Anorak News | False Idols

False Idols

by | 16th, July 2004

‘SHOULD Arsenal’s captain Patrick Vieira leave Highbury for Real Madrid, as the Sun says he plans to, we wonder what he will learn at the Bernabeu.

‘Come on, Timmy!’

Perhaps he’ll discover how to take penalty kicks from David Beckham, or how to keep down his lunch from Zinedine Zidane.

What he will not have to learn – he’s well-versed in British footballing culture – is how to dive, tug on a shirt, feign injury and encourage the referee to show the yellow or red card to another player.

The Times says that things have gotten so bad that Richard Caborn, the Minister for Sport, has written to every major professional football club appealing for players to keep things clean.

Apparently, not only are young footballers aping their idols’ jinks and shimmies, but they are also copying other less wholesome parts of the professional game.

It’s all very sobering to think of some precocious eight-year-old striker diving in the opposition’s penalty box and miming a spit-roast in celebration of a goal.

But things get better when readers look to the less football obsessed sections of the press and note that not everyone wants to be a footballer.

Some people, like Paul Casey, grew up wanting to win golf’s Open Championship.

And, as the Independent reports, the 26-year-old from Weybridge, Surrey, is currently on course to achieve his ambition, heading the pack at five under par.

There is a long way to go, but such is the lack of British sporting success that the Indy grabs Casey with both hands and shakes him for all he’s worth.

As does the Telegraph, although its front page proper goes not to Casey but to Ian Poulter, whose Union flag-styled trousers “brought derision and admiration” on the first day of the Open at Royal Troon.

But don’t be bamboozled by the strides, says Poulter. Just as those young footballers seduced by the promise of riches and cheating need to get real, young golfers need to buckle down.

“Some young players are more interested in being flashy than buckling down, working hard and playing the game,” says Poulter.

We don’t get to learn if Poulter thinks that’s a bad thing or not. But William Hunt, the tailor responsible for Poulter’s sartorial patriotism, is certainly more concerned with image over substance.

“Golf is the new cool” says he. “If you can’t play well, you might as well have fun dressing up.”

He’s got a point. If it works for David Beckham…’

Posted: 16th, July 2004 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink