Michael Mackay was released by Hartlepool United (where he scored 10 goals in 64 games over four years) in the summer of 2011. He returned to Consett, where his first spell had brought 82 in 70 games. Ever-present last season, his 45 goals in all competitions included hat-tricks against Tow Law and Northallerton. He stuck four past Guisborough, and Jarrow Roofing leaked, letting him put five past them. Goals are what Pools used to score, ironically, but rarely after they released Michael Mackay.

Gareth Bale finally signed for Real Madrid after stringing it out for months, the deal being done for a mere £85 million or 100 million Euros. Which makes him the most expensive player in the world, and relegates his new team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo to being the has-been former most expensive player in the world. Will that have any effect on how Mr. Bale is accepted at the Bernabeu? We shall see.

And talking of Mr. Ronaldo, comment has been made about the likeness between him and Pools' young midfielder Bradley Walker (right). There is certainly a bit of a similarity there, but promising as he is, just at the moment Pools might be prepared to swap him for the real Ronaldo. Sadly that now won't happen, what with the transfer window now being closed.

Finally, a big thank you to Hartlepool United. After a dire August for the team, the Monkey Business contributors duly did us proud with a load of stuff, much of which was commenting on the grim state of Pools. Then, shortly before the launch of the September Bizz, Pools go and tonk Bradford City. And there's hardly any time to do anything to reflect the change in mood. You can always rely on Pools to be unreliable.