Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

Football

I thoroughly enjoyed the England/Poland World Cup Qualifying match on Wednesday night. It wasn't classic, but it indicated that England have pulled back from the abyss that loomed after they lost to Northern Ireland, and scraped through against Austria. I could enjoy watching, because we weren't playing for raw survival. It was good to see that the sub-Beckham level players who were pulled in could rise to the occasion. I was impressed by Luke Young, though he did admittedly make a stupid mistake that allowed Poland to score.

I like football a lot, but I don't have the time to concentrate on following a particular team week by week. So as a compromise I follow England with no-holds-barred emotional intensity, and that'll break your heart. Because they play so rarely each game matters a great deal to me, and when they get kicked out of a tournament it has real repercussions for me - they stop playing and that's that.

I like goalies, though this is the first time in my life that England hasn't had a really outstanding goalie. Where is the next one? I had a bit of a crush on Peter Bonetti of Chelsea when I was twelve (I never noticed those ears!) mainly because he was nicknamed 'the cat' and I thought that was cool. Later on Peter Shilton was an awesome goalie, who played for England until he was about the age I am now. Incredible. And finally David Seaman, although he had a silly pony tail and a moustache, was literally as graceful as a dancer or a toreador. Just watching him pick up the ball and fling it up the pitch was like poetry.

I thought I'd also give you an idea of why I like football, by describing three of my favourite players, and what it means to me to watch them.

Alan Shearer playing is like chess at the speed of light. There's a flurry of arms and legs, Shearer somehow, somehow, sees a trajectory through those limbs, that threads through every obstacle, and somehow he implements the trajectory, in a milisecond, and scores. Afterwards you watch the slow replay bemused. How did he see that? How did he think that quickly? Awesome. Like Paul Merton, I think the fact that Shearer left school without qualifications, and yet is self evidently one of the most intelligent people one might meet, is a terrible indictment of our education system.

Stuart Pearce aka Psycho for some reason is big, tough, emotional, courageous. Fantastic. What emotional force!

Paul Gascoigne a profoundly stupid man and yet his football gains something that even Shearer and Pearce lack - creativity. Improvisational creative play like nothing you've ever seen before. How? How does a man who beats his wife and thinks that comedy breasts are a neat idea, play like Van Gogh at speed? I don't know. I just hope Wayne Rooney has got it, without the wife and tequila things.
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