Friday, 27 March 2009

The Damned United

It's out today, and I am ruddy excited.

The last 12 months or so I've been on a massive Brian Clough binge, which culminated in me sobbing in the foetal position following the final chapter of Duncan Hamilton's unbelievably good Provided You Don't Kiss Me. Of course I knew the ending, but that usually only serves to render the finale even more emotional (shamefully, the same happened with Marley and Me).

The superb ITV documentary (TV company who employs Andy Townsend and Robbie Earle in doing a good football program scandal) Clough was as touching and memorable as the title was brief. Had my gruff Welsh housemate not been watching with me, I'd doubtless have gone the same way as Provided You Don't Kiss Me.

David Peace's The Damned United, started me on this 'Clough-venture' (I'm sorry) early last summer. It's a terrifically entertaining book, dark and beautiful, one that I read as slowly as possible, such was my reticence to finish. It was the second book I'd read after years of skim-reading during my English degree, and was a wonderful antidote to my first. Ahem.

So imagine my delight then, to hear of a Damned United film.

Normally I zone-out when dullards go to see a beloved novel adapted for the cinema before complaining "it destroyed the essence of the book" or "they cut the scene of when Framley and Kip-Kip swam upriver into the Norgik forest", but I can see myself uttering the same thing walking out of the cinema following The Damned United. Well, not about Framley and Kip-Kip, there was a dearth of scandinavians in English football in Clough's heyday.

Like the Doctor who is convinced his patient's ailment is linked to spinal injuries, I will report back next week.

Monday, 16 March 2009

I suppose

It's nice to draw some parallels and begin things with a new life.

As my blog is born, so too is Benjamin Aguero Maradona, the tiny sprog of Football Manager wonderkid™ Sergio Aguero and Giannina Maradona, daughter of the relatively famous Footballer, drug-lord and all-round nice guy, Diego Maradona.

I'm left to wonder for how long the analogy, already tedious, will continue to breed.

In two years time, when the Spr(bl)og begins to utter his first meaningful noises, after endless months of self-obsessed drivel and cack pouring from both ends, will those close to the creature begin to see a semblance of genius?

Doubtless the pressure would be incessant, but the beast will go from strength to strength, resisting the allure of fame-hungry hussies, dedicated to his craft like a Vicar's son in a font, his only focus the joy he will exact to millions. Those hands, those feet, that brain, rousing the workers, eclipsing his father's legacy, starting wars and finishing them.

If he works hard, Ben could make it too.