I'm fond of the summer months. The ones spent abroad. Not the ones spent within the constraints of London and it's outskirts. Don't get me wrong, there's plenty I adore about the few weeks of hot sunny weather we are bestowed with by the sky Gods.
BBQ's. Beer gardens. The beauty of womankind.
Sadly, there are far more negatives than positives that leave me lusting for winter weather and comfortable snug nights as opposed to the hot humid sticky ones.
I hate men in flip-flops. I hate the fact so many people beckon the heat to be even hotter even though there is no logic behind wanting 30 degree heat when 24 degree heat will do just fine. I hate the lack of air con on the London Underground system. I hate hayfever. I hate men in flip-flops. I hate the polluted air. I hate the fact that I hate the fact I hate people who lap up the single day of sunshine like it's a miracle of mother nature. I hate people who should never legally be allowed to wear shorts, wearing shorts. I hate the fact that absolutely everyone has sunglasses on, even indoors.
If all this hellmouth of hatred wasn't enough, summer isn't just about the nasty visuals and sorry senses, oh no. Summer comes with it's own commentary track. No soundtrack of uplifting tunes, just one continues monotone drone, constantly repeating the same thing through out June, July and August.
'Have we signed anyone? Have we signed anyone? Have we signed anyone? Have we signed anyone? Have we signed anyone?'
Even though you try your hardest to switch off during the football break, you can't. You're permanently plugged in. You follow the same ritual every single morning, afternoon and night. You've got your Twitter time-line on your phone, on your pc, your lap-top. You've got Sky Sports News on. You spend hours refreshing news feed websites and working your way through your bookmarked blogs. You check countless internet message boards for 'In the know' tittle tattle. You get a little excited when there's an official club statement or announcement or email only to find it's about nothing in particular. And when it's about something in particular its because we've signed the ilk of player that still leaves you asking the same question, with a slight amend.
'Have we signed anyone decent yet? Have we signed anyone decent yet? Have we signed anyone decent yet? Have we signed anyone decent yet? Have we signed anyone decent yet?'
To compound matters further not only do we question the validity of Levy and Redknapp's working relationship and whether they see eye to eye on transfer targets we find ourselves asking if the whole messy business regarding the Olympic Stadium and the NDP has left the chairman stashing the cash in boxes under his bed. We've got money to spend right? We must have, surely? We've hardly spent a quid in prior windows. Although we've allegedly bid ridiculous money for players and been knocked back a few times. There's money there, right? We don't have to shift out players in order to buy (although we need to get rid of the deadwood) but we're not skint. Right? Right? Anyone?
Okay, so we've signed a keeper. A broken Messi rejected by Barca. A Mexican who's never scored in the league. We signed Pienaar last window. There's that other South African loaned out to Preston. Any of that sexy enough for you?
By 'compound matters' I wasn't even really referring to any of the above but rather the Modric saga. I've blogged about this till my fingers have been cut up and drowned my keyboard in blood so I wont cover the same muddy ground again. Other than to take a moment to echo something I read today which I've preached many times over the years: To retain the spine of a team you have three years maximum to achieve success but that success has to be consolidated immediately. Otherwise, you lose a key player and thus, rebuild. Start over again. We got into the CL in the second proper year (under Harry), stagnated in the third. Cue exodus.
An exodus of just the one for the moment. Such is modern day football that players, top top players, will only give the club a certain amount of time before looking elsewhere for their fix. And if we fail again this up and coming season, more key players will depart the following summer. We'll start the process over with new emerging players signed and be stuck perpetually attempting to crack the top four. Hoping to retain said position if reclaimed in order to not lose structure the following season and once more lose our top top players.
It's great if you look at it fiscally. Always in the money, always there or there abouts. But never 'there' <-- where we want to be. Top 4. CL. Every bleeding season.
You build up your hope in the summer based on the hope you don't lose any of your top players and that you finally sign the top player required to push on. Hope - doesn't cost a penny but can end up costing you your sanity.
In the case of this summer, keeping Modric means nothing if we don't sign a world class forward, for example. We wont be able to justify it if its left as it is. It's desperate that the reasoning is we do just that and Luka changes his mind.
Am I making sense or is the alcohol beginning to rot my brain?
So what's the point of any of it? Is Levy making a stand or should he sit back down? Why am I not switching off my feeds and internet and tv? Why not just wait to see what happens (probably in the last 15 minutes of the window) and just start worrying then? Why can't I just turn off until the first football is kicked, take one game at a time, stick two fingers up at everything and just sing my heart out and only care for THFC in its purest form? On the pitch against whatever opposition we're up against.
Why? Because this illness has no cure. And I'm a sick sick man.
It's not that I want the club to just sign someone right this second. If its going to happen, it will happen. A degree of patience is required, you just don't know what goes on behind the scenes. The issue is one of faith, or lack of. You think the worst case scenario will play out and its this fear - with each passing day and week and month - that your faith will be gone with nothing to show for it.
The summer could be spent outside, rain or shine, without anchoring my emotions to football - because once the season starts football is all I'll have for another six long gruelling months of emotive rape.
But alas, I'd rather remain anchored to it for the full twelve months. With the misguided faith and all. The fear. Especially the fear. That worst case scenario hiding in the shadows ready to jump out and punch me square in the face.
I hate the summer. I love football. I hate the fact that I love football. I hate men in flip-flops.
Have we signed anyone decent yet?