Wednesday, July 09, 2014



One of those delicious rainy Belgian July days (I say this without irony). On such a day you feel justified in indulging whatever whim in reading & listening & writing as the rain hammers on the Velux.

This morning I'm coming over all Fitzgeraldian. It's as if someone has taken a toy from my childhood, dropped it & stamped on it for good measure. Like many schoolboys of my generation I grew up worshipping the name Pele and all Brazil stood for in terms of football. The players seemed to float across the pitch - wasn't there a theory that practising on the beaches meant that grass surfaces gave them that 'bounce'? I remember watching That Save by Gordon Banks in Mexico '70 and those many free kick wizardries. And yet right now it all seems to be ... in tatters.

7:1. It is hard to believe. & yet perhaps a good thing. Perhaps now there'll be a realisation that great teams are not about one or two individuals (think Rooney & England, too). Perhaps the media will lay off building up individuals before they've proved their merits on the pitch (I can't remember a single advertisement involving a member of the German team & yet what a performance - as a group & individually). Perhaps people will begin to join the dots & see how the professionalisation of  football works not just in bridging social inequalities but reinforcing them too.

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