Picture the scene. It shouldn’t be too tough because it was last night, and you were probably watching it – while secretly wanting to go to bed.
Pep Guardiola shakes hands with fierce rival Jose Mourinho following City’s loss to fierce local rivals Manchester United. But something was different – nothing was very fiery. And the City boys probably didn’t need a Pep talk afterwards. ; )
In fact, three of the words to come out of Guardiola’s mouth in the post-match interview were, “We are happy.” Hey! Ditch the self-help books folks! It appears the pursuit of happiness isn’t so hard after all. You just have to get knocked out of the ‘Nobody-Wants-To-Sponsor-It-Cup’.
“I want to try to win but now we’ll focus on the next competitions,” Guardiola harped.
Now we all love a ‘want to tryer’, don’t we? But we also understand that often the last thing a ‘want to tryer’ wants to do is ‘want to try.’ Like, say, the guy who ‘wants to try to commit’ or ‘wants to try to give up the coke problem’, they often don’t get off the starting block.
It might be unfair to deconstruct the language of someone who isn’t fully fluent in English too precisely, but it feels Guardiola has inadvertently hit the nail on the head.
When it comes to the ELF Cup (yes, let’s go with that) everyone is trying to give a shit. Maybe if there were some actual elves involved people might.
But in the cold-hard day of truth, The ELF Cup just doesn’t Mata. Mata’s goal doesn’t Mata. Manchester derbies don’t even Mata. Managerial rivals – of the likes of Pep v Jose – they don’t Mata either. The flying Pixie Trophy they don’t need to lift at the end doesn’t Mata.
Premier League teams continue to field half-hearted sides and while there is nothing wrong with blooding youngsters (unless it’s literal), the Gnome-Name Cup is just not a competition. The main reason being, it isn’t competitive.
Yet – and this is a significant yet to consider – the Fairy Waffle Cup lives on.
And they all lived indifferently ever after.