… Leave Us Be, We Are Not Your Cup of Tea!

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.” — Victor Hugo

You are sitting in your dark room; smoking off your cigs and lungs, the night has darkened everything but the light of your monitor screen and the moonlight creeping inside your room off your window signals some vital signs are in momentum. You are actually watching this video and begin to wonder that some football videos have resonant music in them.

Then suddenly, as you lit your next cig, a thought sparks in your mind that if someone is making videos of men like Billy Bremner, Dave Mackay, Norman “Break yer Legs” Hunter, Claudio Gentile, Effenberg, Roy Keane, Mark van Bommel, Nigel de Jong and so on then what exactly would run in their minds while making the videos about them! Certainly, it must be something heavy metal.

This, in result, made me remember those players who I proudly represent as ‘my people’.

It’s all good when you are listening to Mozart or something Beethoven and watching Beckenbauer, Platini, Laudrup, Zidane, and the likes of Xavi showcasing their skills on screen but what becomes of ‘my people’, Your Honor? However; it’s not football and music that I am going to talk about. I am going to draw you closer to ‘my people’.

“Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it’s much more serious than that.” — Bill Shankly

‘My People’ are, in fact, credited as villains and demons in your world but in my world they are taken as gods who believe—in an old maxim that winner never quit, quitters never win—that victory is not the property of the brilliants but the crown for those who believe in hard work.

Hang on right there, though. Villains and demons I wrote, requires a little justification. We are not the villains and demons of Friday the 13th or Hell Raiser but you can classify our menace in the mold of Joker of Dark Knight. If circumstances arise, we can be Hannibal Lecter… so careful.

We are the warriors. ‘You People’ can easily label us as the rebels of this beautiful game—so you said. We don’t create magical moments for you. We don’t score enough of goals. We don’t initiate sublime passes. What the F—we do then?

We give you presence, we become a crutch where you often lean upon in some crucial moments of the match, we provide link-up between the defense and the attack, we confront the refs for ‘you people’, we take the early baths for you, we literally break the legs of opponents for you, and we in the end give you the taste of the victory. You just can’t run the midfield engine without us. Our ability as midfield generals will always remain unsurpassed. Our contribution in the game will remain misunderstood, misjudged, and underestimated at the very best, always.

And what ‘you people’ do in return? You guys just tear us apart with the titles which don’t even begin to justify our rare greatness such as dirty football, negative football, rebellious football, and begin to call us infuriating characters? What happened to our brotherhood-clan, then? Shame on ‘you people’!

Your Honor, as your humble self can see that ‘my people’ have made a strong case of themselves being treated with injustice, I would take it from here.

The fact is that football has grown in to a religion, it never was a cult and if you call football a sport then, maybe, you are largely mistaken. It stands as a beacon on the top of the universe that offers as many opinions as we can have. It can, and has on many occasions, play a big role in eradicating the problems such as racism, regional differences, ethnic issues, cultural clashes, and what not!

It offers a platform where two nations from different ideologies and religions can get together for whole 90 minutes playing a game in one set-of-rules.

It is football that we have begun to shoot our own version of Brokeback Mountain via Justin Fashanu campaigns. It is this very game that has gathered us all in one big hall with every person having different perceptions.

Football should be taken as it is not as it should be because at the end of day football would never be, and never has, changed with our say-so. There is no negative football but it’s all in the games, you know. Tackles, as we see today, used to carry the drastic aftermath in old times as well; the legs could break off the tackles during the games that time, too. Say thanks to one of ‘My People’—Norman “Break yer Legs” Hunter.

What I am trying to imply here is that transition of football reflects the passage of time. As time, no matter what you do, goes past by and leaves its marks on the face of the history—exactly the same way—football will evolve with its variables and go ahead with the constant velocity. You just can’t change anything about it.

“The only thing that goes with the flow is dead fish.” — Roy Keane

It’s just wrong to underestimate players like Roy Keane or Mark van Bommel and call them plain morons. If you are looking for football kings then you will find them in exemplary players such as Eric Cantona and Dennis Bergkamp but if you are looking to use some metaphors like warriors or the soldiers who battle out the way for their kings then you will end up in with the very players who you call morons i.e. the likes of Keane and van Bommel.

In my opinion, they are kings in their own way but with no bards’ songs.

Tackling was considered as art and now it is torn apart as being one of the ‘issues’ in modern football.

One must understand that malicious tackling is plain wrong in any football dictionary but when you put these players who mastered this art in a same bracket where you put some players like let’s say Karl Henry then the picture starts to dwindle right there. If it doesn’t suit someone then human-race has come up with some sport like snooker, too! Put your tuxedo on and try ‘em out.

Today, in football, we hear voices being echoed on homosexual, transsexual, metro sexual, drugs, doping, fixing, and what not! But one thing remains common that we actually have accepted them. This ‘acceptance’ part hasn’t been decreed on—let’s says—‘My People’, yet.

When Inter literally strangled Barcelona under Mourinho in that Champions League match then I couldn’t stop my grin the entire match and wondered on ‘how suffocating’ part for Barcelona. Next day, Inter was booed for playing ‘negative football’ and I asked myself what the F-this negative football is! Same thing happened with Netherlands in World Cup, you know the rest.

There is no such thing in football as negative football neither there is anything wrong to idolize ‘My People’. It’s all in the tactics and the game. It’s football.

If you underestimate and misunderstand Billy Bremner just because of his reputation being dirty then his statue, at Elland Road, still stands tall to laugh off your claims. If we ever talk about Italia’s triumph in ’82 then it would remain incomplete without Claudio Gentile’s role. It is for Roy Keane that we still remember who Alfe-Inge Halland was. Mark van Bommel has been crucial with his role—no matter how bad it is to you—at every club he has played.

If still ‘My People’ are considered as ‘outcast’ in football and not accepted for who they are then F-that! Leave us be… We’re not your cup of tea.

The Author


Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost — Totti's Disciple. Bundesliga. Passing interest in Russian & Portuguese League. MotoGP, F1, & Tennis. Suffering from 'Neverkusen Syndrome' since 2001.

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