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THE SAM MORSHEAD COLUMN: Patience is a virtue
6:00am Saturday 12th October 2013 in Sport
‘FORWARD, forward, forward,’ came the cry from row N, as it does every other Saturday at the County Ground.
‘Forward, forward, forward’. For 45 minutes straight. Unrelenting.
No, it wasn’t the world’s worst recital of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s ‘Charge of the Light Brigade,’ though how the majority of the Arkell’s Stand wished it was.
It was in fact the very public musings of one Town fan who appears to have an aversion to his team’s style of play this season.
A right of course he pays handsomely to have, and others pay handsomely to listen to.
This ‘get it forward’ debate is getting exhaustive.
Every matchday on Twitter I seem to offend someone by suggesting the most effective way of utilising a front six with a combined height of Darren Ward is probably slotting passes in to feet, not chopping the ball down the channels with a carefree crunch and banking on the Robins’ diminutive frontline outmuscling the various Orks and ogres that litter League One defences.
Some have argued that ‘getting it forward’ is just an abbreviation for ‘get it forward quickly’, which I guess is like me suggesting ‘don’t be daft’ is an abbreviation for ‘get a grip you abominable fool’.
The Swindon Town 2013/14 edition spends more time in the opposition half than any other Swindon Town side I can remember. It waits and waits and waits and waits and waits and waits and pounces, like an idle yet slightly cocky lioness.
Isn’t the way the Robins play right now much more engaging than long balls being pumped into space and resultant 50-50 challenges inevitably ending up with the ball bouncing around the Town End car park?
The phrase ‘get it forward’ is one of biggest obstacles that has stood in the way of English football’s development over the past 40 years.
It’s that attitude that’s left us way behind our continental cousins and yet we continue to encourage it.
We idolise Barcelona, but if our local side tries to play like them we endure a violent allergic reaction.
The travelling Plymouth press contingent on Tuesday night remarked to me after the game how surprised they were that a quality passing side found their audience so hard to please.
A thought to chew on, perhaps, when Notts County visit next week.
HOW do you define nationality?
After a week characterised by right-wing behaviour, littered with casual racism and featuring yet another uninspiring Greg Dyke speech it turns out none of us really know - but we certainly all have an opinion.
What follows is my tuppence-worth on the matter at hand, dragged up again by the notion that Manchester United’s ‘Albanian-Kosovan-Serbian’ Adnan Januzaj could end up pulling on the Three Lions in five years’ time.
No offence is intended but for those of you who manage to find it I make no apology.
As far as I am concerned, if you consider yourself to be English, who has the right to tell you otherwise?
Nationality at its base level can be prescribed by a series of tick-box questions, designed to determine whether or not your knowledge of a culture is sufficient enough for you to hold a passport in that nation’s name.
It might be practical but it’s also nonsensical. Nationality is a far more complex commodity. If you’re well-versed in the poetry of Wilfred Owen, know that Richard III followed Edward V, can spot a Constable at a glance and understand the difference between shepherd’s and cottage pie then three cheers for your educators, but it does not mean you’re English. Not unless you want to be.
B-b-b-b-b-b-b-but...if you’re born in London that makes you English and if you’re born in Madrid that makes you Spanish, right?
You could breathe your first breath in the heart of Brisbane and grow up a Geordie, because geography has very little bearing on your own innate, unique character in a world where we have the freedom to cross international boundaries quickly and easily.
And if the son of a garlic farmer from northern France ends his life promoting the virtues of the Californian dream to his west coast lilted children then that is absolutely his prerogative.
You cannot choose where you are born but you can choose where you live and die. People are drawn to cultures they can associate with, regardless of whether you’re white, black, yellow, off-green or the slightly disconcerting hue of that ugly Liverpool third strip.
Well, sure, but, like, heritage is important too...
I can’t deny that. Family history means a lot to me personally, as it does to my father and his. However, you could be born to the great, great granddaughter of Winston Churchill and a direct descendant of Richard Lionheart, spend a month in Jamaica on your gap year and end up pledging your allegiance to reggae and the Rastafari. Because that is your right.
Okay then, smarty pants, if that’s the case then why don’t we all live in one supercommunity?
Well, football requires border control just as countries do, to keep a structure in place that gives fans or populations confidence in international competition or national governments. This is why naturalisation rules exist.
Yeah, well, you’re an idiot.
Thanks, but if a player considers him or herself English and qualifies to be considered ‘English’ under the terms of our tick-box process, then why on earth should anyone rebuke their claim?
Kevin Pietersen, Justin Rose, Mo Farah, Jonathan Trott, Andrew Strass, Luol Deng. ‘Plastic Brits’?
No, they’re just Brits. Just like you and I.
Unless you want to be Moldovan, that is.
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