The not having it speech
With ten to go, Sakho has just put his head through a flick from Sturridge and run away in the Hulk position, Housemate Neil turns to me..
‘Mate even if it stays a draw you have played so well, you have fought your way-‘
‘Shut it Neil,’ I’m not up for the “We can be proud of this performance” speech bollocks. I want to win this game and there’s time on the clock.
The Lovren bet
Before all that happened, before I realised I was about to watch the game of the season, Housemate Neil goes round the bookies. ‘I need some skin in the game,’ he says. Housemate Neil is Arsenal, his seasons gone. Best mate Paul is out with us also, his seasons flying with his team Middlesbrough top of the Championship.
‘Defenders are going to score for you.’ He prophesizes. ‘Who scores out of your defence?’
‘Someone will, who’s the biggest?’ He says. I don’t know, it’s a coin toss but I give him Lovren. Paul is skint so I put a bet on for him. 1-1 full time with Lovren to score first. When he gets the pay slip back he bemoans. ‘I said he will score, but not first.’
I tell him shut his soup cooler and if it comes in at 200-1 we’re all going to the strip-house Angels next door.
Curry or Striphouse?
When we go in 2-0 at half time we contemplate leaving for a curry round the corner. Had it not been for Neil screwing up the order at the bar and gifting me two pints of Speckled Hen to neck, we might have done. I tell everyone I won’t get excited until we get level. No point making a scene in the pub for a commiseration goal.
Good to my word, I’m quieter than shit when Origi scores. Don’t even flinch. ‘Game on,’ I say mutedly. They tonk one in, I don’t even see it. I think I’m talking to Paul about something and they score. I go for a piss. In the gents I know its over. Season done and we might time for a curry and a night in the strip house as a consolation. In fact maybe we should do the strip house first, don’t want to be stinking of garlic when stuffing twenties down Jades knickers. Who am I kidding? Fivers.
But then Magic (Courtinho) gets hold of it and sticks it in the bottom bin from outside the box. We’re not level but I punch the air, throw some expletives around the pub. Scrap the curry, scrap the striphouse, we ain’t going nowhere. This game is fucking bananas. So back to Sakho putting his head through it. I launch myself on Neil, almost in some kind of dry humping heimlich maneuver.
Then there’s ten minutes where nothing happens. Only something happens. A ball is whipped into the mixer, and someone in Red has put his head on it and stuck it in the side bin. The net bulges. It’s a clean goal, everyone has allowed that goal to the winning goal. Once again I dive on Neil, and because Paul is cheering also, I jump on him next. ‘Lovren,’ he laughs.
‘Lovren has scored.’ An eerie prediction from Paul, but his bet was screwed. Didn’t pick the scoreline. Did anyone? We finish up. I get the stink eye from the midget female barman who tells me she’s Man U. Her attitude sucks and in a way, it gives it that extra gloss. We finish with Whiskeys in Wetherspoons and talk about how casual society has become in its attitude towards fashion.
Back at the lodge there’s more beers. And we all talk about where we were when Princess Diana died.
Below is the audio of a chat I had with my man in the field Mike Bush who was at the game. Audio is a bit screwy but bare with us, just getting used to this recording lark.