Issue Insert Hyde pun headline here in preview of Hyde United vs Bradford City which hardly mentions Hyde

As told by Michael Wood

Football seems to have an Armish like devotion to the Fax machine which while long replaced by email for the rest of mankind continues to be used in the beautiful game.

The Fax machine comes into its own on transfer deadline day when it has the last word on who has made a move before midnight and who is left in Phil Whelan limbo having signed for a club they who not in time to transfer the registration needed.

One supposes it is the requirement to have a John Hancock on the document that keeps football’s slavish devotion to the technology of the late eighties alive and well at least in public perceptions.

However we hear that Manchester City have spent the summer pinging offers around written on A4 and passed on by facsimile transmission.

So when Stuart McCall tells all that City have been in touch with the forty four clubs in the top two divisions offering a first team midfield place to whomever can be loaned he tells us that this communication has been done by Fax.

It makes an interesting mental picture. The roll of paper slowly emerging from the beige machine asking Liverpool if the can spare any holding midfielder and perhaps hoping they sling us Xabi Alonso just to spite Real Madrid.

How many other faxes sit on the pile from other clubs? What information is contained within? Who types it? Who presses send?

Moreover is this the way that football works? It sounds undignified and a little needy but perhaps in these days of massive squads the supply and demand of reserve talent means that the likes of Martin O’Neill and Kevin Blackwell are looking for somewhere to put their good young lad where he might get a couple of dozen games.

Whoever answers the call has a run at the Bantams first team. Grant Smith seems to suggest himself more than others if only for his versatility. James O’Brien is acknowledged as having tailed off in his promise while Jordan Hadfield has fallen by the way side.

Smith plays against Hyde for a City team that can be best described as the half that did not play last night. Peter Thorne, Gareth Evans, Matthew Clarke and Jon McLaughin will all get run outs.

The shape of City’s team is know now, as is the squad and at the moment it is Polo shaped complete with a big hole in the middle.

Stuart McCall, the fax machine, Grant Smith and the hopes of supporters try to fill it.

Filling up a vacated role was very much the remit of Hyde boss Neil Tolson who came to City in the pre-Richmond days as make weight in the Sean McCarthy to Oldham move.

Tolson meandered at City looking almost good often but never wowing which is often the way. He left on deadline day a few years after signing to join Walsall.

They probably faxed the bid, it was modern back then.