You have to wonder about Tony Scully. Well, OK, technically you don't have to wonder about Tony Scully. You don't have to wonder about anything at all, in fact. But if you wonder about nothing, then you might as well live in a void - and my understanding of voids is that they contain no oxygen, which makes it difficult to breathe unless you are a tree. Since I assume most of you won't be trees, I'd suggest that you don't want to live in a void and are therefore better off wondering about things. And if you're going to wonder about things, then Tony Scully is as good a subject as any for your wonderment.
I'm not a doctor, although I do look good in a white coat. Nevertheless, I have to wonder (well, I don't have to wonder…) whether Tony's spectacularly poor sense of direction is down to more than just… er… a spectacularly poor sense of direction. It almost seems like a genetic practical joke for a player of such explosive and unbridled pace to have such a poor sense of balance and bearing. The natural order and beauty of nature would surely not purposely fashion such wild swings from useful equilibrium.
As an agnostic, I'm afraid I can neither explain this apparent anomaly as some sort of celestial jape by a bored but benevolent creator. I mean, if there were a God, surely He/She would have better things to do than mess about with Tony Scully's sense of direction - the abolition of war and famine, a new haircut for Gerry Francis, and so on.
An indisputably better theory is that Tony is actually remote controlled. You may scoff, but I have to say (well, I don't have to say…), that Tony's movement around the flank areas of the Loftus Road surface reminds me of nothing so much as some of those machines on Robot Wars (which I studiously watch for hints on innovative engineering techniques, rather than because Philippa Forrester generally conducts her interviews wearing leather trousers).
Next time you get to watch Tony either spinning out of control in one of the corners, completely stationary, or running at full-tilt towards an advertising hoarding, try to imagine three bespectacled men with uniformly poor dress sense sitting in one of the executive boxes furiously trying to get to grips with a large metal box, two joysticks and a four-foot aerial. Believe me, it will all make perfect sense.
People often say to me, "Oi you! Get out of my garden!" But that isn't the point. They also say to me, usually whilst playing a game of football, "Why are you such a useless fat git?" Whilst I find this a little harsh, my legal advisors have informed me that were I to sue for defamation of character, I would lose since I am indeed a) fat, b) useless and c) a bit of a git.
This got me thinking about something I wrote about a couple of years back. At the time, I was asked to take part in someone's university research project by participating in a ‘workshop’ about attitudes towards work and leisure. Personally, I think that if a group of people are sitting in a room and there is no lathe in there with them, then they have no right to call it a workshop.
Nevertheless, the comments I have been receiving whilst playing football recently got me thinking about the discussions that took place that day. We were talking about how difficult it was to enjoy sports at school if you were no good at them and how you would quickly find other interests. We went on to talk about the ritual of picking sides in the playground - and I got to wondering about how that works on the Rangers training ground. Who picks the sides? And are the same couple of useless squad players always the last ones selected ?
At our school, for example, the best two players in the year were David Howells (later of Spurs) and Mark Joyner. There was an unwritten rule that these two couldn't play on the same side in a kickabout, for the sake of competition. Thus, the hallowed tarmac of Bishop Reindorp School's playground never witnessed the dream midfield pairing of Howells and Joyner.
We used to take turns to pick sides - and generally speaking the first four of five picks were the same every day. After that, the great morass of players who were all much-of-a-muchness were picked off according to personal preference and prejudice. Player A would never select Player D, for example, because he had nicked his girlfriend. Player C would never select Player G because he had ginger hair, and so on.
When it was my turn to pick sides, I would generally ignore all the decent players, preferring instead to pick all the overweight lads, the short-sighted ones, those with no trainers, etc. Whilst I would see this as a noble act of defiance in the name of sport for all, hoping that our team of hapless whipping boys would somehow conspire to turn over a team full of big names, what generally happened was that we got duffed about 15-0 and then I got beaten up for ruining everybody's lunch break.
Anyway, back to Rangers. Do the same sort of rules apply there? Is Richard Langley doomed to play opposite Gavin Peacock? Does Ian Baraclough never pick Stuart Wardley because he colours his hair with lemon juice? Does Jermaine Darlington refuse to play alongside Kevin Gallen because he smells of cheese? Does Danny Maddix always pick Tim Breacker first because he once lent him a Jam LP? Does Karl Ready refuse to pick Chris Plummer because he once walked dog shit into the changing rooms? In my opinion, this is just the sort of information that should be made available to all supporters in order to give us a better understanding of the squad.
Equally, we should all encourage Gerry Francis to pick his matchday squad on the same basis, since it would be an awful lot easier to explain in post-match press conferences. Say we had just been beaten 4-0 by Swindon, or something, having played with only one striker. If Gerry were to explain that he had left out Chris Kiwomya because his head is a funny shape, I'm sure we'd find it a lot easier to understand. Come on Rangers management - we're intelligent supporters. We need to know what's what.
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