Monday, May 25, 2009

It's Not Called Soccer Dammit!

Time for boys talk.

This year was a sad one for my football club, Southampton. And I'm going to explain why, with a whole bunch of other narrative thrown in...

Up until the age of about 14 I liked Liverpool, but that was more to do with the fact that they were the successful team of the time. I didn't in fact live anywhere near Liverpool, probably quite like a lot of their current supporters. Anyway, I wanted to have a proper bond with my team, something that would allow me to become more emotionally involved with the sport that is important to any young lad growing up. It needed to be a special link, something that would give me that "I belong" feeling. Normally you support the team that's local to where you grew up, but as I'd moved around a lot whilst getting to the heady heights of 14, I didn't have that roots connection. So I looked even further back than just growing up, I looked to where I was born. I was in fact born in the Channel Islands. Unfortunately there isn't a Jersey United playing in the Premiership, but there were 2 players in different clubs that were born there. 1 of them happened to be a very gifted player, constantly making back page headlines for scoring incredible goals. However, he was playing for a mediocre team (at best) and they were always fighting against being relegated from the top tier of English football. But part of supporting a team is doing it through the good times and the bad. That's the emotional connection, it's the low parts that make the high ones taste even better. So my new found bond between me, Matt Le Tisser and Southampton Football Club came into being, and I've loved supporting them for the last 17 years.

Le Tissier was a brilliant player, and probably kept us in the Premiership several seasons running by scoring important goals at crucial times, and most of them were spectacular. He was also pretty lardy, couldn't run for toffee and had a beak you could undo cans with. But nobody cared, because he scored goals. Obviously a player that makes headline news like this is going to attract interest from much bigger clubs, and I remember reading about Chelsea bidding £7m for him and thinking crap, he's gone for that sort of money. Southampton are a small club, and 15 years ago that was a significant amount of cash. But he turned it down, deciding to stay with the club he signed for as an 18 year old. Displaying such a level of loyalty, when having a cash carrot of that size dangling in front of you and in times when all footballers are obviously just only worried about money, Le Tissier was elevated to deity status in Southampton. Banners at matches displayed simply "Le God". He remained at the club until his eventual retirement in 2002.

Here are some of his goals...



After he retired we battled on, but eventually lost the fight with relegation a couple of seasons ago. I had hoped for an immediate return to the Premiership, but it wasn't to be. Instead, all of the Southampton supporters found themselves in familiar territory, staving off relegation. It came down to the last match of the season, we had to get a result against Sheffield United in the Championship. They were playing to get back into the Premiership, so we were at very different ends of the table. Matt Le Tissier was working with Sky Sports, commentating on the match...here's the story of how it unfolded...




It's obvious from the video that his loyalty and his passion for the club hasn't dwindled. Watching those 2 videos warmed my heart, but saddened me because of this seasons news. A woeful season, a lack of desire from a lot of players, bad management, a half empty stadium, many things have combined to contribute to Southampton being relegated once again. The 2009-10 season will be spent playing in Division 1. I only hope we manage to rise to the challenge and get promoted. I wouldn't mind seeing a few more players like Le Tissier, players that want to do well for the club because it's a place they want to be. Players that aren't shallow, money obsessed, diving, cheating, cock sucking parasites that bleed supporters dry just because they have to pay for their girlfriends coffee enema, a completely chrome car and a 65 year old prostitute. I didn't really mind that we weren't a successful club, because I loved the emotions at the end of the season, the "will we, won't we" see-saw of if we were staying up or not. I'd like the won't bit to stop for a while and be replaced with when we win Division 1 and go back to those happy emotions displayed so accurately by Matt Le God.

8 comments:

Aunt Reeny's After Thoughts said...

I didn't read this coz the only thing I know about SOCCER is that it is what my Grandpa and Mr.Marmite watch on Sat mornings. I went to a Toronto FC game last summer but spent the entire game in the beer garden with my back to the pitch...

All Mod Cons said...

Reeny - It's not so much about the actual game itself, more about the connection with a sport & the emotional ups and downs that go with it.

And seriously, it's called Football. I know this because we invented the game. And that's what we named it. AMC has spoken. ;-)

Aunt Reeny's After Thoughts said...

S'pose I've been told. I hate being told off my English people, it's so much worse than a North American 'what for'.

Isn't football that game where a bunch of fairly overweight dudes run after something called a pig skin? ;)

All Mod Cons said...

Reeny - *sigh*...The ball hasn't been made of pigskin for a fair few years! As for their weight, I think you'll find that they're a little slimmer than the American "football" players are.

Football is in fact played by tarts (see last paragraph of post). However, the game IS played by kicking a "ball" (which is ROUND) with your "feet". Hence, Foot-Ball. Unlike in America, where the ball isn't round (so it's not a ball is it!) and it's held in hands and thrown, but very rarely kicked. Personally I think it should be called Handegg. Much more accurate.

But I'm willing to go along with the tag of American Football. Why? Because that's their game, and they gave it the name. All I ask is that other nationalities respect that same idealism and call the game Football, not freaking Soccer!

I mean, I'm not going to start calling Ice Hockey, Skating With Sticks now am I!?

Aunt Reeny's After Thoughts said...

Burn on me. I am just tryin to get yer goat. I have full respect for what ya'll call the beautiful game :) I don't watch it personally, however, hearing the sound of proper football, footie etc etc in my Grandpa's house on Sat. mornings is always comforting. He is a Celtic fan.

Regarding hockey, call it whatever ya want. No skin off my back :) I do however like watching all the burly hockey teeth dudes grow in their beards during play offs.

All Mod Cons said...

Reeny - Burn on me? Wassat then!? Yeah, I know you were, not rising to it! Celtic, a team I like too. Even if they are Scottish ;-) Gutted they lost the title to Rangers.

As for hockey, after seeing that game in Germany, I'm definitely coverted. Love it. Canada RULE! (Oh, as do my adopted team, The Flames!)

Aunt Reeny's After Thoughts said...

Burn on me! Colloquialism used here that basically means 'you got me' - sometimes it's like we speak 2 different languages :)

Hockey is pretty brutal compared to 'football' lots of fights and body checkin' gwanin!

Aunt Reeny's After Thoughts said...

Oh and the Flames = boooooooo!