Transfer Madness & Common Enemies
Here we go; the first edition of a new feature for SpitballingPod. I’ve decided that my ramblings on a Monday night podcast aren’t quite enough to satisfy the amount I need to get off my chest on a weekly basis and so I’ll be chucking any of my other thoughts online as part of this blog on a regular basis.
As mentioned on the pod, we like to make the most of the transfer window as the rumours circulate like never before and the unthinkable turns to reality – look at Ashley Cole (a bloke who was struggling in the MLS) answering the call-up from big Frank to join his promotion pushing Derby side and Jon Obi Mikel, a guy I’d forgotten even existed suddenly appearing to sign a contract with Middlesbrough.
Everton have supposedly told PSG that they’d be willing to accept a 40 million pound bid for Idrissa Gueye which is generous of them, especially considering the fact that he’s 29 years old, never looked particularly special and no better than the midfield crop that they already possess.
Arsenal are supposedly in for Colombian James Rodriguez in what seems like the most ridiculous, yet persistent rumour of the month. Mesut Ozil is struggling to even make Unai Emery’s bench, apparently due to his lack of work rate, so i’m unsure what would be any different with a guy that is even lazier than the German. If there’s really any truth to the rumour, then it’s reminiscent of the kids back in school that would own the latest Playstation AND Xbox – it sounded impressive, but you can’t play both at once and it’s an expensive bit of business for one to just sit on the shelf collecting dust.
Elsewhere, Gonzalo Higuain is on the verge of joining Chelsea, meaning the long line of failed strikers at the club since the exit of Didier Drogba grows a little more (of course, with the way Sarri is lining up his team at the moment, this could easily be a replacement for David Luiz in defence). At 31 years old, it’s another kick in the teeth for the vaunted Chelsea youth system and has the potential to go horribly wrong with the Argentinian earning a reported £270,000 a week. Sure, the striker will score goals, but it’s the chances he misses that will likely draw more attention – as Lionel Messi can attest to with his experience alongside the big fella.
To switch sports as I close up todays post, the New England Patriots are preparing for another Superbowl, despite the murmurs that the core of the unit were on their way out. Sean dropped a disgusted message in our group chat following their OT victory against the Chiefs, simply saying ‘I can’t believe they’ve done it again. Sooner he retires the better’ – as much as that may be accurate for the blood pressure levels of sports fans everywhere, it’s hard to put into words how much a common enemy is a beautiful thing in the world.
Almost every viewer outside of Boston will be rooting for the Rams next Sunday night; everyone has their own team they support, it’s obviously a delightful thing when your team wins, but a common enemy allows you to buddy up with fans that you never usually would. We’ve seen this year that both sides of Manchester are aligned in a joint hatred of Mo Salah and his Liverpool side; sport is at its peak when you are at your most emotionally invested and rooting against a team can be just as enjoyable as cheering for your own.
There are few things as enjoyable as sitting down to watch the early kick off – a game in which beforehand it would appear to be a case of how many the big team can score against the lesser opponent, only for the lesser team to nick a goal and attempt to defend it for the next 70 minutes. Collective sighs of relief as the striker somehow spurns a glorious chance wide, a player peeling away in celebration only to be called back for an offside call and then the rollercoaster of stoppage time that ultimately results in a United side nicking a late goal off Fellaini’s massive head.
We watch sport to be entertained and a common enemy is often all we need to be sucked into a contest for the duration – regardless of who the opposition is and what the occasion is. It just so happens that this time it will be for one of the biggest prizes in sport.