Ooh, Chelsea are stylish. Oooh, they’re now are Chelsea. Admiral Nelson are Chelsea. Chelsea are so stylish they have half an avocado with chopped coriander leaves garnished with crème fraiche instead of oranges at half-time. And what about Liverpool? Can the Liverpool back four wear an Armani suit! Wow! Digital! Last year when we went to Man United I had a right row with the gaffer. It was over the team meal the night before the game. He’s very old fashioned is the gaffer. He wanted a choice of fettucine with mushroom ragu or potato gnocchi and mackerel dauphinoise on a bed of asparagus followed by leeches and crème brulee. I said to him –
‘That’s not very modern, Gaffer. Very old fashioned I call that. Offal’s what’s stylish now. We should be having calves’ liver with onion gravy or faggots and braised cabbage eaten in the presence of a Damien Hairst installation’. Was the gaffer mad? ‘e were boilin’.
‘Right he said, right. Stanley Matthews and Tom Finney wouldn’t have refused to eat what was put in front of them.’ A’ said, ‘Excuse me, Gaffer, but Stanley Mathews and Tom Finney would have been eating toad in the hole or egg and chips followed by spotted dick.’
Ooh he was mad. ‘Right, he says, right. We’ll ask The Oldest Fan. ‘E saw Stanley Matthew play.’ (We always bring The Oldest Fan along for superstitious reasons). ‘E said, ‘Oldest Fan, would Stanley Matthews and Tom Finney have eaten fettucine with mushroom ragu or mackerel dauphinoise on a bed of asparagus or not?’
I’m sorry to say the old dodderer let me down. ‘We-e-e-ll’, said the trembling ancient, clutching his programme from the 1953 cup final, ‘we-e-e-ll they might have done if they had been playing no-o-o-wa-a-a-adays.’
So I lost the argument. It was three weeks on the substitutes’ bench for me. The lads were great though. One of them said ‘Hamilton, any time you want to come over and see my new pelmets to restore your lacerated sensibilities you can’. Nice wasn’t it? It’s really tough being a big stair. Still, you have to take the rough with the smooth. As King Eric used to say, When ze trawler t’rows over board ze sardines ze seagulls will gazza. Gazza, eh? Haw haw haw. Very post modern