‘The Death Rattle’ is a new feature from your favourite biologically challenged blog, and it gives two of our posthumous pundits the chance to engage in a deathly debate about the coldest football stories.
Even though the football phantoms that frequent In Off the Ghost have left their mortal vessels, their basic human instincts are still harboured in the spirit that lingers on after death. Fear, boredom, rage, that feeling when you get a sneeze stuck, they all still exist in the afterlife. So as you might expect, the partisan nature of football supporters also thrives in football’s Valhalla, and no game in European football separates fans like Barcelona vs Real Madrid. Supporters watch in their millions to admire the passion, talent, and occasional pig head on display, and last Monday’s ‘El Clásico’ pitted two teams against each other who have a rivalry more fierce than a Joey Barton temper tantrum. The game resulted in a spectacular 5-0 victory for the Catalans as Xavi, Pedrito, Villa and Jeffren all netted to crush Madrid’s fans, Cristiano Ronaldo, and the ‘Special One’ too.
In response to this incredible game, In Off the Ghost has contacted two post-humous pundits to discuss the match from their own differing perspectives. A big welcome to Irish writer, poet and prominent aesthete Oscar Wilde, and legendary, cerebral comic juggernaut Bob Monkhouse.
WILDE: “I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best. That is why I watch Barcelona. Their passing was beautiful, their finishing sublime, scoring with each of their first four shots on target. They turn football into an art form, to watch Xavi and Iniesta is like giving oneself over to pleasure.”
MONKHOUSE: “Real Madrid’s performance in ‘El Clásico’ was a joke. I heard that Mourinho tried to hit Carvalho after the game. It was only once, but mind you he was in a Volvo.”
WILDE: “Erm, yes, Madrid were horrendous, I am glad you do not try to defend their performance, Bob. The way they throw their money at players who are in form is ludicrous. They are nothing but fashion victims and, from the artistic point of view, fashion is usually a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.”
MONKHOUSE: It’s true, Madrid do like to chop and change, and Mourinho is worried about getting the boot too. Apparently when he got into the dressing room, the ‘Special One’ turned to his assistant manager and said “how long do you reckon I have left at Madrid after that performance?” His coach replied “ten.” Mourinho looked puzzled and said “ten what? Weeks? Games?” The coach looked at his watch and mumbled “nine…eight…seven…”
WILDE: “Oh dear, that was awful. Do not get me started on the subject of Mourinho, he is nothing but a cynic. And what is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. Why does he continue to waste the talent of Benzema?
MONKHOUSE: And why does he play Carvalho at the back? That guy is so old he remembers the first of the Mohicans.
WILDE: Please stop! Anyway, I can’t understand why Mourinho had Madrid playing a high line without a second row of midfielders to press their opponents. It seemed to me that after such a humiliating defeat the Madrid side were all in the gutter, and the stars they were looking at were the brilliant Barcelona players. Lionel Messi is such a prodigious talent that now I have nothing to declare except his genius!
MONKHOUSE: That Messi chap isn’t all that great. I heard that the last time he was injured he said to the club doctor, “do you treat small players?” The Doctor said, “yes, but you have to be a little patient.”
WILDE: Right! That’s it, I’ve had enough. I’m going.
So while it’s all smiles at the Camp Nou, no one will be laughing at the Santiago Bernabeu for some time after this humiliating defeat. However, with Real Madrid two points off the top of the league and going strong in the Champions League, it would take a brave man to bet against Mourinho bringing trophies back to Madrid and restoring grins to the faces of the Los Merengues.
(All material in this blog is entirely fictional and does not represent the views or opinions of anyone, alive or dead, other than those of the author.)