Why I’m not in the slightest bit interested by Ronaldo’s transfer!
Growing up in a rural village in Buckinghamshire with Northampton 8 miles in one direction and Milton Keynes 8 in the other, I wasn’t exactly spoilt for local football teams to support (I don’t even know if the MK Dons existed when I was a kid, I certainly don’t remember ever hearing of them). I could have supported some lower division team (I had a friend some years later who was a Luton fan), but my family weren’t interested in football, so I wasn’t dragged to a ground every saturday as a nipper. I first started supporting a football team when I was about 6 years old getting goal-keeping training from an older boy on the block. He was an avid Man U fan and his influence along with their underdog status to Liverpool at the time made them a perfect candidate for me.
As my friends will attest, I would whine defensively throughout the second half of the nineties and beyond, quoting this reason for supporting them when I got thrown into the glory-seeker category with all the new fans of that era. It was obvious I must be one of them glory-seekers, I mean I hardly sounded like Frank Gallagher. Well as my scrap books will prove, I was cutting out daily clippings of my teams endeavours way before David Beckham hit that goal past Neil Sullivan.
I’m, by no stretch of the imagination, a flag-waving patriot and I should probably also state (in the current despicable situation of having two BNP members elected to the European council) I have no problem with foreign players in English football. But there was something profoundly heart-warming about that team of 95-98ish, a practically home-grown team was, even back then, quite a rarity and something to be proud of.
I have to admit once we sold Beckham I thought that was it for the team, even though one man can’t possibly make a team. Beyond that though I was also losing interest for other reasons… Since winning the Champions League against Bayern Munich (which also completed the treble) I had found myself suffering what I call my fever pitch syndrome. If you’ve seen the film you’ll know that when an avid Arsenal fan finally sees his team win the league he can let go of his football obsession and get on with life. The Champions League was the last thing I needed to see Man U win and once they had I felt strangely fullfilled. They had done it all, now what more was there.
As the years went by I found myself watching and following the exploits of the team less and less, but slowly it began to dawn on me that my real disinterest in football came from the way it was being played. Diving is now the name of the game and in my opinion has gone beyond all reasonable control. I can’t watch a football game these days without thinking ‘what’s the point?’ With the amount of times players hit the deck the rhythmn is lost so many times we will never know what extra moments of wonder have been denied us.
So how did I feel when I heard Ronaldo was coming to play for us? It was the final nail in the coffin. I have not watched one single match or even glanced at a score since the man has played at manchester. My brother-in-law asked me yesterday ‘how did I feel about Man U losing’, ‘oh yeah terrible’ I replied, but if truth be known I don’t even know what it is we’ve lost. Despite anything else I was still livid about his performance against England the summer before, I’m obviously not as forgiving as Wayne Rooney! Ronaldo though, for me, epitomises the whole ‘hitting the deck’ pandemic that has affected football far worse than swine flu ever could.
Noel Clarke twittered the other day that he could make 10 films for the amount of money Ronaldo has been sold for. Others are crying that how can he possibly be replaced, similar to how I felt when Beckham went. Well trust me he can, everyone can be replaced.
The price tag, the player, the deterioration of the game, they are all reasons why I am wholly a cricket man these days.