Monday, 25 November 2013

Football is the New Rock (and roll)

With the nights drawing in and with hamstrings twanging like a Mississippi Delta bluesman’s guitar, we have had slightly lower numbers to choose from over the past few weeks. Cue the return of legendary post-punk front man Spizz, who rode to the rescue on his push bike complete with LED lights and Spizzenergi leggings to push the numbers up to seven aside.

While Spizz would never leave the house without gelling his peroxide hair up a la Billy Idol and donning his Spizzenergi branded biker’s jacket and leggings, age comes to us all and Spizz’s memory is clearly fading fast as while he arrived with his England shorts and Aston Villa shirt and socks he had forgotten to bring any football boots. This gave us the tantalisingly comedic prospect of Spizz playing for an hour in black leather boots complete with buckles and three inch soles, aka ‘New Rocks’. Fortunately, Steve kindly agreed to let Spizz play in his trainers, which were still around three sizes too big for the diminutive New Wave hero.

And so the game began, with the following line-ups:

Blue Bibs – Tony, Steve, Ross, Will, Paul, me, Ian Gooner

Yellow Bibs – (or green, if you are Nick Beard) Simon Gas, Danny, Nick Beard, Simon Ink, Ian Baggies, Bristolian Paul, Spizz

Yev had texted Simon Gas before the game to say that he’d be around ‘half an hour late’; sadly, this turned into a full hour, so for once the sides remained as above for the full sixty minutes.

I began the game in goal and, incredibly, didn’t let anything in. The Blue Bibs’ play was built around the metronomic passing of Will, who has brought an Iniesta-like quality to proceedings in the past two weeks, breaking up play, intercepting loose balls and sparking attacks, sometimes all in one movement. By contrast the Yellow Bibs never quite got their final ball right – Spizz was handicapped by his comedy shoes, and despite looking dangerous from corners courtesy of Danny’s movement, they struggled to impose themselves.

The final score was, I believe, 6-2 to the Blues: among the Blue goal scorers was Ian, who scored from a very tight angle when everyone was expecting a cut back from the byline, Will, who finished off a great move by receiving a ball from Ian and rounding the ‘keeper, Ross, Tony and even myself. I grabbed one from a pleasing lateral move which culminated in Ross playing a nice weighted pass so I could steer the ball inside of the near post and then scored another effort via Simon Gas which spun cruelly away from the usually peerless Simon Ink in nets.

The Yellows’ two goals both came from blunders from the Blues as first myself and then Will got caught in possession playing out from the back. Danny and Spizz took advantage.

The Yellows evening was typified by a late chance that fell to Bristolian Paul, who somehow failed to connect with an excellent through ball. The miss had the Blues clutching their heads with their hands. At the other end Steve crashed a fierce volley back of the right post and then attempted to steer home the rebound with his less favoured left peg, but the Blues managed to retain enough shape at the back to prevent the scoreline running out of control.

A reasonable turn-out at the Skinners this week, with a group of drinkers including Yev, who is a victim of what is known as ‘presenteeism’, i.e. where members of staff want to maximise their presence at work by being there for as long as possible, the emphasis being on the hours clocked up rather than the work they are doing. Yev’s new job at a reputable European financial institution is putting pay to his appearances on the pitch, sadly. Hopefully this won’t be the case for too long. Topics under discuss this week included the aforementioned working hours, but also stretched to the Merseyside derby, Sunday trading hours and the luck of being born in the late 20th century in the long post-war boom before the present issues of entering the labour and housing market became apparent.

See you on Friday…

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