I like to think that I’m as passionate about ending world hunger or saving the planet as Danny Mills is that Bellerin’s challenge on Hazard was a ‘stonewall penalty’, although in all honesty I doubt even David Attenborough is as passionate about saving the planet as Danny Mills is that contact in the 18 yard box warrants a penalty kick. In truth, so entertained was I at Mr. Mills’ heated debates with BBC Radio 5 Live callers after the game, that I feel as if my new passion might just be Danny himself.
My personal highlight of the evening was a repetitive string of Vicky Pollard-esque “did he touch him tho?” queries, hurled incessantly down the line at an Arsenal fan, delicately enraged and vulnerable following Anthony Taylor’s decision. You could see what was coming a mile off. “Don’t do it”, I thought to myself as the intensity of Mills’ question continued to rise, “don’t fall into his trap”.
You see, had Alan – a name I have plucked out of nowhere as I cannot recall the poor caller’s real one – responded with something like “yes, he touched him, but given the minimal contact I don’t think a penalty was the correct decision”, then we would have ourselves a debate, and poor Alan would have had a leg to stand on.
Unfortunately for Alan, a man who had the opportunity to confront Danny Mills on his terrifyingly (and in some ways, worryingly) strong views on the subject, he fell into the pundit’s not-so-delicately laid trap:
A nation sighs.
Danny Mills relaxes, pauses, and fires the third and final arrow into the torso of Alan – a modern-day Boromir; a man who will surely be mourned for years to come; a hero gone too soon; the true king of Gondor – “Well in that case, you need to get your eyes tested, because that, Alan, is simply not true”.
It’s brutal from Mills – a man currently playing the role of that big Uruk Hai in what has somehow slipped into a needlessly descriptive J.R.R. Tolkien analogy – brutal, but not wrong. What next for Alan? Would he calm himself and change his mind? For a split-second, the opportunity for a noble death lingered in the 5 Live studio, and across the airwaves:
“Well, actually Danny, I think you’ll find it’s you who needs to get your eyes tested”.
A nation sighs. Again.
Alas, in this slightly modified analogy of Boromir’s death, there was no Aragorn to avenge poor Alan – no poetic call from an Arsenal fan, admitting that it probably was a penalty. And so, while poor Alan’s frustration will lie in the BBC archives for years to come, Danny Mills left the the studio on Wednesday night unchallenged by numerous callers – the Lord of the Ringers, if you will.