By Brian Hall
Friday 19 Aug 2011 20:03:00
Browse all Brian Hall articles






I came across a great book on football one liners recently. All are true quotes stated by famous and not so famous characters involved in our game over so many decades. Any glance at the book immediately applies to a match tomorrow involving a city and its smaller town counterpart rival  just down the road. Here come some of the words uttered over the years.


Soccer in England is a grey game, played on grey days, watched by grey people - Rodney Marsh.                Bit right, but mainly wrong . Sorry, Rodney, this derby is not a grey occasion. You could be right on the weather being grey, and I have to say it can turn people grey. But the event cannot fit the dull category for everybody up here.


Some folks tell me that we professional players are soccer slaves. Well, if this is slavery, give me a life sentence - Bobby Charlton. Not normally a Bobby fan, I  much prefer his brother, Jackie, but his words are very accurate. So, take that advice our black and white lot wearing the strip at 12.00 kick off time. Please. A load of us would embrace the conditions you have to work in, to wear that top at the Stadium of Whatever They Call It. 


Football became popular because it was considered an art, but now too many pitches are becoming battlefields - Socrates. Not the  Greek philosopher, rather the former captain of a brilliant Brazil side. His remark about conflict zones is definitely true in terms of tomorrow.   It is a battlefield. Hope you know that, Mr Partridge.



In football it is widely acknowledged that if both sides agree to cheat, cheating is fair. Charles Burgess Fry. True again. They will try to cheat, and we will. After all it is a Derby. Just hope after the accord to cheat, we cheat better. All is fair in love and Derby War.



Statistics are just like mini-skirts, they give you good ideas but hide the most important thing - Ebbe Skovdahl. Whoever he is, he was wrong. False philosophy. Stats are important and do not hide the most important thing at all. We have beat them more over the last century or more. That matters.


We are living in a society which increasingly demands success and no longer has time for the good loser. -Tony Waddington, former manager of Stoke City. Correct in terms of tomorrow. I certainly will not have time for any remarks from our manager or players showing any sign of good loser sentiment. Suppose, to be fair for a moment, our small town cousins think the same.


The Glaswegian definition of an atheist - a bloke who goes to a Rangers-Celtic match to watch the football - Sandy Strong. Dead right in terms of our local get together. Never trust anybody who says they just want to see a good game of footy for this one. They are either lying, are a Southerner, or simply not interested in footy and are pretending they are. 



The most intelligent bit of spectator violence I ever heard of happened in Brazil. An enraged spectator drew his gun and shot the ball - Professor John Cohen. Sort of true. Good solution to a match going wrong, and much better than shooting an opposition fan. Just hope dont need such a gesture, shooting the ball I stress.



And finally, 2 quotes, one from a very, very wise man-   the first ninety minutes are the most important. Bobby Robson


And the other from, how can i say this politely, from a bloke with far lesser intelligence than Bobby and has pottered about bluffing people that he knows how to manage a footy team.                  We just can't put the ball in the net - Steve Bruce, then manager of Wigan, explaining why they had not won a game for a while.


It goes without saying that I agree with Bobby. Get that first ninety minutes in tomorrow, big style, so that we dont need to even worry about any injury time.  As for Mr Bruce. hope he repeats his great analytical quote about why Wigan were not winning games under him. Our lads just could not put the ball in the net. Would love that quote from our Plastic Geordie Manc SAFC after the match tommorrow, and for once, I would even love the sound of his voice.



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