I DON’T know about you, but by the time The Football League Show trundles around on a Saturday evening I’ve usually taken a snifter or two.
But last week’s edition had me wondering whether I should ease off the electric soup, when I thought I heard Manish Bhasin praising Harry Redknapp for displaying “a canny touch in the transfer market.”
Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure Redknapp knows exactly what he’s doing and it may well be that his January captures play a pivotal role in getting Queens Park Rangers over the line come the end of the season.
But dabbling in the transfer market is that much easier when you have a board who are willing to facilitate the arrival of a quartet of strikers and a couple of other signings.
This, of course, is in addition to a squad which is valued at around £50million and reads like a who’s who of the Premier League from about five years ago.
Okay, so Richard Dunne, Clint Hill, Nico Kranjcar, Joey Barton, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Jermaine Jenas, Bobby Zamora and Andy Johnson may not be in the prime of their careers, but Redknapp was already presiding over a proven and experienced group of players prior to Friday’s splurge.
Set in that context, scattergun might be a more accurate adjective than canny.
Compare the London club’s shopping spree to Burnley’s and it only serves to underline the fact that the race to get out of the Championship is not being played out on a level playing field.
While QPR were stockpiling strikers, the Clarets were paying up the contracts of a couple of fringe players – possibly to offset the cost of their only January signing, Ashley Barnes.
All of which makes Saturday’s 3-3 draw all the more impressive. No other team has scored more than one goal at Loftus Road all season, none have come back after twice falling behind and it’s difficult to imagine a team more deserving of coming away with a maximum haul.
Here was a performance which embodied what Sean Dyche has built at Turf Moor over the last 15 months – a fantastic togetherness, a tireless work ethic and a refusal to lie down.
Let other clubs play the transfer market all they like, Burnley are rich in qualities that money alone simply cannot buy.