A Senior Moment: Is it really still the beautiful game?

Call the newsdesk on 01780 758951 or e-mail smeditor@stamfordmercury.co.uk

Call the newsdesk on 01780 758951 or e-mail smeditor@stamfordmercury.co.uk

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2 May 2014: Contrary to almost universal adulation of the ‘beautiful game,’ I must admit football leaves this old codger stone cold.

The sight of 22 grown men kicking a piece of inflated leather – or whatever the balls are made of these days, around a field accompanied by much spitting, swearing and knocking the living daylights out of each other in the process, does nothing for me at all.

Childhood recollections of matches viewed from the shoulders of an enthusiastic parent midst orderly spectators, have virtually faded from the memory banks.

So I don’t get too interested in the daily doings of this merry band of overpaid prima donnas - the Wags are something else of course! The game tends to dominate our media at the best of times and with the humongous hoo-ha at Manchester United of recent weeks, it has been even more difficult to get away from it all.

Albeit in total ignorance of the rights and wrongs of the matter, I have to say I feel quite sorry for David Moyes. To get the boot so soon after stepping into such mighty and well-worn managerial shoes seems somewhat premature and pretty harsh to say the least.

But I guess with only a handful of managers in the game who have lasted more than three years, it’s not that surprising.

It’s hardly a career with long-term prospects is it? Even if the money’s good!

But I have often wondered why so many managers appear to be foreign imports. Every time you see a TV interview, the manager seems to have a strong accent of some kind or another and I don’t just mean the Scots or Geordies.

Perhaps, being from far away places, it’s because they don’t understand what they are letting themselves in for.

Mark you, with so many foreign players in the top teams, you never know, it might help bridge a communications gap. They say ignorance is bliss!

And I’m not sure those who lay claim to having coined the ‘beautiful game’ – or even those commentators who use it so frequently and lovingly, would agree it remains so.

With all the worldwide tales of sleaze, bribery, corruption and mayhem abounding – not to mention the lorry-loads of Monopoly money involved, the word bountiful seems much more appropriate,

But of course this is not just about football.

With very few exceptions you can apply the same slings and arrows to virtually all walks of life.

From booze to banking, politics to pharmaceuticals, insurance to injury lawyers, they’re all at it.

As a fellow wrinkly said to me recently “we have become a me - me, gimme - gimme society.”

How very sad but very true.

Right, having doubtless upset all my football-crazy readers out there, run the risk of getting lynched by a baying mob of yoo-nighted yah-hoos, or being run out of town by a rabble of whistle blowing referees, I think it’s time to move on.

See you next week – I hope!