In the time before the internet, your club signing a new player was a wonderful thing. There was no Wikipedia to help you find out about the stats, no bloggers with specialist knowledge of the league, no Youtubification where someone has interspersed the player's only good touches to a high energy dance music. There was a bit of bloody mystique. There was magic.
At school, you would hear on the playground grapevine that your team had signed a new player. Boys, pretending to have some sort of insider knowledge, would spin yarns, pretending they knew about the player. I'll acknowledge I was - and no doubt remain - that yarn spinner. They'd know an uncle or a cousin or some far-off relative who knew all about the new player. Tried and trusted heroes were thrown to one side as everyone pretended to be the new player in kickabout games.
If he wasn't a big name - or if he wasn't playing in the First Division - the buzz would be phenomenal. Sometimes this was reserved for youngsters (McManaman, Giggs and Parlour all spring to mind). Sometimes this was a new signing.
I vividly remember Liverpool signing Ronny Rosenthal. He came from Standard Liege (almost certainly mispronounced by the boys of St Helens County Primary School) and one boy in the class knew about him. He was, apparently, going to score. We forgot about Rush, Beardsley and Barnes. We wanted to be Rosenthal. How fickle is the football fan? Legends forgotten in an instant all because of the rush of the new.
And he didn't disappoint. He scored 7 goals in 8 games. A goal on debut and a perfect hat-trick ten days later at Charlton. His goals in those last few weeks of the season helped Liverpool to an 18th league title.
Most people remember Ronny Rosenthal for that miss against Aston Villa. I'll always remember him for the buzz his arrival created. That is, after all, what football transfers should be about.