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Blog: A Deep Political Football Analogy

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I have not been going on about The Football on the blog here of late, but rest assured I am still GOING and this season very much ENJOYING the antics of Peterborough United. Indeed, things have been pretty GRATE lately, in that we have not only been WINNING but also Playing Quite Well, two things that do not always go together or, INDEED, sometimes happen AT ALL.

Of course, there were NAYSAYERS at the end of last season who foolishly doubted the club's assertion that they wanted a Fresh Young Squad. Some even claimed that they were just selling off the older players for CA$H and buying in cheap youngsters, but I for one never had any doubts and anyone who says otherwise is just making it up and almost definitely doesn't have it in writing.

The most noticeable thing about this season's bunch of players - apart from the aforemented fact that they actually sometimes WIN games - is that they do a lot of Passing It Around. This may not seem unusual to people who watch The Premier League as Passing It Around would appear to be one of the basic requirements of any football team, but it turns out that you actually need a bit of SKILL to do this properly, especially when some LOUTISH opponents try to rudely get in the way. THUS below the Championship this practice has a tendency to go Very Badly Wrong Indeed, as players kick it to totally the wrong place so that the other team gets the ball instead. It's fine, because the other them usually cock it up themselves almost immediately, but does lead to Terrible Problems if your team ever has to play someone vaguely better.

THUS long-term supporters like what I am have become used to the proud tradition of HOOFING, where a player simply HOOFS the ball as far as it will go and everyone runs after it. It is a NOBLE craft which I have come to appreciate, so when our lot first began this new-fangled Passing It Around I found it put my nerves on edge. "HOOF IT!" I would shout, but luckily for all concerned they did not take my advice - although I'm sure that, AS EVER, they went back at half-time and reported my views to the manager, who will have taken them into due consideration before deciding to stick to his original plan. It is a good thing he did, for LO! it actually seems to work!

The only problem remaining is that it can be a bit frustrating to watch your team just Passing It Around between themselves for ten minutes at a time. After years of HOOFING you begin to YEARN for someone to just whack it in the vague direction of the goal, in the hope that some lone MAVERICK will have managed NOT to be offside and then have a go at scoring a goal. In olden tymes this was joyous and delightful when it worked, but the problem was that it almost never did, especially in the vast majority of my lifetime when Ivan Toney wasn't playing for us. However, it turns out that Passing It Around works VERY MUCH INDEED to the extent that we are currently in the automatic play-off places and look to be in with a chance of staying there.

The reasons I mention all of this here in such excessive detail are twofold. Firstly, it is nice to have the chance to SHOW OFF about us winning for once, and secondly because it reminded my somewhat of the currect political situation, where most of us see Kier Starmer on telly being Sensible and A Bit Dull and Not Really Saying Much, and everybody sits at home shouting "BE RADICAL!" or "SAY RICH PEOPLE ARE AWFUL!" or whatever because it would be a lot more exciting to watch. However, as we know from past experience, this almost invariably goes horribly wrong and they end up losing 3-0 to the bloody Tories again, whereas doing it THIS way seems (so far) to actually be working.

Having said THAT, however, I note with interest that the a) much beloved b) successful c) radical manager Mr J Klopp has just announced he'll be leaving Liverpool at the end of this season, COINCIDENTALLY just before we (FINALLY) have a General Election. Coincidence? Or harbinger of the J KLOPP FANCLUB becoming a political party? If so, bring me my laser surgery and teeth whitener and SIGN ME UP!

posted 26/1/2024 by MJ Hibbett

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