What a crazy world we’re currently living in – no, not Covid-19, rather the fact that a footballer barely out of nappies has his shirt retired by Birmingham City and Manchester City decide they will dedicate a statue outside The Etihad Stadium to their recently departed Spanish star David Silva.
Now I’ll be first to doff my cap and say that Silva has been one of the best imports the Premier League has ever seen, but if we are going to go down this road, we could have more statues being stuck up around football grounds that actual supporters inside them.
Mind you, we’d love to see some form of tribute to these five…
The man who’s done more for Spanish golf than Seve Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabal combined, deserves his statue to be erected outside of the revamped Santiago Bernabeu, if only because he simply doesn’t give a sh*t anymore.
When the Welsh wizard was brought in by President Florentino Perez for a gazillion euros back in 2013 and he was meant to be the natural heir to Cristiano Ronaldo. But seven years on, and especially under the stewardship of Zinedine Zidane, Bale has become more of a comedy act sat on the bench than the world superstar he undoubtedly should still be at the ripe old age of 31.
The former Spurs man has spent the past two seasons perfecting his chip out of the bunker rather than over an opposition goalkeeper, but ultimately it’s sad that someone who generally gets supporters out of their seats would rather collect £300K a week by turning up for training and going through the motions than (excuse the pun) bailing out of Madrid and head back to the EPL.
The Dell has long since been demolished, but Southampton are surely missing a trick by not erecting a statue of Senegalese striker Ali Dia outside of St Mary’s. For the millennials reading this here’s a quick recap – In 1996, then Saints manager Graeme Souness took a punt on an unknown striker, who claimed he was the cousin of the legendary Milan frontman George Weah, without ever having seen him play.
The former Liverpool, Rangers and Scotland hardman was left with egg on his face when in November of that year, he brought on his new charge to replace Saints demi-god Matt Le Tissier.
When it was obvious that Dia couldn’t hit a cow’s backside with a banjo, Souey subbed his sub and he was never seen again in the English top-flight. The last sighting of the man himself was in 1997 when he turned out for Gateshead against Bath City. So when Souness next criticises anyone on Super-Sunday, remember, remember, Leeds in November (1996).
There are so many reasons why Pards deserves to be immortalised in bronze outside Selhurst Park and many will point to the fact that he led the team to the FA Cup Final in 1990.
We, however, prefer to remember the boy-wonder throwing some shapes in the technical area at Wembley after his Palace side had equalised against Manchester United in the final of 2016. Following his slick moves, Pardiola became a viral phenomenon even if his side ultimately lost out to the Red Devils for a second time.
There was even talk at one point, that the former midfielder could be the right fit for the England national team as Head Coach and, after Sam Allardyce’s ill-fated two weeks in charge, nothing would have surprised us.
With Pardew at the helm there would have been no dentist’s chair in Thailand during the build-up to a major tournament, more like dancing lessons for his players with David Seaman and his missus.
The 1995-1996 season was a crazy one in the Premier League and even the greatest of them all, former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson wasn’t immune to making the odd blunder. In December 95 Fergie found most of his first-choice defenders in the treatment room so who did he turn to in time of crisis? None other than French superstar Eric Cantona who told his boss that he had a mate who could plug the gap.
Before the seagulls could get a chance to follow the trawler, into Old Trafford strolled William Prunier, who promptly went out and assisted in an Andy Cole goal against Queens Park Rangers. A few days later after Fergie’s annual birthday piss up on New Year’s Eve, Prunier was back in the starting XI to face Spurs at White Hart Lane where he helped his club get hammered 4-1.
Once Sir Alex’ hangover eased up he realised the error of his ways and promptly sent Prunier off to Copenhagen. We feel, however, that his statue would look perfect on the forecourt at the Theatre of Dreams next to the Holy Trinity of Best, Law and Charlton.
AFC Wimbledon are looking forward to moving into their brand spanking new stadium very soon and what better way to celebrate a return to Plough Lane than by erecting a statue of cup final winning captain Dave Beasant at the new ground.
Big Dave’s heroics in the 1988 final against Liverpool, where he became the first goalkeeper to save a penalty in the final, was the stuff of dreams whereas missing a substantial part of the 93-94 season at Chelsea by dropping a jar of mayonnaise on his foot clearly wasn’t.
Many Blues fans reckon Beasant was the worst signing the club ever made and after the performances of Chris Sutton at Stamford Bridge, that’s criticism in the extreme.