At midnight on September 1st, the football transfer window will slam shut, and in the final two days a rush of players will be defenestrated, squeezed through and sent across the country and beyond as last-minute deals are sealed and questionable buys rubber-stamped by dubious chairmen. The lucre that pumps football's beating heart, one that grows increasingly sullied as morally dubious characters purchase cherished clubs, will see footballers untimely ripped from their locales and sent to ply their skills in a new burg.
It's barely remarked on today, but there was a more innocent time when a footballer would sign with his local club, and play for that same side for the remainder of his career. Just what would the modern footballing landscape resemble were players to stay local? More specifically: what would a team comprised of players plucked solely from London look like?
Sadly, Londonist lacks the necessary billions to transfer this pipe dream into a reality. Fortunately, the ever-enjoyable realm of fantasy football will allow us just to pitch such an idea into the mixer. We've entered a team into the Premier League's fantasy football competition - under the original moniker, "Londonist United" - and throughout the season will bring you a weekly update of just how our clique of capital-curated champions are getting on.
To the team, then. Firstly, to paraphrase Pete Seeger: where have all the goalies gone? The current crop of Prem stoppers has only Chertsey-born Robert Green who lays his homeward hat in London, and we've had to plump for Welwyn Garden City's own David James on the bench.
Less problems abound in defence and midfield - for all the opprobrium they attract, Chelsea boast a number of talented Londoners, and we've gone for a solid spine with John Terry, Joe Cole and Frank Lampard. Pride of Peckham, Rio Ferdinand, will reprise his England defensive pairing with Terry, while Sol Campbell brings the experience and - should he remain injury-free - Ledley King may prove a smart buy.
Jimmy Bullard and Scott Parker round out the midfield, while the front pairing of Jermain Defoe and Carlton Cole could prove explosive. Warming the bench are the aforementioned James, along with Justin Hoyte (whose move to Middlesborough should spark a promising career that stalled at Arsenal), Steve Sidwell (who could muscle his way into the starting XI when a nagging injury clears up) and Darren Bent, a man hopefully ready to prove himself worthy of his weighty transfer fee.
Despite starting the season two weeks late, we think this team has the potential to go far. We'll keep you updated on the lads' progress every Monday throughout the season. Comments and suggestions for squad rotations and new signings are most welcome.