David Prentice: Everton spend in haste, repent at leisure
IF you've ever left Christmas shopping until the last minute, you'll understand the perils of panic buying.
You dash around desperately, spend more than you intended and end up with something not as appropriate as you'd hoped you'd get.
The same theory applies to football's transfer market, as Evertonians can grimly attest.
In 2006 the season started on August 19.
Everton had long since snapped up Tim Howard, Andy Johnson and Joleon Lescott, familiarised them with team-mates, tactics and team pattern, and hit the ground running with three wins, two draws and the most handsome derby win for decades.
In 2007 the season started on August 11.
Everton had already signed Phil Jagielka, Steven Pienaar and Leighton Baines - and enjoyed three wins and a draw from their first five games.
Then the Blues decided to abandon their policy of shopping in the Spring sales.
In 2008 the season started on August 16.
No-one signed until August 26. Even the manager admitted the team was not ready to win Premier League matches.
And a wretched start proved him one hundred per cent correct.
In 2009 the season started on August 15, Everton's first acquisition didn't land until August 25.
The start to the campaign? Well I'm sure you've spotted the pattern.
Spend in haste, repent at leisure.