Yesterday regular blogger, philanthropist, sports guru and Yorkshire gent, Pete Starr, invited me to pen an article on anything for the delectation of the Matchpint readership, so, out of a combination of duty, boredom and guilt I gladly obliged.
Now, back in the mid nineties I was an all seeing oracle of football trivia, I could tell you the amount of clean sheets Pavel Srnicek kept in his Newcastle career (35) or how many golden chances Hamilton Ricard shanked on average per game at the Riverside (literally trillions). Now though, for one reason or another my stattistry (if that’s a word) has taken a hit, so with that in mind I decided to plaster over the gaps in my football knowledge with a subject I’m equally shaky on - politics. The idea being that two poorly researched topics will create a fully formed, informative article…. Or something.
So with the American election reaching its climactic…erm…climax the other night, I started thinking about what politicians I’d like to see put down their moat cleaners, push aside their expenses forms and don their boots to take part in my all time British politicians XI.
Goalkeeper – Eric Pickles
An obvious choice really, Pickles’ large frame is crucial when it comes to eclipsing the majority of the goal. Born in Leeds, Eric was raised on the left wing but turned his back on Labour just like Brad Friedel turned his back on the ageing process. He also apparently has a penchant for flags… ergo, he’s in charge of the politicians XI emblem - a lamb bhuna and onion bhaji in a circular crest.
Left Back – Nick Clegg
‘Nifty’ Nick Clegg loves to tear up the left wing early on, getting the crowd on their feet with outrageous trickery, a roulette here, an around the world there but just when he gets into a position where he can make any kind of impact he cuts inside unnecessarily, without warning and gives the ball away. If he stuck to his position he could’ve been as good as Roberto Carlos, instead his desire to cut onto his crap right foot has meant he is very much left back in the dressing room these days.
Right Back – Theresa May
Our current home secretary strikes fear into the heart of the opposition and her own team. With the face of a shrivelled fig and the haircut of Jimmy Saville, she likes to push forward, using an attacking style of play to great effect. Going in two footed on gay marriage and the NHS she is a no nonsense right back with a bite to match her bark.
Centre back – John Prescott
Big, lumbering and inept, our centre back John is very much a working class hero. What he lacks in speed and social awareness he more than makes up for in grit, determination and dogged perseverance. Not the best at dealing with criticism however, if egged on he will retaliate.
Centre Back – Boris Johnson
You wouldn’t think Boris would have the qualities needed to make a solid centre back but, like his politics, his technique is unorthodox. By being a general all round clown, attackers immediately become bemused by his eccentric antics and he sneaks in to make a tackle. Raised in the Eton youth academy Boris is well versed in the art of smack talk and dressing room buggery.
Defensive Mid – Alistair Campbell (Captain)
The engine of the team, this Labour spin-doctor is very much in charge of the midfield. Taking a Roy Keane-esque role he simply screams in the faces of the opposition demanding the ball and if they don’t oblige, accuses them of hiding weapons of mass destruction in the changing rooms and runs poisonous smear campaigns about players' 'extra curricular' affairs. He can pick out a pass with good effect, just keep him away from the booze or you may have a Paul Merson on your hands.
Centre Mid – Ed Balls
His name is Balls – so he must be good at footy. Models himself on Thomas Brolin in the tubby playmaker role.
Left Wing – Tony Blair
A long-term pin up of British politics and very much the David Beckham of Westminster. Tony can barely move for PWAG’s (political wives and girlfriends) but his powers of monogamy with a wife he could instantly trade in for a more glamorous model are admirable. Making huge strides in terms of education and whipping in trade embargoes from central areas, Blair’s presence is vital in the team.
Right Wing – David Cameron
Imagine Aaron Lennon, but white, pompous and floppy haired and frankly you’ll be nowhere near our right winger. David Cameron likes to stand midway between the half way line and the penalty area smiling at the crowd and crushing the dreams of the working classes.
Centre Forward – Winston Churchill
“We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the 18 yard box.” Winston is the target man in the team, thump it long and he’ll spit out his cigar, run the length of the box, get up and nail that flick on. He reeks of commitment and is great at penalties, especially against the Germans.
Centre Forward – Nelson Mandela
Adhering to current non-EU regulations Nelson qualifies for the politicians XI by route of serving over 75% of his life in South African prisons. A fan favourite he is a solid 20 goal a season striker, banging them in and imitating Morgan Freeman in his celebrations.
So there you have it, a team that could strike fear into the heart of any Conference North side. If only politics was as simple as the beautiful game…
Steve is an actor, childrens educator, stand up comic and long suffering Nottingham Forrest fan. Enjoy more of his wisdom on Twitter.