Friday, February 22, 2013

WAVES AND WAVELETS

A dirty blue dystopian tidal wave is at our door. The first, flotsam-strewn wavelets are playing across the plinth and dampening the frayed front edges of our casually discarded Micah Richards slippers. The sky grows dark and angry, disgorging great black plumes across the horizon.

Discontent swirls around the columns and arches of the old ramparts like a serpent intent on wreaking havoc upon all it surveys. A clock strikes the witching hour somewhere in the middle distance of a corridor lit badly by flickering torches. The sound of knives being sharpened on an industrial lathe can clearly be heard. Somebody might already be screaming.

The night talks to us in cold, discomforting epithets. Robert the Dread and shallow-water-City. Dead Men Walking and Motionless Shakeless Kolarov. Disaster is close at hand. Or, at least, something that smells very like disaster. It might, on the other hand, just be badly cooked brodino. Flee if you can, if you wish and, if you stay, avert your gaze, for terrible hobgoblins are about to enter the realms of humankind and blow out those torches of hope. All we will be left with will be the clothes we stand in, a clinging darkness and -possibly- the Europa League.

Then, without as much as the briefest of warnings, the glorious Manchester City of recent times reappears and smites four goals past the hapless men-children of Leeds. They tinker with them like a cat fiddles with a ball of wool. Then, when the plaything is bedraggled and out of shape, they bat it casually into the bushes. Are we to laugh again and straighten our backs, or to remain hunched in the corner, awaiting the next fearsome blow? Is this the way to salvation, an army of marching luminaries, bare-chested and brave, chanting about the best team in the and and all the world? Or are we to start daubing sheets with welcome phrases in Portuguese?

Modern football has taught us to treat victory and defeat in the same exaggerated manner. Second place in the table? Woe is me. Look at the millions of petrodollars fluttering in the Lancashire gale. A defeat at Southampton? God bring down a cloud of locusts on anybody, who does not equate such a thing to the very gates of doom rattling on their ill-gotten hinges, the very end of civilization as we know it. Horsemeat bound in sheets of cheap pasta awaits us all.

Scott Sinclair, Champions League
Arsene Wenger's Great Arsenal Story Book is a case in hand. Is this a black thriller or a comedy set in the labyrinthine waterways of rain-kissed Alsace? Are we meant to listen to the appalling bleating or get on with the washing up? Can this be the future of football, with its unfathomably expensive puffy seats, its matchday experience and its styrofoam cups?What in God's name is happening?

City's midfield, strident and well turned out, ran tiny intricate rings around its opponents, leaving Michael Brown with his shirt on back-to-front and his team-mates chasing what appeared to be the dust marks left by shadows. The goal tally could and maybe should have been seven or eight, but the happy crowd went home with four to slot into their memory banks...
Missing Cavani's music
Win the Cup or its the end of the road, suggests the Daily Hopscotch. Kolo kind of agrees, but not in so many words, misquoted as he is, always is, in the Daily TwostepsBackwards. Even the ornate Italian, distant and frazzled, is beginning to enter the fray. "If they sack me, then all the league's managers have to go...". There are signs of Beesleysndrome and of The Raging Ashtons. Things and people are getting to him again, no doubt. So, 2012-2013 has something of the gallows about it, something of the night, something of the vaguely ridiculous. Would City watchers really have been attempting an argument as preposterous as this, had the bouncy summer budget been spent on Van Persie or Cavani, or Hazard, instead of poor unused unloved Scott Sinclair? Might that 12 point gap at the top have been reversed? Might it have been wise? You know, in the circumstances. To keep on building.

Instead talk is cheap and our air is char-grilled. In place of lying in the sun awaiting another tidal wave of smiles and belly laughs, we find ourselves huddled in an uncomfortable ball, avoiding the stares and muttering about "wholesale clear-outs". Between the knee-jerk reactions to life's tiny ups and downs and the lack of any reaction at all to last summer's needs, it is charming to see that we are still capable of cutting a funny old figure sometimes.


2 comments:

  1. Here's some speculation:
    Is Southampton Arsenal?
    Is Leeds West Brom
    Is Chelsea Norwich?
    Do we storm home winning every game and snatch it at the death again? I would be happy just storming home. Is there any chance at all of the rags falling over again? Ha! It will be good at least to push them for as long as possible just to see them sweat.
    I think that Chelsea game was the best I have seen a City team play, man for man. I can't recall such a superb team performance. Of course there have been more outstanding performances based on individuals standing out, but I'm talking across the board: every single player against Chelsea turned up and put in. It was hard to pick a man of the match, to the extent that upon much reflection I came to the conclusion that Aguero probably was the least convincing performer (excellent once again around the field but his touch let him down too often in the penalty area) and he's Richard Jolly's man of the match! So little between any of them.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Here's some speculation:
    Is Southampton Arsenal?
    Is Leeds West Brom
    Is Chelsea Norwich?
    Do we storm home winning every game and snatch it at the death again? I would be happy just storming home. Is there any chance at all of the rags falling over again? Ha! It will be good at least to push them for as long as possible just to see them sweat.
    I think that Chelsea game was the best I have seen a City team play, man for man. I can't recall such a superb team performance. Of course there have been more outstanding performances based on individuals standing out, but I'm talking across the board: every single player against Chelsea turned up and put in. It was hard to pick a man of the match, to the extent that upon much reflection I came to the conclusion that Aguero probably was the least convincing performer (excellent once again around the field but his touch let him down too often in the penalty area) and he's Richard Jolly's man of the match! So little between any of them.

    ReplyDelete

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Imbiber of Amantis 2005, cold water, black coffee. Victim of great Winona Ryder trouser theft; hapless dreamer, willing accomplice and crafty left sided midfielder.

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