Anorak News | Holding On For A Hero

Holding On For A Hero

by | 23rd, September 2002

”’HENMAN Britain’s hero.” On one level that is a headline to make us all proud. This is not America, a country where only winners prosper, or China or Japan.

Have you seen this man?

This is Great Britain, where boys from Chiswick can outclass the very best Thailand has to offer in straight sets. It might not have won us the Davis Cup, but by ‘eck it taught those Thai upstarts a few things about sporting endeavour.

The Telegraph sees Timmy in full flow, slapping a shot past Paradon Srichaphan, giving Britain a winning 3-1 lead over Thailand.

But let’s not cloud the scene with our tawdry take on such a moment, rather let man-of-the-hour Tim speak out.

”To have been able to play on all three days and then round it off against a player of his calibre by winning in style makes this the most satisfying of my Davis Cup performances.”

Words fit to carve on the Henman tomb when the great man’s career is over.

And someone else who may be on his way out is Michael Owen. Followers of this column will perhaps recall that Owen was once the little tyro who couldn’t miss the net. He was just great.

Now Michael can’t score for toffee, and, in the Times’ eyes, is a ”one-dimensional forward” who might soon be on his way from Liverpool.

Writing in the Times, Tony Cascarino says that Owen needs to work on his mental approach to the game. Get that right, and he’ll be back. Get it wrong, and Tranmere Rovers here he comes.

And then we’ll be asking, ”Whatever happened to Michael Owen?” and not, as the Guardian asks, ”Whatever happened to Ryan Giggs?”

Giggs, who used to be so good it hurt, who ”used to stand out like an exotic flower in a field of weeds”, is no more. So where is he? On Saturday he was on the same pitch as Tottenham, neglecting the qualities that once made him such an awesome player.

Which is a shame, because football needs its heroes, and until Timmy starts to kick the ball, we’ll have to make do with watching burned-out 20-something has-beens go thought the motions.

Or Michael Owen and Ryan Giggs, if you prefer.

Posted: 23rd, September 2002 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink