Ref! On neutrality and haircuts

The candid thoughts of former Premier League referee Colin Preece, as recorded by our eavesdropping mole in the Duck and Peasant.

 Referee

Evening lads,

I notice no one is wearing football regalia this evening. Well, you can’t sit there wearing an England shirt during a competition we’re no longer involved in, can you? So at the moment we’re neutral. And what a boring thing that is, isn’t it Baz?

Well, Dave, because Wales have made it quite clear that they’re delighted we’re out, so I’m not supporting them. And they’re not good to watch, anyway.

Well, as it happens, and I was kind of dreading the question, I’m supporting Germany now. Because they’re the most fun to watch. They play the best football. Plus – and this is important – I know most of their players. Not personally, no, although obviously I met a few of them during my refereeing days, but we all know Schweinsteiger cos he’s been around for years and he’s now spending the twilight of his career at Manchester United. I don’t think they expected it to be twilight when they paid all that money for him, but he hasn’t set the Premier League on fire.

So there’s him, and Toni Kroos, who everybody thought would be joining United a couple of years ago but he didn’t. And the goalkeeper, he’s a good ‘un. Mats Hummels at the back. Julian Draxler. Funny, though; they don’t seem interested in coming to England or going anywhere else. They’d rather stay in Germany. And that may be part of their strength.

Anyway, they’re worth watching, aren’t they? Better than Italy, and I must say I enjoyed the penalty shootout. You could see the nerves in their knees, some of them. Heaving it wide like some hungover has-been in the Dads’ penalty tournament on a Saturday morning, end of the season. Yes, I’ve done a few of them. Get a lucky one top corner and the boy thinks you’re a genius, but the next one reveals your true caliber. Trickles out of play and you’re clutching your thigh, hoping nobody noticed.

Cheers Gary, I’ll have a Lowenbrau or something else unpronounceable. Something from the fatherland, mate. None of your brewed-in-Rotherham rubbish with a German-sounding name.

No, I agree, Dave, let’s have a Germany-Portugal final and have them embarrass Cristiano Ronaldo, that would be a bonus, wouldn’t it? Misses an open goal and a penalty – now you’re talking, mate. Germany six, Portugal nil.

And at the end, when they’ve handed out the medals they can have a prize for the worst haircut. Have you noticed the western European players tend to look relatively sensible – maybe a bit too short around the sides, but still – and it’s the eastern Europeans who look like they’ve just nicked a fiver out of their mum’s handbag and gone to get the stupidest haircut they can find, dyed blond just to exaggerate it?

And a special mention for Axel Witsel of Belgium, who’s rocking an afro with sort of shaved bits over the ears so it looks like a badly fitting wig.

axel
Just pull it down a bit, Axel. Well, twist it, then

Oh, we can do best beard too. And the runner up will have to be the captain of Iceland, what’s his name. Somethingssson, yes, that’s him. With his my-grandad-was-a-viking look. He must have choked when he saw Joe Ledley – Wales, Baz –  cos he’s got the same thing only in black and he’s had his hair cut to look like he was run over by a lawn mower. Ah, the abiding memories of a neutral football fan.

croatia
You see? In Eastern Europe we have many cool hairdressers also

 

 

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5 thoughts on “Ref! On neutrality and haircuts

  1. What's It All About, Alfie? July 4, 2016 / 2:51 pm

    For us Colin, the weirdest haircuts so far have belonged to the Belgian team. It has definitely been a bearded tournament though with the most facial hair on display since the moustaches of the 1970s. It’s a Wales-Germany final predicted in our house!

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    • chrismorvan July 4, 2016 / 3:18 pm

      Look out, Dave, the bleeding Scots have woken up. Some bird called Alfie – I’ve had trouble with her before. Did you know that the Scots actually had a hand in the development of football? They invented getting sent off.

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  2. What's It All About, Alfie? July 4, 2016 / 5:52 pm

    A hand indeed – we’ve sent all our best men down south over the years to teach you English a thing or two about the beautiful game – Alex Ferguson, Kenny Dalgish, Denis Law and Graeme Souness’ moustache. Despite the language barrier (even we couldn’t understand them half the time) they certainly showed you boys how to win trophies. Anyway off to watch that cheerful Scot called Murray see off his latest opponent in the tennis – Here we go, here we go, here we go….

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    • chrismorvan July 4, 2016 / 6:01 pm

      Funny how Andy Murray is allowed to be Scottish rather than British, whereas Tim Henman couldn’t be described as English. And sadly my own tennis hero, Guernsey’s Heather Watson, fell at the first fence this year.

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  3. What's It All About, Alfie? July 4, 2016 / 6:11 pm

    Beg to differ – Andy was always the dour Scot if he lost but a Brit if he won! Anyway Colin, best not to get into all this at the moment but yes shame about Heather. Always next year!

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