The candid thoughts of Premier League referee Colin Preece, as recorded by our eavesdropping mole in the Duck and Peasant.
So far so good at the Euros, n’est-ce pas? England, I mean, Dave. Yes, security too. One is reluctant to make jokes about that, but the way the fans are, they can do a good job of disrupting the proceedings without outside help.
Russia, eh? Who’d have thought it. In the bad old days of the 70s it was the British fans and the Dutch who used to make trouble, while you didn’t hear anything about the Soviet supporters. Then they get a bit of freedom and suddenly they realize all the stuff they’ve been missing out on. All the racist crap they could have been chanting, all the bananas they could have been throwing at black players – I reckon some of them think they had a deprived upbringing for that reason.
And across all the countries, you see players have learned from the English ones. Not in terms of technique, Baz, no. I mean they’ve discovered that they can have a haircut like a badger and a sleeve tattoo that makes them look like an oik, just like an English Sunday league player.
Talking of tattoos, you know what gets me? It’s when a girl gets one in the small of her back, just above her bottom. You can see it if she’s wearing low-cut jeans, but mainly , to get a good look at it she’d have to be naked and you’d have to be behind her. It conjures up images, Dave, images that in the right circumstances with the right girl might be very nice, but the state of some of these specimens…
Cheers, Gary, I’ll have a bottle of Guinness. No, not a pint of draught, a bottle. Tastes very different and I like it, that okay with you? It’s the hardest thing in the world to pour, a bottle of Guinness. You know with ordinary beer the bartender gets the bottle right in there and might even push the mouth down into the stuff that’s in already, so it slows it down. I saw a guy try to do that with two bottles of Guinness once, one between thumb and index finger and the other between index and middle, you know, the classic barman’s grip. And the stuff just zoomed up and out of the glass like a chimney sweep leaving Vesuvius. It’s a volcano, Baz, very famous. Jody was telling her students about it last week. Not strictly on the curriculum, but she works outside the box a lot. One of the things that attracted me to her in the first place, as a matter of fact.
Anyway, the football: some nice free kicks and England did look good for most of the Russia game but the chances just didn’t go in. They will. It’s looking promising, so if Roy can avoid wholesale tinkering, I reckon we could be in for quite a nice little ride this time. Yes, it is a pity Gareth Bale’s not English. Pity it’s not a UK team, in fact. But that will never happen because the smaller countries would never have more than one or two players in it. I don’t know why they’ve stopped producing great players, but they have, haven’t they? Where’s your Kenny Dalglish and Graeme Souness and George Best and John Charles? Archie Gemmill and Peter Lorimer, Dave, quite right.
Who from Scotland and Northern Ireland would get in a UK side now? And from Wales, Bale, certainly, Aaron Ramsey maybe.
They’ve chosen independence in football but not other things. So we can cheer them on, except on Thursday, obviously, when we play the leek-chewing gits and hope they don’t spring a surprise just when we’re getting on our feet.