The football is getting in the way of transfer deadline day boomed an angry radio pundit as the desperation to fill air time with nonsense reached its maximum late on Tuesday afternoon.
That moment as we drove through Monmouth on the way to Preston North End’s game at Cardiff, proved the final straw as far as listening in the Lancashire Post car radio was concerned.
January 31 saw a number of games in the Premier League and Championship clash with the final few hours of the winter transfer window.
The two don’t mix that is for certain.
New signings were being announced as matches were going on, deals were being negotiated as managers tried to keep their focus on the action unfolding in front of them on the pitch.
North End pushed the button on three outgoing loan moves at Cardiff – two before the game and one in the minutes afterwards.
It made for a busy night at many clubs as they tried to mix business and football.
A clash must be avoided in the future but I don’t agree with the angry pundit on the radio who felt matches had got in the way of the deadline.
Other way round in my humble opinion by reason of what happens on the pitch for 90 minutes is always far more important than the deadline circus.
Angry pundit was joined by a couple of mates who felt the best way to make their point was to shout as loudly as they could to back their views up.
There was a frustration in their voices that a second choice keeper signing for Southampton was as good as it had got by teatime.
When a move across the great divide in Bristol – Matty Taylor from Rovers to City – was making waves beyond the West County, it was clear that deadline day was a damp squib.
Angry pundit and his pals turned the volume up to 11 as they lambasted clubs at the top end of the Premier League for not throwing money at new signings in order to challenge Chelsea’s lead at the summit.
“They’ve all given up,” was the collective fume.
In almost the same breath, Chelsea were then questioned as to why they were not signing Moussa Dembele from Celtic, the striker having been spotted on a flight to London earlier in the day.
“The lad would guarantee Chelsea the title,” boomed the bloke who earlier had written-off the chances of the chasing pack.
As good a player he is, this is the Moussa Dembele who has played a total of two games in the Premier League in his career.
Once the deadline passed, the analysis started about whether clubs had enjoyed a good window.
It is a bit like asking if you’d had a good Christmas, don’t you think?
North End’s window was a continuation of a steady build.
We have talked plenty about a new striker, about Robbie Keane in particular.
Putting that topic aside, what about the business which was actually done both in and out?
It amounted to four in and six out – four of those leaving to come back in the summer.
Of the four arrivals, Daryl Horgan has been the one to catch the eye – Andy Boyle and Tom Barkhuizen have not had their chance yet, while Tyias Browning only landed on Monday.
Bailey Wright and Chris Humphrey have gone for good – Wright’s switch to Bristol City more of a puzzle than that of Humphrey to Hibernian.
Humphrey’s time at PNE had reached a natural end, something which could not be said of Wright.
Ben Davies, Eoin Doyle, Liam Grimshaw and Clive Smith are out on loan until the end of the season, their first-team chances having been restricted this term.
I read one comment made in the aftermath of Doyle and Grimshaw’s exit, that Preston had ‘given up on the play-offs’ in light of two being allowed out and no one coming in during those last hours – really?
Doyle started just six league games and came off the bench five times, four of Grimshaw’s five appearances in the league having come back in August– he’s had 90 seconds since.
Away from the first-team picture, well done to North End’s academy side who have reached the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup.
Their 3-2 victory over AFC Wimbledon on Wednesday night was a cracking game, full of incident.
Fair play to the coach-load of Dons fans who made the journey to Deepdale to cheer on their youngsters.
I had to chuckle at the light-hearted post on Twitter by PNE groundsman Pete Ashworth the morning after the youth cup clash.
He lamented the knee-slide celebration which is increasingly popular and put a photo of a section of the Deepdale turf scarred by the Wimbledon lads celebrating their second goal.
With the kneeslide being the celebration of choice of Jordan Hugill, let us hope that Pete has got plenty repair work to do in the coming months!