Today is my son’s school fete. My other half is on the organising committee and a few months ago she asked me if my work had anything they could donate to auction off. Having replying “no” I placated her by saying that I would write off to the so called “big four” Premiership clubs, plus Spurs and Manchester City, asking if they would be prepared to denote something, a shirt, signed photo you know the sort of thing.
This is a summary of the replies I received:
Liverpool FC – a letter saying thanks and good luck but we’ve our own designated charities and choose to give to them as it’s easier than meeting all these requests – they then gave a summary of what they’ve helped do with the charities – disappointing but fair enough I suppose.
Manchester City – see Liverpool reply.
Chelsea – see Liverpool reply
Manchester United – impersonal pre printed post card basically telling me to go away. There are more diplomatic ways of telling you to f**k off! Perhaps Manchester United should see the Liverpool reply?
Arsenal – glory be what a club! Five signed photos (actually signed not pre-printed) of Fabregas, Gallas, Gibbs, Diaby and Ramsey which we’ve put in a nice frame with the letter of authentication on the back. It should raise a fair few bucks me thinks. Maybe I should have written a few weeks ago as I would have stood a good chance of getting something signed by Theo Walcott, he’s got plenty of time on his hands this summer!
Spurs – no reply received which should please any Arsenal fans who have stumbled on this blog!
One wonders what the response would have been if I’d written to these clubs say thirty years ago. I suspect I would have got more from them, maybe even an offer to open the fete from one the players who would have turned up in a Ford Capri wearing a turtle neck sweater and flares! It seems that as clubs, or indeed any institution, gets bigger and fatter the personal touch is lost? Equally I guess as popularity and appeal rises, it always difficult to keep everyone happy. I guess our policy of having designated charities is fair compromise under the circumstances? Nonetheless hats off to Arsenal for being the only club out of the six to take the trouble to send me something which does pose the question if they can do why can’t the others? I’ve never really had a major grudge against Arsenal even when we fighting tooth and nail (in the football sense) during the late 80s and early 90s and I like them even more now!
To South Africa and no doubt the debates will rage about what is wrong with England after their goal less draw with Algeria. All of sudden cod experts on the merits of 4:4;2 will come out of the woodwork and reach for the number to 606. There will be a surge of opinion supporting the inclusion of Joe Cole who, having come back from injury and not really nailed a regular Chelsea spot, is fast assuming the mantle of a small, short, squeaky messiah who is the answer to all our prayers!
Then of course there is the issue of playing Gerrard on the left. Any Liverpool fan will know that this isn’t this best position and England did look slightly better when Defoe came on and he moved to more central role? However, I guess one has to ask the question about how flexible Gerrard is. He’s a world class player and should be able to adapt yet as he has certainly contributed more to this campaign so far than Frank Lampard perhaps he should be given a more central role? Ultimately though the long and short of it that as long as he does it for Liverpool I don’t really care, Fabio can play him in goal if as far as I’m concerned!
Elsewhere the back four, which included Jamie Carragher and Glen Johnson, did nothing contradict my opinion that it will all end in tears when they come up against any half decent team. Above all I just think it was a bad day at the office. The side looked constipated, almost paralysed by fear. Watching it was like sitting in a station waiting room know that your train isn’t due for an hour yet you’ve absolutely nothing to read, listen to or no one talk to. It was mind numbingly boring however, you had to sit through it. The only entertainment was the pained expressions of Fabio which became more and more comic as the game went on! I wonder if he’s ordered eleven horses heads!
All in all dreary, dreadful stuff. Hopefully I’ll have more success of tombola at the fete. Last year I won back one, just one, of the bottles from the crate of beer I donated. So Fabio, if it’s any consolation, I know how you feel!