New Season's Greetings

By Davies, Hunter | New Statesman (1996), September 6, 2010 | Go to article overview

New Season's Greetings


Davies, Hunter, New Statesman (1996)


It could be my jaded, disappointed mind, still suffering from post-World Cup stress symptoms, but all the Prem players look more lumpen, clumsy, slow, leaden than they did last season. None of them seems able to move gracefully, create cleverly or strike the ball properly. And I'm not just thinking of Wayne.

It could be my London telly. In the Lake District, I bought this new flat-screen thing specially for the World Cup, and a lot of good it did, but at least everything was clear and dramatic. Now, back in NW5, I have returned to my prehistoric steam model. The news here is that Ed Miliband has moved into the next street. He's been spotted at the Indian takeaway. Or is it Thai? Only been here 46 years - but in our house we don't do takeaways. Or eat in the street. So common.

On the ancient telly, I have spotted Capello, still with us, alas, despite being rumbled. Sky was in raptures because last Saturday he managed three Prem games in one day. "The England manager is here," exclaimed the commentator. "And watching!" Well, what else would he be doing? Selling programmes? He always looks neat but detached, cool but vacant, doing nothing. I do like managers who make the odd note. Perhaps he has little people, hidden away, who do his note-making for him, just as he has even littler people who ring his players for him.

Mancini has had his hair cut, looks years younger, and has given up his scarf, but is now wearing some sort of frock coat. It won't catch on, Roberto.

On the fashion front, Alex Song of Arsenal is leading, hair-wise, with his grey curls. …

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