Harris Sportsthoughts

Thoughts about Sport

Mummy’s Little Soldier

with one comment


This way old-timer


For someone who is so meticulous about the conduct of his players, it must have been a particularly trying week for Fabio Capello. Judging by this photo he looks to have aged 20 years, walking only with the aid of a zimmer frame. If the blizzard of dropped knickers and tawdry speculation wasn’t stressful enough, another nugget of bad news has landed like a winnet in his Horlicks.

Sir Alex Ferguson announced on Thursday that he’d withdrawn Owen Hargreaves from his squad for the final stages of the Champions League, an act which seems to harbinger the death of Hargreaves’ hopes of playing in the World Cup. He has been laid up with a knee injury for 18 months; Ferguson has previously suggested that his return has been delayed by a crisis of confidence, an unusually candid disclosure concerning the frailities of one of his players.

In some ways I’m not surprised when I consider Hargreaves. He has the diminutive physique and gauche curls of an under-14 badminton champion, and the light Canadian whine of a man who grew up being wedgied on daily basis. If you look closely enough you can almost see the the faint vestiges of the word ‘wiener’ scrawled onto his forehead. He has probably spent the last two years sitting in the nurse’s room at the training ground, sucking his fingers and waiting for his Mom to pick him up.

Of course appearances can be deceptive. The actuality is that on the pitch Hargreaves is a tiger and was by a distance England’s best player in the last World Cup. It was a tournament that culminated in a man-of-the-match performance in the quarter-final against Portugal and he was the only Englishman with the requisite testicles to score in the penalty shoot-out. He has the advantage over his team-mates in this regard, having completed most of his football education in Germany, where they know how to develop good testicles.

So chin up little soldier, there’s no need to be afraid. You’re a better defensive midfielder than Gareth Barry and probably a better right-back than Glen Johnson. We need you. Your country needs you. England that is.


Written by harrisharrison

February 5, 2010 at 10:11 pm

One Response

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  1. Back in the mists of time I remember him knocking in free kicks better than Beckham and possibly even going in goal and saving penalties with a broken neck? When he’s back fit he should be sent straight to Haiti since he’s probably a dab hand at national reconstruction too.

    I think this is a case of ‘Ashton’s Law’ – “A player’s reputation will increase in direct proportion to the number of months he is out injured.”


    February 8, 2010 at 10:29 pm

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