What are the best things about football?
Immaculate first touches? Crisp passes played directly to feet? Sweeping team moves that begin with the goalkeeper nutmegging an opponent? Respectful crowds politely applauding each side off at full-time and then going about their business because there’s more to life than football?
The best things about football are, in no particular order:
- Crunching tackles from balding, overweight centre-halves on long-haired, yellow-booted Fancy Dan wingers.
- Thundering headed clearances that land deep in the second tier of the stand.
- Referees not booking anyone after 22-man onfield punch-ups.
- Piss streaming gracefully down the terraces as fans brawl contentedly in the stands.
- Attacks falling apart as a result of the Big Man Up Top’s inability to pass the ball five yards either side of him.
But, thanks to the molly-coddling Health & Safety brigade in the FA (and probably the EU), you won’t see any of those wondrous and TRADITIONAL events occurring at either of England’s big derbies this weekend. These killjoy nanny staters have taken all the fun out of the sport.
When was the last time you witnessed a pair of midfield dynamos walk off the field drenched in blood and each other’s bodily fluids after 90 minutes of two-footing each other in the shins? And yet still find the time to nut one another into unconsciousness in the tunnel?
That’s what English football has always been about.
What we’ll get this weekend from Liverpool-Everton and United-City, however, is three hours of tippy-tappy Eurocrat rubbish from a group of foreigners who’re trying to impose their ‘systems’ and ‘philosophies’ ahead of our own traditional British values. For shame.
Manchester United v Manchester City
Here’s one thing I’ll tell you straight off the bat: United will be better off without that Pogba lad.
He spends too much time on his hair, and not enough on learning how to head the ball forty yards. He has all the talent in the world, that kid, but he could take a thing or two from players like Lee Cattermole or Ben Thatcher. Who needs a rabona dragback turn when you can knock someone into the advertising hoardings from fifteen yards inside the touchline?
But that posturing fraudster won’t even be the most annoying thing about this match.
No, that’ll be the stands packed full of gift-shopping tourists watching the entire game through the screen of their iMac tablets. If you tried that at Maine Road back in 1982, you’d be escorted out of Lancashire and told not to come back until you’ve made amends by smashing up some plastic chairs in a European piazza while following England away.
On the other hand, it’s not as if the actual football will be worth watching. The United manager at least tries to play decent football by ensuring his players bash it long at the earliest possible opportunity.
But as for that Qatari lot in blue – well, lets just say their style of play is Not For Me. All this passing, passing, passing. Just get it forward, lads. If the ball is in-and-around their box, you won’t make any mistakes.
Liverpool v Everton
At least this one will be vaguely interesting thanks to the presence on the sidelines of a world-renowned, innovative, charismatic and hugely accomplished coach. Sam Allardyce would be Barcelona coach if he wanted to be.
Which he presumably doesn’t, otherwise he already would be.
Already, the big man is making a difference to an Everton side that was ruined by the influence of a technocratic foreign charlatan. Ronald Koeman would have sent the Toffees down, but now you’d be surprised if they weren’t challenging for the European places by the end of the season. Not that there’s any reason to want to play in Europe, of course.
As for Liverpool, they’re an absolute mess in defence. It’s obvious they need an English core back there. Why not just bring in Ryan Shawcross and Craig Dawson? Problem solved.
Every time Dejan Lovren falls over trying to execute a treble stepover, a puppy dies. Or at least it would if the PC Brigade actually allowed that kind of thing to happen any more.