This morning Theo Walcott lazily poured his Rice Crispies over his bowl, getting almost some of them in, and then getting a good fifty per cent of the milk in as well. He could have done a little better had he concentrated, but he was never really willing to do much properly, the main thing was that he got it done fast. Admiring the quality of his work, he tweeted the results. He ignored the people pointing out that he’d made a real mess of the whole thing. ‘Trolls.’ he retorted. The day was good, and after perusing the sports betting sites, he made a few hasty and terrible decisions on who to back, but the main thing was he got it done fast.
After driving to training, pranging his car a few times against the dual carriageway divider, but making it there in record time, he carelessly stuffed the rejection of the latest contract offer into Arsene’s In Tray. There were a few typos in there, but he got the gist. He’d do spellcheck next time, if he could be bothered to ask someone how to do it. It didn’t look likely.
Looking at his new tattoo, he decided he might as well try to do one himself. Getting a hot needle and splitting open a marker pen, he wrote THEO WALCO on his wrist before he ran out of space.
After a quick and eventful - three speeding tickets - ride home, he ate some lunch (half-cooked pasta) and indulged in some positive visualisation ahead of the game on Saturday. ‘Theo Walcott sprints past the full back, he’s got yards of space, the game could be decided here, he just needs to pull the ball back to Tevez and… goal kick.’
Perfect, he thought. I am ready for the big time. I am it.
Jumpers for Goalposts takes various aspects of the contemporary game – players, managers, competitions, those in higher authority, supporters and the media – and sizes them up against football’s past and its ideals, considering how and why change has come about and, eventually, how different kinds of change might be initiated. Plenty of the cultural shifts and schisms it talks about get us in to a right royal funk (how did we get to the point where Charlie Brooker could liken idolising a footballer to worshipping a shire horse, and you kind of got what he meant?) and at some points nostalgia – bald, irrational pining – has slipped past the editors, but it’s mostly quite well considered, and occasionally factually correct. It might be a lament, but it’s not a moan. We don’t hate football. We’re just not sure we want to buy what it’s selling.
You can buy Jumpers for Goalposts by Georgina Turner and Rob Smyth for a ludicrously small sum here
SWA 3–0 WHU. Beefnecked egosaurus Sam Big-I-Am orders Herod-style reprisals after local toddler fails to ask for his autograph.
AV 1–3 EVE. Eyebrowless bitch magnet Moyes charge with bad sexual etiquette after bimbo Lambo leaves ruthlessly Assanged.
MNU 3–2 FLM. Revered midfield typo Andesron sparks not-that-funny misprint avalanche as Rubbin Fun Percy and Shit Peg make full debuts.
NOR 1–1 QPR. Feckless Gallic vajazzle Cisse tantrums his tits off after some terrible cunt has the temerity to tip-fix his 6-yard fuck-up.
SUN P-P REA. Match abandoned after Royals boss births fully-grown manatee through urethra.
SOT 0–2 WIG. Ofcom orders pixellation of highlights package after Obama-baiting harridan Orly Taitz scores stunning brace with her vulva.
TOT 1–1 WBA. Croaksome Lee Marvin wannabe AVB watches new Spurs rust up in the rain as last-gasp lawman Clarke pulls out his sheriff’s badge.
CHE 2–0 NEW. Diet-mackem liberty-takers far too busy turning Andy Carroll into a human Ponzi scheme to notice there was a game going on.
STO 0–0 ARS. Thumbless imbeciles proudly berate biped after victim returns to scene of attempted amputation with full complement of limbs.
LIV 2–2 MNC. More days like this, indeed, as Lynda La Plante’s DCI Rodgers watches bonehead plod punt points into a shit-filled ditch again.
Faxed in by Little Big Match
The three of us all love football a lot. It’s in our blood. It’s why we’re such happy people. But which one of us loves it the most? Modest young gentlemen that we each are, we’d rather give the title to one of the others than to ourselves, so we’ve come up with reasons why the other ones like football more than us. Here they are:
1. Callum has a favourite formation. It’s got more than three layers.
2. Alex has a collection of players’ autographs which he calls Alex’s Special Friends and only get out on weekends.
3. Ethan plays FIFA with all 22 players changed to look like Jack Pitt-Brooke.
4. Alex named his cat after Steven Gerrard because he hopes he will one day be, in his own words, “an Anfield great, and one of the best players of his generation”. But he won’t.
5. The last time Callum kicked a football he shouted “and Shevchenko has won it!” and refused to put his clothes back on.
6. Alex shouts Goal! every time he does something good at work. He is not successful at his job.
7. Ethan refuses to acknowledge that Nemanja Vidic is not his cousin, and that he doesn’t talk to him anymore due to ‘family shit.’ Do not ask him about it.
8. Callum makes all meal times end in a penalty shoot out ‘for verisimilitude’ and never explains.
9. Ethan knows what PSG means but also has his own secret meaning.
10. Alex did his hair like Neymar and then cried because it didn’t really look like Neymar, it looked like Andy Johnson.
11. Callum did a sketch of Frank Lampard thinking about art.
So, who likes football the most? The clear and comprehensive winner is Mr Alexander Netherton. His prize is a year’s subscription to Paul Hayward’s Twitter feed and, as he requested, a Neymar wig.