While many eyes were glued to Washington D.C. during January, many UK football fans will have been focusing their attention on developments a little closer to home. Whether it was a case of sitting in front of Sky Sports News hoping for different news to the previous hour’s, or following the BBC’s Premier League transfer tracker, fans were keen to be among the first to learn of the comings and goings from their team.
The transfer window ended at 11:00pm yesterday, with the last day always being somewhat reminiscent of trying to get your Christmas shopping done on December 24. It’s ridiculously busy, everything is too expensive and you generally have to settle for whatever you can get, prompting adult comic Viz to tweet this amusing comparison:
— Viz Comic (@vizcomic) January 30, 2017
Of course, Twitter is where much of the action happened, with the #DeadlineDay hashtag in heavy use yesterday. For lovers of juicy gossip and media blunders, the social media site certainly didn’t disappoint last month either. Here are three Twitter moments where the transfer window either got a little bit too real, or ridiculously fake:
1. Sky Sports fooled by paternal insult signing
With so much news flying about during the window, journalists have a tough job sorting the wheat from the chaff, but an incident early in January highlighted the importance of making sure Twitter accounts are genuine.
It may have sounded feasible enough when @AberdeennFC tweeted about Turkish player Yerdäs Selzavön arriving at the Scottish Premier League club supposedly represented by the account, but the observant will have noticed the extra ‘n’ in the Twitter handle. Furthermore, if they had said his name out loud, they might have realised that the apparent new signing at Pittodrie had a name that sounded a lot like a suggestion of somebody’s father selling a popular female-oriented magazine.
Sadly, but rather amusingly, it seems that none of this clicked with Sky Sports, who fell for the prank and reported on Selzavön’s signing.
2. West Ham turncoat sssssslammed by fans
French forward Dimitri Payet has been a hit at Premier League West Ham United since his arrival in June 2015, but he hasn’t made too many friends in East London with his recent behaviour, which Hammers joint-chairman David Sullivan says has included refusing to play, forfeiting his wages and isolating himself from his teammates. Not surprisingly, he left West Ham on Sunday, returning to former club Marseille.
The free-kick specialist’s conduct let to some creative criticism from once adoring fans, with a certain reptile cropping up regularly in the putdowns:
Payet speaking to L'equipe: "I am home and I am happier than ever" pic.twitter.com/s5wkShFbiO
— Sam (@iwobiflick17) January 29, 2017
Another photo of Dimitri Payet during his Marseille medical. pic.twitter.com/KqX23gvdwU
— Uber West Ham (@UberWestHam) January 29, 2017
Nice of West Ham to pay tribute to Payet when announcing Snodgrass pic.twitter.com/nZf8LXW1qt
— Luke (@ikdvo) January 28, 2017
Even Sullivan’s son Jack got in on the serpentine theme:
Safe to say that Payet won’t be slithering back to West Ham any time soon.
3. Ulloa says goodbye?
Another player who might be accused of somewhat spoilt behaviour is Leicester City’s Leonardo Ulloa, who has made his opinion very clear in the following tweet:
Comments on the Argentine striker’s tweet range from accusations of him being unprofessional, to concern that a player known to be hardworking would publicly express such discontent. However, given that Ranieri masterminded one of the most incredible stories in English football history last year by guiding Leicester to the Premier League title, it’s unlikely that his public grievance will be greeted with too much sympathy despite the Foxes’ disappointing campaign this time round. His position is made all the more difficult by the fact that deadline day passed without him getting the move he hoped for.
As you can see, it’s sometimes more of a social media soap opera than a sporting event, but the latter stages of the transfer window certainly reflect the changing ways in which football is reported and discussed in 2017.