Team of the Week
|Paulo Ferreira||William Gallas|
|Ricardo Carvalho||Claude Makelele|
|Damien Duff||Arjen Robben|
A flashback to Football Hell
Tedium, who was born afresh once every generation, was sitting quietly in a sort of celestial changing-room that floated on some delicate astral plane. A gentle breeze occasionally rippled through the room, carrying with it a thousand faintly shimmering stars that danced playfully around her a few moments before breathlessly hurrying onwards.
In this outdoor changing room, Tedium had been sitting for a decade, lazily contemplating her bland and predictable spirit. Presently, during the course of a conversation she had with a white, ghostly voice that was carried on the breeze, it became known to her that she was soon to be born anew.
It was a long conversation, of which only fragments are repeated here.
TEDIUM (Yawning): To where will I be sent this time?
THE VOICE: You are to be born in to something called The Premiership.
TEDIUM: Is it an exciting time to be visiting this place? I do loathe excitement and entertainment. Bright lights and high spirits always leave me terribly weary.
THE VOICE: You need have no concerns; your time there will be as bland as a ha'penny.
TEDIUM: Oh good.
THE VOICE (Disheartened): Yes, Tedium, you will be at home there. (Sighing) Not long ago, The Premiership was ever such an exciting place; unpredictable and refreshing, it captured the hearts of a whole continent. People were in awe at its beautiful potential.
TEDIUM: It sounds vulgar. What happened? Where did all that tasteless stimulation and excitement disappear to?
THE VOICE: Acting much like a little boy might do with a new teddy-bear, a rather strange little man from a very cold country decided to take The Premiership as his new favourite play-thing.
TEDIUM: (Casually) Oh?
THE VOICE: He played with it every day; taking it every where he went and showing it to everyone he met. All his friends were soon very jealous, for it was all anyone ever talked about.
THE VOICE: Soon, though, it became tired and worn, and it started to fall apart at the seams. It began to lose the vibrant and beautiful colours that made it so exciting in the beginning.
TEDIUM: (With a little more interest): It grew... boring?
THE VOICE: Very boring. Suddenly The Premiership didn't seem like such an exciting play-thing. Although the strange little man still loved it as he always had, other people quickly began to lose interest. It ceased to inspire and excite them as it once did; soon people were no longer talking about how wonderful it was, but would say that it was all a little dull. They began to think that it was better before the man had got hold of it and hugged all the life out of it.
TEDIUM: Good. So now there are no bright lights or high spirits in this Premiership? None of that tiresome thing they call adventure?
THE VOICE: None. Just monotony and predictability and weariness.
TEDIUM (Doggedly): Good. How long will I be staying there?
THE VOICE: It's hard to say. All the signs suggest that you will reign for quite a long time. Perhaps (here there was a long pause, during which there is a new sound that might have been The Voice sobbing quietly in to a handkerchief)... you will never leave.
TEDIUM: Excellent. I like being somewhere for the long haul. And will the people there like me?
THE VOICE: No, first you will be hated. Then, you will be ignored. And then, finally, you will be unloved and discarded. Just like an old teddy-bear...
The dialogue ends here, with Tedium still sitting idly in the changing room, musing over how long she would rule in this new humdrum world.
All this took place on Saturday morning, just moments before the first of this weekend's Premiership fixtures kicked-off.