Quick, somebody bring back the football

Posted by Luke O'Farrell

Stu Forster/Getty ImagesA departure from Goodison would likely suit both John Heitinga and Everton.

Ask a football supporter for their best and worst months of the year and the answer would probably be overwhelming; August-May as the best months with June and July as the worst. Counting down the days until the 2013-14 fixtures announcement provides some indication of the withdrawal symptoms found in the average football fan.

Less than a month since the end of the Premier League season and already the tedium is setting in. Weekends feel empty without football; no match on the horizon to ease the pain of the working week, no pre-match/post-match pint, no reason to vent opinion or frustration.

For various supporters, usually those backing the clubs boasting copious amounts of cash, the main football related time-filler is the transfer window. Unfortunately, for Everton supporters, the transfer window is usually two to three months of immense frustration allied to overwhelming annoyance.

- Martinez keen to reward Baines

Failed medicals and failed bids, star players sold at the last minute or players sold for a quick profit regardless of the impact on the squad; these are but several of the memories from recent windows.

Other clubs are readily shaping their squads for the season ahead. That is not to say Everton are not doing likewise, but there is always a sense of the club being 'left behind' during this window of opportunity; in the past decade, the number of windows playing witness to early business are in single figures.

Everton tend to do their dealings in the latter stages of the transfer window, a requirement born from the need to sell first and buy second. However, for the first time in many a season, boosted by the new record TV deal, the Toffees can spend without having to balance the books through a fire sale of the family silver.

Given the recent words of Roberto Martinez regarding the importance of Leighton Baines and armed with the ability to resist bids for the top players, the nucleus of the current squad look set to remain for the upcoming campaign. That said, the release clause ensures the question mark lingers over Marouane Fellaini.

Another possible exit is John Heitinga; barely a day passes without a media story surrounding his unhappiness or desire to leave. It appears all parties would benefit from a swift transfer. Such a move would free up significant wages and allow Everton to recoup a fee on a player in the final year of his contract.

During the window, supporters sometimes enter a frenzied state whenever a story links Everton with additions or departures. There is one prominent example: the future of Baines, a story that has cropped up in various tabloid newspapers seemingly since time began.

Year after year, these stories describe how Manchester United will recruit the England international for any value between £6 million (yes, they really did print that) and £15 million; this in spite of the supposed interest never turning into a concrete bid.

The reaction often accompanying such stories rounds off this guide to an Evertonians' transfer window. Quality players are instantly 'overrated' when linked with a move. Likewise, an important player wanting to stay swiftly elevates to a God-like status.

Last week saw a prime example of this. Reports linked Arsenal with a move for Fellaini and, faster than you can say 'calm down, it is not the end of the world', the player became the local leper across various social media outlets.

Similarly, reports emerged of Everton wishing to offer Baines a new contract. Those reports found encouraging substance in the midweek words of Martinez; the Spaniard wants to reward the player for his past endeavours.

Afterwards, Baines suddenly became indispensable; he is, but that is beside the point. Should any top player depart this summer, the idea that it would not be a blow merely appears shortsighted.

Nevertheless, amid all the chaos and rumour, one entertainingly ludicrous aspect prevails and that is the number of 'agents' found within social media; strange how these men at the centre of world football have generic profile pictures of briefcases and the time to post transfer details.

So, at the risk of digressing, in a week that sees Royston Drenthe close on a move to Reading and Palermo announce their interest in Kyle Lafferty, let's just forget about the chaotic madness of the transfer window and bring the football back. Maybe those withdrawal symptoms are kicking in after all.

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