While most Liverpool fans are dreaming of the wingers we need to sign to provide ammo for the big lump, I'm spitting feathers that we've sp*nked £35m on an ex-Newcastle United ape.
When his time comes, you can all but guarantee every newspaper carrying Frank Skinner’s obituary will give heavy rotation to the words ‘Three’ and ‘Lions’. As legacies go, not a cure for cancer but still infinitely more impressive than yours or mine.
However, should I still be around to raise a whimsical eyebrow in Frank’s honour, my over-riding memory of the man will not be “…and Nobby dancing” but a long-forgotten gag he made in 1994 at the expense of Leeds United.
Rarely is classical literature used as a springboard for terrace humour, a fact that only serves to make Skinner’s use of the “exchange me for a goat” monologue from Othello as proof that Shakespeare had prior knowledge of Howard Wilkinson’s defiantly cretinous plans to replace Eric Cantona with Brian Deane all the more impressive. The exact date of broadcast escapes me but it was expertly delivered from the comfort of the Fantasy Football League sofa sometime in the aforementioned year. Blink and you’d have missed it. I didn’t, and it made me laugh out loud on public transport for many a coming year.
Then one day the laughter stopped.
January 31st, 2011, to be precise. Having just watched the football club I’d supported for 35 birthdays p*ss away a million pounds for each of those years filling the vacant Liverpool shirt of one Fernando Torres with what appeared from most angles to be a giraffe with an ASBO, I realised the joke was now very much on me.
Look, nobody wants to dwell on Deadline Day’s sensibility pogrom a minute longer than they have to, so let’s not mince our words: the former Magpie Andy Carroll is an oaf. A classless, guileless, one-dimensional oaf. And try as I might to convince myself otherwise, no amount of goals, flattering Opta stats or England caps will ever – ever – fool me into loving him.
To call this Loony Toon Neanderthal would be to short-change the unevolved. How on earth he’s come to be regarded as a footballer I’ll never know. He wouldn’t even be allowed into Arsenal’s club shop, never mind one of their teams.
Had Uncle Roy then promptly flushed the lion’s share of the El Nino windfall down the sh*tter drafting in Jimmy Nail’s pet ape as a replacement, Forensics would still be retrieving his entrails from the Stanley Park treetops
He’s Duncan Ferguson without the best bit: the sweatband. A liability off the pitch; an unsightly battering ram on it. If Al Qaeda designed a footballer, he’d be it. Hijack his mind and have him run forehead-first toward the infidel. And when I say run, I do, of course, mean lumber. Pedestrian? Put it this way, Liverpool labrador Dirk Kuyt, the only professional athlete I’m aware of who runs slower than he walks, is going to have to put the anchors on while Big Andy catches up.
While every other Liverpool fan seems cock-a-hoop to have the big lunk on board, I never received the free hallucinogens the club mailed out to the faithful, the powerful psychotropics that have our new No.9 looking like a messiah rather than Mike Teague in a football kit. So I’m left only to wonder soberly how events would’ve panned out had the previous incumbent overseen the deal instead of King Kenny.
In selling former Liverpool darling Torres alone there’d have been hundreds, thousands, burning Hodgson effigies outside the ground. Luckily all we got was a couple of dingbats melting Torres shirts behind the Kop. Had Uncle Roy then promptly flushed the lion’s share of the El Nino windfall down the sh*tter drafting in Jimmy Nail’s pet ape as a replacement, Forensics would still be retrieving his entrails from the Stanley Park treetops.
To make matters worse, on top of the arrests, the sick notes, the corn-rows, and the jaegerbombs, it’s since transpired our new lummox was so reluctant to sign for us he virtually had to be forced over the threshold at gunpoint, instantaneously stripping all passion from a player whose only worthy attribute is blood-curdling levels of local pride.
With that gone, he’s nowt but an empty vessel. A 6ft 4ins footballing void. A big black hole so short on smarts he can be easily outwitted by a humble barstool.
Now, I know it may seem a trifle harsh to be judging a player before he’s even kicked a ball, but to plagiarise a well-worn edict, you don’t need to lick a turd to know it tastes like s*it. So I’ll go on telling anyone who’ll listen that I will never like the man; that I will never like the player; that I will never like the style of football he engenders. And for all the route-one filth he’ll one day foist on us, we may as well have stuffed the money in a shirt, planted it scarecrow-style in the opposition’s penalty area and commenced the barrage of aimless punts. The results would be much the same and with the money we’d save on keeping an artless Geordie cr*pshack out of jail we could treat ourselves to a proper f**king footballer for a change.
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