WHITE NIGHT: PICKING OVER THE BONES OF DEADLINE DAY

Jim White is having a bad dream.

He’s in his birthday suit. He’s being pursued through the corridors of Sky Sports HQ by a mob of faceless Aston Villa fans. They’re baying for blood.

Rather than fighting back or reasoning with them, however, all he can offer is a wretched shout of “the clock is TICKING!” before being mauled by a bloodthirsty Brummie.

The excitable Glaswegian wakes up in a cold sweat. He mops his brow with a yellow tie. Quickly, he turns to his concerned missus. He warns her that if he has another nightmare she’ll “hear it here first” and to “hold on to her hat”.

This always happens to Jim White after Deadline Day.

For the rest of us, the real terror is to wake up and discover our manager has signed a 7ft Romanian janitor who has “good feet for a big man”, but will inevitably end up on a boat back to Bucharest before Bonfire Night.

Despite this, Deadline Day is better than Christmas for football junkies. But there are real problems with buying things when you’re desperate AND against the clock: you end up paying over the odds and you usually regret it.

PREMIER LEAGUE CLUBS SMASH TRANSFER SPENDING RECORD

With Premier League clubs forking out a combined £835m on new players – that’s enough to buy 417 Michu’s, fact fans – it’s unavoidable that some chairmen will eventually look at their latest signings like a drunken one night stand …

… it was a good idea at the time, but your big man eventually flopped.

Over at Sky Sports HQ, excitement levels reached fever pitch as Welbeck headed for Arsenal, Falcao swapped the glamour of Monaco for the meat and two veg of Manchester, and Tom Cleverley clinched a late loan deal to Villa.

Whether these deals will prove to be good business or not remains to be seen, but unlike running a fantasy football team, these players can’t be replaced at the click of a mouse or a damning swipe of a finger.

Ultimately, football managers live and die by the signings they make, the results they chalk up and the cliches they spew to the press. Get it right and they’re modern-day Bill Shankly’s. Get it wrong and they’re karate chopped harder and faster than Mr. Miyagi on a Red Bull binge.

As for Jim White, he can go back to resting easy, dreaming of the witty repartee between Chris Kamara and Jeff Stelling, and wishing he was the cheese in their triple-decker banter sandwich. Until the next Deadline Day, that is …

THE TOP 5 MOST TOE CURLING FOOTBALL TRANSFERS OF ALL TIME

Managing a modern football team is much like running a wildlife park full of amphetamine snorting peacocks.

You’ll spend half your time trying to prevent your polygamous kingpin doing himself a mating related injury, in addition to fiercely protecting the hyper, younger members of the family.

You’ll also expend a fair amount of energy adding to your party – also known as your squad for those who’ve given up on the peacock analogy – in a bid to strengthen the ranks.

But dabbling in the transfer market is fraught with danger.

For every good egg – think Pepe Reina, Henrik Larsson and Kolo Touré – there’s a rotten egg hell-bent on stinking out your dressing room with their wretched goals to games ratio or defending like their feet are made out of Weetabix.

So, as a warning shot to managers around the country desperate to fortify their pathetic squads before the transfer window slams shut, we’ve compiled a list of the five most toe curling football transfers of all time …

ANDY CARROLL

Newcastle to Liverpool; £35m, 2011

After Chelsea coughed up £50m for Fernando Torres, Liverpool felt ready to part with £35m of it to land Newcastle United’s longhaired goal grabber, Andy Carroll.  During his spell with the Merseyside club, however, Carroll could barely buy a goal and was promptly packed off to West Ham on loan.

Premier Punt Verdict: Never trust a man with better hair than your missus to fire you to silverware.

FRANCIS JEFFERS

Everton to Arsenal; £8m, 2001

Famously described by Arsène Wenger as a “fox in the box”, Francis Jeffers made his debut for Everton at 16 before moving to Arsenal in a deal worth £8m. Dogged by injury throughout his spell at Highbury, Franny made just 22 appearances and scored a measly four goals.

Premier Punt Verdict:  The kid had potential, but £2m a goal is a paltry return on investment.

