Saturday, 20 December 2008

Matt Le Tissier

I pick this up, with no sense of shame, from More than Mind Games, where James Hamilton has had an excellent series on what he calls 'the friendly clubs', including Norwich, Ipswich, Watford, Luton and Southampton (scroll down for them all). James is a natural elegist, enthusiast and scholar. Football is its own elegy, all the time, which is - partly - what makes it beautiful. Football is the lost boys being wizards. Fair heartbreaking, I sometimes think.

Matt Le Tissier was one of the few English football geniuses of the post-war years. No wonder the England national team mostly ignored him. I prefer to think of him mad as a hatter, swimming the channel at the age of eighty.


Poet in Residence said...

Lovely to see him. His body language reminds me of Fools and Horses, Del Boy's Rodders a bit.
I was there when he went by the Rovers' captain Sherwood (Rover appx 1min in) like a speedboat going past a yacht.
Hey, we actually won yesterday! Thank you Stoke for playing Santa.

Billy C. said... caught us on a bad day. I like Blackburn Rovers though. Three reasons for that. 'Rovers' is a great name for any football team. Lancashire, in my humble, but well travelled opinion, breeds the most lovely people. Peter Dobing played for you and is one of my all time greats.

George, 'Tiss' had the hallmark of greatness: a brain, the ability to use it and the knack that all great players have, he made it all look so simple, which, of course, it is. Only poor players make it look so difficult. We seem to have an abundance of the latter at Stoke. May God help us on Boxing Day. I shall still enjoy it if I get to see a cameo appearance by Giggs.

George S said...

Blackburn are nowhere near the bad team their league position shows them to be. There is a difference between a bad team and a team that plays badly for a while. The difference is between ability and psychology.

As regards Ince I was really sorry to see him go but maybe the board had little alternative. Keane lost the Sunderland team, and Ince probably lost the Blackburn team. Both were bad losers as players and this may not be the best qualification for managing a team. I doubt whether any of the great aggressive players ever became a good manager. Very few at any rate. And Stoke?

I fear for Stoke, Billy. It's the second half of the season that is the worry. It always is. Once the other teams have adjusted, once the long-throw man is injured, once a certain tiredness sets in with a small top class squad. I very much hope Stoke escape, but if I had to suggest the relegation places they would be West Brom, Stoke and one from Middlesbrough, West Ham and Sunderland.

Pity to lose anyone this year though because I think they are all better than Wolves at the top of the Championship. And in any case I have had a soft spot for Stoke, ever since the Dennis Viollett, Stanley Matthews days.