13 May 2010

"I didn't know Gareth Bale was Welsh..."

F-C finds football talk "tedious in the extreme" (it's a quote of his from years ago that I've never forgotten) but I have to mention the beautiful game today. So much is going on.

My team were relegated and deservedly so. BA's team didn't progress in the play-offs. But VS and his olden golden heroes had a marvellous season which was complemented by a manager of wit and sartorial elegance so obvious that even Stuart Hall felt compelled to comment upon it.

Beyond all that, and beyond Fulham's heroic stumble at the final Europa League hurdle last night, there is the small matter of the World Cup to consider.

I know loads of people who give no tosses whatsoever about football but somehow every four years manage to hang an England flag from their front window and try to begin arguments about whether Rio Ferdinand is still the same player he was in 2002.

They claim to like football. They don't. They are the same people who show no interest in politics whatsoever and then turn up to vote at 9.55pm every five years because they feel left out.

Although the game is more important to me than work, music, this blog, I have as much admiration for out-and-out football loathers as I do for my fellow devotees whose weekend is dictated by a match and whose mood is subsequently dictated by the result of that match.

I have less admiration, however, for people who think they know better than the people who actually work in the game. I therefore hate myself, as someone who writes match reports and other bits for various websites disagreeing with tactical and selection decisions made by managers. But while I do this, I find there are limits, and this quotation from the front of the BBC's World Cup pages has made me laugh today:-

"After Fabio had picked his 30 squad I thought I'd pick a 23 man squad, who in my opinion, are a better all round squad with a stronger first 11."

I don't need to read his actual squad of 23 to know that this guy is someone to pity. He brazenly believes he knows better than a highly-paid, highly-successful, highly-qualified coach as to the form and talents of England's best footballers. Naturally, he appears under a pseudonym.

I've had debates and disagreements about certain footballers, as have BA and VS, but all of us know where our alleged knowledge stops is nowhere close to where the professional football person's begins.

My summer will consist of shouting "get Crouch on!" rather a lot while drinking ale and bemoaning the day the FA succumbed to scandalous Government interference and sacked Glenn Hoddle. But even if we win the World Cup and Peter Crouch spends all his pitch-time on his arse, it doesn't mean I know any less. It merely means I knew bugger all to begin with.


Five-Centres said...

I'll allow it, seeing as your team has tanked.

Valentine Suicide said...

There's a guy who sits behind me who holds a running conversation with the manager and several of they players, and becomes incensed if the formation isn't what expect, or a player is played out of position.

I didn't hear him apologise to M Mc when all the decisions he had made during the course of the season, resulted in us finishing between 4 and 6 places higher than most predicted.

Looking forward to the World Cup. Though a chap who, to my knowledge, has no interest in football has already said, "Why's he taking Bent?" out loud.

John Medd said...

There's a lot to be said for bellowing 'Play it square', 'Sit it in' or any other banality at your TV screen. It's what televised football's for.

Bright Ambassador said...

Mick McCarthy? I'm not pissing on anyone's bonfire here but his punditry during the Forest/Cardiff game over Easter was dire. It was like listening to The Four Yorkshiremen. Anyway, that takes nothing a way from his skills as a manager.

I used to work with a bloke who had no interest in football at any other time apart from when England were in a major championship. A fellow colleague and I once went round his car and counted over 20 St. George crosses of one description or another. Tit.

Tell you what though, I bet those Russians were shitting themselves when Beckham got up to speak at that handover thingy. Not.