Thursday, 31 January 2008

Card Of Nonentity

Formerly, he thinks to himself, an artist took real people and transformed them into painted ones: how much finer and more satisfying is the modern method of assuming that people are not real at all, only self-painted, and of proceeding to make them real by giving them new selves based on the best-available theories of human nature. . . . it is incredible to think how well the open ear responds to a little love and chronological falsification
Nigel Dennis, Cards of Identity

It is the last day of the transfer window and so far the only signing we have to show for it is a forty-plus journeyman from Lincoln City. To be fair to Nigel Dennis, our new Facilities Manager and Deputy Safety Officer, he does seem to be a well respected figure in the field of Operations & Safety. I just have my doubts he will prove adequate cover for our paper-thin left back area or injury ravaged central defence; not to mention boost our perpetually ailing strike force or add creative flair to our ponderous midfield. At least he shares the same name as the writer and critic who penned the criminally overlooked Cards of Identity. That's the kind of amusing thing to sustain you when your rampaging charge for Europe founders on the rocks of one too many injuries.

Sashaying through the outdoor is luxuriantly permed Football Genius Christian Dailly. Rangers took the Scotland international back home yesterday until the end of the season. The Mirror claims the 34-year-old left West Ham after falling out of favour and that Rangers have taken over his contract, in a move similar to their capture of David Weir 12 months ago. He has won 66 caps for Scotland and effectively replaces Ugo Ehiogu in Walter Smith's squad. Ehiogu moved to Sheffield United earlier this month. Dailly can fill several defensive roles or could be deployed as a holding midfielder by Smith, who knows the veteran well from his spell in charge of the national team. A loan spell with Southampton earlier this season was an indication Dailly was becoming surplus to requirements and he will hope for more involvement at Ibrox. Dailly was included in new Scotland boss George Burley's first squad, ahead of a training get-together which will take place from Sunday to Tuesday.

Dailly, 33, had barely featured in the United first team since Alan Curbishley took the managerial reigns, slipping further down the pecking order at Upton Park due to the arrivals of Matthew Upson, Lucas Neill and Calum Davenport. Dailly was the club's longest serving player, having been a Hammer since moving to Upton Park in a £1.75m switch from Blackburn (as a replacement for Leeds-bound Rio Ferdinand) in January 2001.

All spurious and demented West Ham related Deadline Day stories will be added here as they break...

This morning: Several of the newspapers predict a last minute raid for perennial favourite Giles Barnes. Newcastle's Charles N'Zogbia is said to be set for a move to London and we've been put in the frame.

This lunchtime: Various reports of a Dean Ashton sighting outside the City of Manchester Stadium. There is much unsubstantiated whispering about a supposed £10million fee. A shadowy well-informed insider on the BBC site 'guarantees' Tottenham, West Ham and Newcastle will all make big moves by midnight. He won't reveal his source but insists fans of those teams will be very pleased. Tottenham will sign a Spanish international. West Ham will sign a bit part England international and Newcastle will sign two players, one a top Premier League centre back and the other a creative midfielder.

This Afternoon: Someone sees John Arne Riise close to Upton Park. Some think a loan deal could be in the pipeline. Nigel Quashie is witnessed emerging from an Alfa Romeo in the car park of Derby County's training ground. The first part of shadowy well-informed insider's revelation could be coming true as Newcastle prepare to announce the signature of Fabio Zamblera.

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