I have characters floating in front of my eyes

Not impish foils, picaresques and gangster’s molls, but rather letters of the alphabet, semi-colons and tpyos. I am well behind on the work in progress and am working like stink on games that were played as long ago as last October.

Extract from And She Laughed No More

Portsmouth Away

Having begun to pick up on the idea that my son’s life is in flux, that there are radical revisions going on in his list of priorities, I’ve already put a friend on standby for his ticket. The friend is Ben, who I pick up outside the Roman Catholic Cathedral where he has been attending the Sacrament of Holy Mass. At this point in the season Stoke fans still have to show an ID photo identity card before being allowed in to the away ends of opposition grounds. Ben is wearing his famous pork pie hat, the one he bought in Portugal for three-Euros, in combination with a derelict’s overcoat; he has had a shave, at least, but all the same he does not look much like Jack. We discuss how he will approach the cordon of stewards that surround away end turnstiles as we head south through the driving rain. He mimes a quick flash of the card: that will surely do it? As it turns out, it will be more than sufficient. Some people get a thorough searching, but that is because they have been drinking and come along with an attitude problem; when you are dressed like a provincial solicitor fallen on hard times you barely merit a second glance. We discuss any number of other important matters including Norwich City’s indifferent start to the campaign under Glenn Roeder. Norwich are in trouble and in decline. The last time I wrote a book on my team, covering the 2002-03 season during which Pulis was first appointed, it was Norwich who were heading for the Premiership and us who were scraping about at the foot of the second tier, where Norwich will spend the remainder of this season. Roeder is the third manager since those days. Nigel Worthington, who took Norwich to the top flight for just one year (precisely what I expect our tenure to be), was sacked after bad results and intense pressure from discontented fans who ran a well-organised ‘Worthy Out’ campaign, including Andy Warhol-inspired screen-printed banners and t-shirts based on Worthington’s profile (he has a distinctive chin). There was a concerted attack on their manager’s ‘hoof-ball,’ and his perceived lack of ideas. I had been down to Carrow Road a few times and I had seen Norwich on television often enough. The football may have been a bit ropey, but it was not hoof-ball, not if you compared it to our approach. The worst I would have said about Worthington was that he had an irritating collection of key words and expressions that he repeatedly used in the post-match interview (for example ‘know what I mean’ rolled into the single word notmean), that he was treading water, that he had run out of steam. That combination though, in tandem with a poor sequence of results, can, as events proved, be more than enough to finish a man off.

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4 Responses to I have characters floating in front of my eyes

  1. OS says:

    I liked the bits about Ben but after that I got bored with the Norwich stuff. You should edit that Norwich stuff down to half its size.

    GG. XX [ng]

  2. makemeadiva says:

    I read this late last night and didn’t feel qualified to comment after a pint of Guiness. I still don’t feel qualified, except to say that I enjoyed it and want to read more – hope it remains Glenn Roeder mention lite though, he is a most unappealing sort…

  3. Stephen Foster says:

    You are a harsh critic Os but you might b right there.

    That is prob your lot of Roeder, diva, he does appear to be something of a scrote.

  4. OS. says:

    “You are a harsh critic Os but you might b right there.”

    I had a b’stard for a tutor. He taught me stuff. 😉

    M. le etc…

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