TSF: Heads Turned By January Window

It's around this time of year when players start to look forward to the January transfer window. But if your teammates are looking for a move, what can you do...?

Last Updated: 30/11/12 at 09:48 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Backing Spurs To Thrash Leicester...

1 comments

Degsy is tipping Spurs to pile more pressure on Nigel Pearson with a 3-0 win at Leicester on Boxing Day. He also predicts easy wins for United and Arsenal...

Van Gaal's Half-Term Report Card...

Post comment

One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...

All Articles

I have already heard the expression "Christmas is just around the corner" but, for a footballer, Christmas barely registers. At this time of the year, when the games are coming thick and fast and it feels like "Groundhog Day", it isn't Christmas that is keeping us awake at night. It is the countdown to the January transfer window.

For a lot of newly promoted teams, this is an exciting period because it is the first sign that you may have impressed enough in your fleeting Premier League career to be considered by other, more established, top-tier teams. But there are pitfalls for the rest of us that aren't on the move.

There are a couple of players who I will never forgive for the way they played for themselves instead of the team. When the fortunes of a certain club that we played for - and had made into a household name - suddenly found itself staring relegation in the face, these players did the worst thing that players who had attracted interest from more glamorous clubs in the previous window could do. They stopped trying.

They had been two of our most consistent performers for a couple of seasons and so I understood that there was the possibility of both losing form at the same time. But, as a player, you get to know when someone has lost form and confidence and when someone isn't tackling for fear of injury, isn't running as fast for fear of pulling a hamstring and isn't overly concerned when the team loses. It is this "pull the ladder up, Jack" behaviour that reeks of a player who knows that he is going to be "sorted" for next year, regardless of what happens in the short term.

For a long time, I blamed the manager for not pulling them sooner. He either didn't want to believe that two of his more important squad players - players who were nowhere on the football landscape before this club took them - would behave like this. Or he knew it would look very odd pulling both of them out of the team without explanation. If you think about it: how do you explain that two players aren't trying anymore because they know they are going to get moves in the summer? Where's the proof?

So I blamed the players; after all, it was they who were delivering substandard performances and leaving the rest of us out to dry. In all honesty, we may as well have fielded nine men for all the good they did us in those last few months. As it turned out, they did get their moves - more Premier League football, higher wages, international caps, the list goes on. With this proof, I felt comfortable for a long time that the blame lay with them and them alone.

But something has been nagging me for years. Maybe it wasn't those players' fault. After all, what player doesn't want to give himself the best opportunity to play for their country? And what player wouldn't want a bigger house and better education for their kids and the chance to pay off not only their own mortgage but also the mortgages of their parents and siblings?

No, I blame myself. In all honesty, I should have done something at the time. Although the immediate fall-out wouldn't have been pleasant, I would have been fined two weeks' wages and I'd certainly have lost my place in the side for a game or two, I'd be a more contented individual today if, at the time, I'd have pinned one of them to the changing-room wall.

I paid a lot because of these two, I paid a big price. But ask them if they care?

Read the rest of TSF's thoughts only on www.thesecretfootballer.com.

You can follow The Secret Footballer on Twitter here, or buy his book here, which we reviewed here

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

really enjoyed this. Thanks F365 for another year of work avoidance - happy Christmas.

megabrow (cufc)
Our Person Of The Year: Alan Pardew

I

m no Sam Fan and this article sums him up beautifully. I always like to imagine that when he watches anything on TV and hears clapping, he stands up and aknowledges the applause, thinking its for him!

cozens
Football Managers On TV: Sam Allardyce

N

ah, Fergie is just having another pop at Rooney. He just wants to put him down whenever he gets a chance. Rooney is by far the best English player. Carrick is not far behind, mind. However, by elevating Carrick like that, Sir is having a dig at Wayne. Fergie is well-known for mind games like that. Good to see he's still feisty.

timbo
Van Gaal will thrive - Ferguson

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Premier League: Queens Park look for result against Arsenal, Rio Ferdinand in selection contention

Queens Park's Harry Redknapp says Rio Ferdinand could be back in the team the squad is rotated through festive period.

Premier League: Nemanja Matic says Chelsea can win quadruple

Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic insists the Blues can win the quadruple this season.

Ronald Koeman facing selection crisis ahead of Southampton's match against Everton

Harrison Reed's impressive display against Everton has given Ronald Koeman a selection dilemma.

Mail Box

Van Gaal's Half-Term Report Card...

One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...

Hang On, Rafa's Success Is No Fluke...

The afternoon mailbox kicks the morning mailbox's arse after claims that Rafa Benitez has fluked his success. Plus, big talk about Liverpool's progress and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property