Daft Superstitions and Nice Footballers
Posted on July 10, 2021
I was speaking to a chap I know the other day and I mentioned our cricket club had been showing football on the TV if he wished to watch the final there.
He told me that he would like to, but because he had watched previous games in the same the pub, he didn’t want to put a curse on the team by changing now. How bonkers is that?
Can you imagine the scenario? Gareth Southgate is on the training ground. He is going through various systems and scenarios in a bid to outmanoeuvre Italy. He sees one of his coaches marching towards him, pale faced and forlorn.
“Gareth, we have a major problem”.
“Oh God…what is it?”
“John from Basingstoke has changed pubs”.
“Well, that’s us fucked then”.
He’s not the only one, all over the radio phone ins the other day there were people talking of doing things such as wearing the same pants. I know the world is batshit crazy right now, but imagine John Stones hoofing the ball into his own net because ‘Mad Frank’ from Gillingham has changed his Y fronts.
The other thing that is starting to niggle me, is how perfect the players are. All week we have had former teachers and youth football coaches jumping at an opportunity for a few minutes of fame. It’s heartwarming stuff but it gets a little bit like when neighbours call a man arrested for murder someone who was polite and respectful, keeping himself to himself (whilst busily filling his freezer with limbs).
I am not saying I want our footballers to be reformed murderers but according to these teachers and coaches, they were faultless to a point where they were holier than the good lord Jesus Christ. What ever happened to the council house tearaways saved from prison by football? I want to hear some good stories.
Are the tales of Les Ferdinand smashing up the Blue Peter garden behind us forever? Possibly. The money in football is now akin to being a city banker (euphemism semi-intended) and the filthy rich don’t miss a trick when there is big money in the offing. There are football pitches springing up in public schools up and down the land.
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However, the fear that like popular music, football will be stolen by the upper middle classes, might not be realistic. Seeing Cuthbert Farquarson-Smythe banging in goals for England as Mumford & Sons sing the national anthem, is not reality.
Arsene Wenger (who knew a bit about football) scoured the planet for street footballers. He knew better than anyone that pampered footballers who can bully but can’t take it back, are not up to the task. Despite all the talk of diving and cheating, you have to be tough to be a footballer. Imagine Cecil Ponsonby from Eton coming up against Giorgio Chiellini, an absolute brute of a man. It won’t happen but I’d love to see it.
Despite all the nice boy stories, thankfully, the England football team still comes from diverse backgrounds and cultures. They represent all the benefits of immigration and offering opportunity for all. They have a manager who ensures they appreciate that and hearing that all their match fees and bonuses will go to the NHS, will irk those who try to damn them even further. A year ago, Matt Hancock (remember him) urged football players to “Take a pay cut and play their part”.
A year later they have done far more to make the country a better place than that disingenuous little runt could ever dream of.