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the square ball week: endless summer

the square ball week: endless summer


Photo by Howson is Now

There has been no football for weeks.

It doesn’t count when Bayern Munich win the European Cup, and hasn’t since 1975, so that wasn’t football. The excess of the Champions League final was eclipsed by the Mostest Costzillionist MegaLadyGaGame on Monday, and while it was nice to see Watford lose in a play-off final, the cash-money weirdness of the fight to be relegated from the Premier League next year sort of diminishes the football side. There was a game at Wembley this week where if you squinted a bit the white shirts and dark shorts sort of looked like Leeds away, but the green shirts of the opposition meant we’d probably have been away to Yeovil. And that isn’t football.

There has been no football for years. It was a long time ago when Tony Yeboah played for us, but this week he was encouraging Ghanian starlet Christian Atsu to move to Liverpool rather than Spurs, should he decide to leave Porto. “Liverpool is the biggest team in England with a lot of tradition,” said Yeboah. “It was my dream to play for them but Leeds blocked any move when the chance came.” Oh. Sorry Tony. From the end of Yeboah’s first season, here’s Brian Deane’s goal against Spurs that put us in the UEFA Cup and set up Yeboah’s magical hat trick in Monaco. One thing I always loved about this goal was how, after running three quarters of the pitch with the ball to score, Deano ran all the way back again celebrating.

There has been no football for days. But the rumour mill is already grinding, turning out sacks of flour for loaves nobody will ever bake, and that Ross McCormack doesn’t appreciate. Name any ex-Leeds player from approximately the last decade, and they’re being linked with Leeds. Apart from James Milner, that is (too busy kicking balls at the Brooklyn Bridge), or Aaron Lennon (Inter Milan might be too much competition). Or Clarke Carlisle, who has retired, or Lloyd Sam, who seems happy in New York, dodging stray punts from Milner and looking forward to playing against Robbie H Rogers III, who has returned to football with LA Galaxy (and Robbie Keane). Andy Hughes isn’t coming back either, what with his new Charlton contract, and for that matter Jimmy Hasselbaink is now manager of Royal Antwerp, so he’s out. Which basically leaves, um, Jermaine Beckford and Alan Smith. Who don’t Reading want anymore?

There has been no football for tiiiiiime. But on a park somewhere, there might some kids kicking a ball about. Stand at the side, pick a team, try not to look too dodgy; and try not to wish out loud that they’d let you join in so you can score a stunning hat trick and become a legend. Or watch some proper youth football: Tom Lees will be playing for England U21s in the European Championship starting June 5th; Sam Byram is going with the U20s for the World Cup starting June 23rd. Football’s easier when you only want to watch one player; let’s hope no scouts are thinking the same.

There has been no football for ages. Refresh Twitter. Sigh. Sip coffee. Refresh Twitter. Sigh. Sip coffee. Clear out desk drawer; find Gary McAllister Pro-Set card from 1992. There really has been no football for a long time; have you really worked here that long? Refresh Twitter. Think about retro stickers. Sigh. Sip coffee. Decide to read a review of last season; realise it’s in French. Refresh Twitter. Wonder if it’s time to start liking cricket – oh no. It’s raining anyway. Sip coffee. Sigh. Refresh Twitter.

There has been no football for yonks. This, though, is a map of Slovenia. The announcement of the pre-season fixtures has brought the prospect of a game to watch that little bit nearer – Farsley at Throstle Nest, July 6th – but pushed it that bit further away again, to Eastern Europe, and then a bit further again, as only one opponent is confirmed for the three games in Slovenia: To Be Confirmed, FC Domzale, To Be Confirmed. I love that air of mystery, though; will we ever even know who we’re up against in the first and third games slash who those mysterious Slovenes were who came and played and went away? One thing’s for sure: NK Domzale have a swazzy badge, and some fearsome looking fans; the team doesn’t look like anything Rudy Austin should be scared of, though.

There has been no football forever. Come on Leeds, just release a hideous away kit or sell the club or buy Matt Mills or return Kop Cat to Flamingo Land or something. You’ve had your holiday!

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