Not a clue what demonic darkly lit hospital room the Woodgate to Arsenal story was birthed in. No doubt Gregory Peck failed (again) to lay waste to what feels like the six hundredth and sixtieth slice of ridiculousness. With no apparent end in sight. Other than the start of February. In these days of footballing wealth, hardly anyone is spending and it's all a bit boring especially in the ITK community which mostly appears to be reactive with whatever the press run with (which of the two creates the story in the first place is uncertain but it mostly all feels like it's based on agent BS and Harry Redknapp sound-bites).
What the Woody to the swamp story has done is remind me of a classic moment in transfer gossip from the days of Ramos at the Lane, in 2008, on the 25th of January. Easily my nomination for the most ludicrous rumour from recent years:
With thanks to Sky Sports News for this gem.
Here's the blog article from that epic slow-news day:
Earlier this evening we had the yellow ticker telling us that the Tiago deal is off. Then the ticker disappeared, and we were told its back on and should be completed this weekend. But nothing compares to the latest 'Sky Sports Understands'.
Yes. Read it for yourself:
Sky Sports News understands that Tottenham want to sign Barcelona defender Carlos Puyol.
Juande Ramos is thought to be keen to strengthen his defence as he continues to reshape his White Hart Lane squad.
It is claimed that Tottenham representatives are in Spain to discuss a move with the Barcelona captain.
Ramos has also been linked with an approach for Middlesbrough defender Jonathan Woodgate as he attempts to find an experienced centre-back to bring to North London.
Puyol has made 58 appearances for Spain and played in the 2002 and 2006 World Cup finals.
Yes. The Barcelona captain who has been at the club since the age of twelve. Plays Champions League football and is on about £100,000 a month. Someone appears to be sharing their crack pipe in the SSN HQ. Although modern day journalism 'breaking news stories' are dependent on what they can copy and paste from a football message board, this one just about takes the biscuit. Yes, it appeared on the yellow ticker and the auto-cue dolly bird and man-robot informed us of another exclusive. And yes, its now disappeared. Along with the little credibility this 'news' channel appears to have left.
Nothing reported in Sport, Depotivo Mundo or Catalan TV. For the record, the player isn't even in Barcelona as they are away to Bilbao this weekend. And if Spurs wont pay Fred the money he wants then....well, you work it out.
Only other explanation? Smokescreen. Or Levy is attempting to flush out the rats.
The cover-up was superb. Ticker, website article...then it's all gone and it's not referred to again, not a mention. Almost felt like it was either a prank or they were running with unsubstantiated whispers (shock horror).
Did enjoy this update from Flannerz over at Glory Glory pre-match away to Newcastle this past weekend:
"Went to the game Saturday, but went up Thursday night and made a long weekend of it. I was in the casino Friday night and at 5am Andy Carroll turns up píssed and starts playing Blackjack. Because he was drunk and a Geordie I couldn't understand what he was saying apart from that he thought Spurs would ...win 2-1. When I asked him about joining us I couldn't understand his answer!"
We'll know if Carroll is on his way if Flannerz can remember the drunken words spoken to him on the night and then decipher the cryptic. Bit like reading most of the ITK's updates then. Which bring me onto this reprehensible example of utter pish from the Phantom of the Lane (dated 24th Jan 2011):
anyone been on the website lastminute.com?
That's it. Amazing stuff. Followed up with:
We're not done yet.
When have we ever been done before the last second of the window?
Non cryptic- We need a couple of things to happen before something happens if ya get ma drift
Phants, take your place in the hall of fame.
So your favourite worst ever transfer rumour? (Look, it's either this or another Stratford article which I'm doing my best to avoid* writing what with the announcement that the OS decision has been postponed, so work with me on this).
*Levy on SSN at time of writing in Olympic Bid special, so no doubt, expect another blog this late evening.