They come along once in a blue moon. They are the mad ballerz who never say never, the five-star skillers who dazzle us all with their fancy footwork.
I am of course referring to the absolute madmen who have all the ability to light up English football, but all too often fail spectacularly. This calibre of player is a joy to watch, but the majority are either stuck on the bench or just frozen out altogether as the modern-day gaffer prioritises a footballing brain over a lovely pair of feet.
The likes of Roberto Firmino and Eden Hazard have graced the Premier League this season with such trickery, be it the silky drop of the shoulder or the cheeky no-look finish, while you’ve obviously got the Neymar’s and the Cristiano Ronaldo’s of the European world, who can simply blow your little mind with one single touch of the soccer ball.
Back to England however and the pre-blown mind wanders just how good some current and former players could and could have been, but it always seems to end in disappointment.
I know it hasn’t been clear, but I’m pointing to the likes of Southampton’s Soufiane Boufal and Watford’s Richarlison, who have shown glimpses of their sick potential this season, but it’s never been enough. Why can’t these absolute dreamy footballers do this week in week out? I genuinely believe Boufal has the ability to run rings around defences up and down England – especially considering how terrifically awful most defenders have been this season – but just doesn’t fancy it as he no doubt falls out with his manager every other day.
It’s always the same with these geezers, a Slick Rick on the pitch and no doubt a charmer on the dancefloor, but just absolutely zero determination and class to fight for their place in the team. Bet the filth they produce on the training ground is just disgusting, nutmeg city no doubt. Bet the gaffers hate it though.
The mind also wanders to the legend that is Georgie Best, and his roots have been firmly represented through the magical feet of Northern Ireland man Paddy McCourt, whose wizardry could draw a tear to the eye, and more recently Republic of Ireland man Patrick McEleney, whose League of Ireland madness earned him a move to Oldham Athletic.
Notice these lads are always attackers as well. You can throw the odd David Luiz in there, but you think more on the likes of Hatem Ben Arfa and Adel Taarabt, who better return to English football someday soon for a spell at Turf Moor or I’ll be more than upset. Super Mario Balotelli is yet another in this list of nutters who in my view were simply too good for English football.
These were the chancers who ALWAYS made sure they got to play up front in training ever since they were kids, and were also the posers who turned up in a pair of woolly black gloves when it really wasn’t even that chilly outside.
Here’s to you lads who opted for the rabona when the cross could and should perhaps definitely been hit with the weaker foot, here’s to the unnecessary Cruyff turns and the even more unnecessary stepovers. Here’s to the dreamers, you’ll never be forgotten…actually, hold on, you definitely will.