Harris Sportsthoughts

Thoughts about Sport

Left Afoot

with 5 comments

I bet there was a funny atmosphere in the England dressing room before the game last night. You subtract a very charismatic reserve left-back out of any equation and it’s bound to have an impact. In fact all that would have been left of Wayne Bridge was a scrunched-up dayglo bib lying in some corner, serving as a luminous totem of the deleterious effect of “going there” with your mate’s ex.

Franco Baldini will have taken Wright-Phillips and Walcott, the little ones, aside and explained gently that Wayne wouldn’t be coming back but he was in a very happy place. Do you mean Center Parcs? Yes, that’s right Theo, Center Parcs.

The rest of the squad will have known the dark actuality. That at that moment Bridge was sitting on the bottom step of the staircase in his Knutsford mansion rhythmically knocking his head against the wall and failing to cleanse his mind of the images that torment him.

JT will have puffed his chest out and tried too hard to carry on regardless, making inane comments about the new kit and flattening his mohawk to one side to attempt wan impressions of Bobby Charlton. No wonder the team wore black armbands.

They played in the first half as if they were distracted by Bridge. Like his massive face had appeared floating behind the goal at one end of Wembley crying large puddles into the dogtrack.

Who knows what happened at half-time but I like to think that as Fabio Capello stared down his battered players a voice piped up:

It is I, Baines. Leighton Baines. I may have the name of a Welsh miner from the 1970s, but I am the future. I promise to uphold the noble traditions of our vanquished comrade Bridge by looking quite going forward but being a bit rubbish at the back. Follow me and I will lead you to glory. Not literally, that would ruin our formation. The second half is afoot, follow your spirit and upon this charge, cry God for Wayne, England and St. George! Who’s with me?

And after a minute of silence as the squad fetched their jaws back up off the floor, Peter Crouch slowly stood up, scooped up Shaun Wright-Phillips into his papoose and said: “Baines. We’re with you, Baines”.

And the rest, as they say, is history.


5 Responses

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  1. It’s Center Parcs – I don’t know why, but it is…



    March 4, 2010 at 8:37 pm

  2. Corrected. Thanks. I should know. I went there once with my Grandma. Great times.


    March 4, 2010 at 8:45 pm

  3. I don’t know what Bridge looks like; I’ve never seen him play. But whenever I see/hear his name I think of Bridger from The Italian Job. Is Wayne a royalist?


    March 4, 2010 at 10:15 pm

  4. I also think of Trent Bridge, but ironically, not Stamford Bridge, which would be more appropriate.


    March 4, 2010 at 10:16 pm

  5. Trent is Wayne’s brother. Neither look like Noel Coward sadly.


    March 4, 2010 at 10:40 pm

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