WINSTON BOGARDE

Barcelona to Chelsea; free transfer, 2000

Signed during Vialli’s reign at Chelsea, Bogarde turned out to be a very expensive mistake. Just weeks after Bogarde put pen to paper on his contract, Vialli was given the boot and the new manager, Claudio Ranieri, told the player to leave – but considering Bogarde was earning £40,000 a week, the big defender was understandably reluctant to give it up, sitting out his contract before retiring a very rich man.

Premier Punt Verdict: Money can’t buy you class, but Bogarde clearly didn’t care.

DANIEL PRODAN

Atlético Madrid to Rangers; £2.2m, 1998

Despite having a knee like a decaying pineapple, Prodan somehow passed a medical and arrived at Ibrox from Atlético Madrid in a £2.2m deal. Widely regarded as the worst transfer in Rangers’ history, Prodan didn’t play a single competitive game in his two-and-a-half years at the club.

Premier Punt Verdict: Find a club doctor who didn’t win his PhD in an online auction.

WALTER ROJAS

San Lorenzo to Dundee United; £200k, 1991

Wander around Dundee shouting Walter Rojas’s name through a megaphone and you’re likely to suffer an unfortunate mishap. Signed by Jim McLean, it’s claimed the Arabs were victims of mistaken identity, with Rojas rumoured to be an Argentinian singer rather than a “flying winger”. Either way, Rojas was promptly punted on a plane back to South America having never played a first team game.

Premier Punt Verdict: Hire a translator who won’t dupe you into signing his cousin “for a laugh”.

Now it’s over to you …

With the English Premier League season set to kick off soon, who do you think will turn out to be the worst signing of the 2014-15 campaign? Let us know by firing us a message at Facebook or Twitter – we’d love to hear your thoughts.

TAKE IT TO THE BRIDGE: DIDIER “TUPAC” DROGBA BACK AT CHELSEA

It’s a little known fact that Didier Drogba was once nicknamed Tupac due to his love of bandanas and bling.

At Marseille, Drogba would live up to his hip-hop handle by rapping the French national anthem while Fabien Barthez beatboxed around the dressing room forcing uncomfortable teammates to kiss his bald head.

Years later, in a wretched attempt to revive his gangsta rap moniker with his Chelsea cohorts, Drogba would attend showbiz parties with his Premier League Golden Boot award hanging ostentatiously around his neck.

Poor Didier.

In one final effort to live up to his nom de guerre, Didier’s last game for Chelsea saw him go out all guns blazing, as he scored the winning penalty in the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final against Bayern Munich.

Since then, the Ivory Coast striker has had profitable spells in China and Turkey – he reportedly earned a sign-on fee of €4 million plus a basic wage of €4 million per season at Galatasaray – but has recently rejoined Chelsea on a one-year contract.

THE CHANCE TO REIGNITE A SPECIAL BOND

Enter JoséMourinho.

Persuaded by “The Special One” to forego offers from three Major League Soccer clubs in North America, it seems Drogba simply couldn’t resist the pull of the English Premier League and the chance to bring silverware back to Stamford Bridge.

But aside from scoring goals and having Mourinho whisper sweet nothings in his ear, what else might Didier Drogba get up to if, as Mourinho has hinted, he’s merely used as a squad player this season …?

  1. Take Torres to Hampton Court Maze and do a runner.
  2. Steal Petr Čech’s headgear and pretend he’s a contestant on Gladiators.
  3. Convince Willian to start a Black Eyed Peas tribute group called White Nosed Beans.
  4. Fly Oscar to The Oscars and present him to the Best Actor winner.
  5. Persuade John Terry to become a monk and live a life of abstinence.

While some, none or all of the above may or may not pan out, it’s clear that old José trusts “Tupac” to fire his team to glory this year, claiming that Drogba is “coming with the mentality to make more history”.

It remains to be seen whether The Special One’s decision to bring the 36-year old back to the Bridge will be vindicated – but we’re chomping at the bit for the season to begin so we can find out …