Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Punctuation no-mark

What's worse than having to put up with the scathingly critical analyses of pundits who home in on our numerous deficiencies with laser-guided precision? Yes, having to put up with stupid, ditsy, clueless twats sounding off about things they know fuck all about.

This week's case in point: Lynne Truss's anti-Shearer rantings in Observer Sport Monthly.

What is her argument? That, for England, Shearer was "a big, waddling, sullen, dirty, immovable and permanently pointing obstacle to beautiful football".

Absolute cobblers. Shearer was the finest striker of his generation, head and shoulders above his team-mates. The quality of the squad overall wasn't as high as it is now, so it made perfect sense to play to our strengths - just as we now play to those of Wayne Rooney, David Beckham and Frank Lampard, often at the expense of Steven Gerrard.

Truss's ravings are little more than pestilent hot air: "Here are the regular questions I would ask, out loud, in exasperation, at England matches during this period: How does he get away with it? Why is he walking? Why doesn't anyone notice that he raised his arm to appeal for that penalty before he artfully tripped over the keeper? Why doesn't he run? Why is he never rested? Why is he never substituted? Would you call that strolling or ambling? Why is he never sent off? Why is he never even booked? Who died and made him God?"

My disgust wasn't just the knee-jerk reaction of a Toon fan who worships the ground Shearer walks on, mind. I might have written about him in glowing terms, but that doesn't mean he's a sacred cow. He can be a dirty player, and he's certainly a sly one (though he's not in the Drogba / Robben / Diouf category of diving cheats). What's more, he has come to seem on occasions this season "sullen" and "immovable".

But that's for us, not England, and only very recently as a result of his legs going (the immovability, not surprisingly emphasised when he's been asked to play as a lone striker) and the sheer incompetence of those surrounding him (the sullenness). Truss seems to complain that Shearer was demanding - well, I'm perfectly happy knowing that if we get the ball to him in good positions he'll still more than likely find the back of the net.

So, Ms Truss, may I politely suggest that you fuck off and stick to what you know: pedantry?


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