Welcome to Partially Obstructed View. We are each restrained by the limits of our own perspective, but when we meet to share information a clearer picture of the truth can be revealed. Comments & criticisms are welcome.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

First Person View - The Ballad of El Hadji Diouf

Prompted by an interview with the man himself on BBC Radio Scotland’s Scottish Football Podcast

    Teeth-gnashed to the world, venom-spitting in every direction, an aggressively-shaven head bowed not in reverence, but in antipathy.

    Would we care about the game the way we do if not for characters such as this? The endlessly provocative Joey Barton; the rash-tackling Lee Cattermole; please do recall that the international glory of the Premier League was built on the back of those explosive collisions - neither savoury, nor refined - between Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira – the world seems a lesser place with only the decaying video tape and counterfeit memories left to recall the tales of battle.

    The cultured-madness of Eric Cantona; the teacup-wielding, boot-kicking fury of a slighted Sir Alex. These are the things that keep us tuning in next week, to see what new Shakespearean drama will unfold before our eyes.

    The derby; the epicentre of footballing insanity; the one date we all have circled in our calendar. Holidays are laid out before us, as if they held some importance, but we, as football fans, take the time to note these special occurrences of rivalry. As with the eclipse or the passing of a comet, we are only blessed with so many opportunities to revel in their splendour.

    In a world robbed of its vitality by rules and regulation, is there not some value in trouble for trouble’s sake?  Would the balletic movements of Barcelona have meaning without the ferocity of Real Madrid’s counterpoint?

    Even in lightness, we require the dark to grasp an understanding. The sanctity of Barcelona’s beauty is made all the more real – and somehow approachable - with a shading of those frowned-upon antics of the modern game – the feigning, the flopping; as if they were not always a part of it, a part we secretly could not do without - allow us to aspire to the unattainable holy.

    Controversial, overly-confident, gaudy, and brash; at times seemingly ignorant of the world spinning around them. Genius or madman? Friend or foe? These are the archetypes that sport – in its mirroring of life – presents on the immaculately-prepared stage, in full visage, for praise or condemnation – they care not which insult is thrown.

    Lamented when gone, scolded when wrong, but either way discussed and watched until we no longer know how we felt in the first place.

    Ah football, oh life, how Janus-faced you must be.

Forgive me, too much ‘Breaking Bad’ and reviewing of match reports at five am is known to cause such outbursts.

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