Transfer deadline day, with Brian Sewell
AS everybody is surely aware, each February 20th is a dizzying whirl of excitement as the nation’s orchestras jostle to restock their ranks with the finest soloists, woodwind sections and those funny little chaps who stand there with a triangle.
I remember the furore in 1973 when the London Symphony Orchestra spirited away the entire percussion section from under the nose of the Vienna Philharmonic’s conductor at the eleventh hour and the very next week he was forced the hum the louder parts during a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth. Football, of course, has its own version of this melee. Dear reader, indulge me…
Joe Cole: Liverpool to Lille, season-long loan
Ah, la belle France! Mr Cole must have been drawn, like Odysseus to the siren’s song, away from the cultural wastelands of the north to the delights of a country whose haughty disdain toward bodily hair removal one can only applaud.
His first port of call upon arrival must surely be the Rue de Fenetre Passer, where in 1901 Emile Bernard and Paul Gaugin staged an epic argument about who was going to decorate the bathroom in their shared accommodation which went on for two and a half years. Gaugin eventually triumphed and his work in magnolia and white gloss can be seen today in the Louvre.
Raul Meireles, Liverpool to Chelsea, £12m
Another escapee of the land where glottal stops explode in the air like an aural version of Picasso’s Guernica.
Mr Meireles last-minute flight to Chelsea puts one in mind of the famous occasion when GK Chesterton cycled for six hours from his native Beaconsfield to attend a soiree in Kensington being held by George Bernard Shaw to celebrate finally being able to spell the word ‘Pygmalion’ only to find everyone had gone to bed when he got there.
One hopes it has a more successful conclusion than Chesterton’s trek, which culminated in him being arrested for throwing a volume of Mallarmé through the playwright’s window and calling him a ‘bog-trotting, veggie shithouse’.
Peter Crouch, Spurs to Stoke, £10m
This fellow opened the new branch of Waitrose I had built at the bottom of my garden and I couldn’t help noting at the time his remarkable resemblance to the works of Alberto Giacometti. During the finger buffet afterwards I enquired whether he had based his prodigious frame on the Cubist surrealism of Switzerland’s eighth-favourite son.
To this day, I shall always ponder upon what his gnomic response truly meant, but despite repeated enquiries amongst the nation’s leading intelligentsia I have yet to find precisely what ‘the back stick’ is or indeed how one ‘gives 110% to the gaffer’. I remain intrigued.
Nicklas Bendtner, Arsenal to Sunderland, season-long loan
The lad deserves a run-out and should link well with Gyan, but could it leave the Gunners a bit light up top? It is a puzzle, wrapped in an enigma, cloaked in 77 inches of hulking Dane.