Beautiful game but minds are warped

WHEN God invented the beautiful game he’d had one of his better days. Seen one fjord, seen them all, but football changes forever.

Contrary to popular mythology, the Big Fella is not infallible though. On the day he rested maybe he could instead have put some work in on our personalities.

On Saturday, in the ghastly world of Twitter, the word ‘Merseyside’ was ‘trending’. No, I don’t get it either. Apparently it means oxygen thieves are obsessing about something.

I’m not sure any city has ever won two trophies on one day before. I do know for a fact it wasn’t Liverpool.

It began with Dalglish on their evening paper’s back page. Something about perches which I didn’t fully understand (more later).

Then the mirth grew merrier still. Owen having orgasms about a medal he did the square root of zilch to earn.

Rooney shaving his IQ into his pasty flesh, and desperately retouching his bitter blue roots.

Ferguson doing a wonderful Violet-Elizabeth Bott impression, “it’s not a bad league, it’s not, it’s not, it’s not!”

United supporters trying to reach the toppermost of the poppermost with one of the most n-n-n-n-nauseating ‘songs’ ever made. One even snuck into Anfield to unfurl a banner for 30 seconds and get thrown out. Fifty of your best English pounds well spent, obviously.

Wilde had something to say about being talked about.

Not that we were too rational either. We were too cool for polar bears; “we need that”, “monkey off our backs”, “reality check”, “there’s Kenny’s team talk for next season” etc.

If someone had suggested winning all those titles was to our disadvantage they’d have probably nodded their heads loose. At times like this, and despite too many years of rehearsal, it’s impossible to set the proper tone. Technically it’s Villa’s perch, since they once went 50 years as the clear leader in league titles.

We had a good stab at emulating them (33) so don’t get too frazzled about United’s one. History lasts a long time, and you can quote me on that.

Aye, but there’s the rub. The only club that can stop that one season from expanding is Liverpool, and what state are we in to abort their mission? A damn sight better than we were 12 months ago, certainly.

It’s hard to type clutching fistfuls of straw, but let’s plough on regardless. Our Mancunian cousins will doubtless reply “whatever” to all retorts anyway. It’s futile telling them the real killer in this race, one in which the hare still sleeps, was when they achieved parity.

We could and should have halted them in their tracks during 2009, temporarily perhaps, but that one really smarted.

We’ve been having our own celebration, with the manager’s official unveiling resulting in excessive euphoria. I don’t see why a King needs another coronation, but that’s how it felt and who does it hurt? I’ve been wincing at some of the premature boasts made for next season though. Supporters don’t need much to become triumphal and recent results had us digging out maps of the Polish border.

Today, Craven Cottage. Tomorrow? Well, y’know.

So rationalisation returned with a vengeance on Sunday.

“Who needs the Europa League anyway,” was the clarion call. Lately we’ve had more wake-up calls than Sleeping Beauty.

Tottenham were very good, Modric and Dawson excellent, and they burrowed a tunnel back into our consciousness. According to some they were already out of next year’s equation, too many consumed with Abramovich and Mansour’s spending plans.

Can someone now draw a line through Howard Webb? It’s pretty blatant now, surely? It seemed to affect Suarez, who was chippy from the off. In such situations the manager must warn his players to focus on football, yet some of our diving was disgraceful and utterly pointless anyway.

Kenny’s next task is to make us stronger in adversity. We concede first and there’s been a strong whiff of surrender for much of the last decade and a chronic paucity of the stuff true champions are made of.

Damn them.


Naomi Campbell model tells Michael Odell why she’s inspired by Black Lives Matter and the young people taking action against racial injusticeModel behaviour - Naomi Campbell at 50

Eve Kelliher explores temples of Zoom to get verdict on relocation from boardroom to spare roomWhat we've learned from world's biggest remote working experiment

As those of us who love to have friends round are tentatively sending out invitations, we’re also trying to find a workable balance with necessary social distancing rules, writes Carol O’CallaghanTable manners: How to entertain at home post-lockdown

Helen O’Callaghan says asthma sufferers need to watch pollen levelsBreathe easy: Pollen tracker protects asthma sufferers

More From The Irish Examiner