While “Peep Show” / “That Mitchell Webb Look” uberstar David Mitchell continues his soccer bashing in today’s Guardian, (“The rules are seductively simple. ‘Both teams are trying to kick the ball into their opponents’ goal,’ pretty much explains it. My follow-up question, after a few minutes watching, is always: ‘So why don’t they?'”), suggesting that for Chelsea firing Big Phil Scolari after a draw with Hull City is “the equivalent of a woman’s parents having her sectioned because she’s agreed to go on a date with you.”
How are the Hullsters supposed to feel? They can’t console themselves with the thought that football’s just their hobby and they have other, greater interests and skills. Sure, Chelsea may be deemed better at football, but they have their basketwork, poetry, cheese-making, eye for a bargain or orienteering badges. They’re Premier League footballers too. You don’t get to be that, even for a team as underrated and patronised as Hull, without considerable talent and having made the playing of football your absolute focus and obsession.
“If there’s one activity that I know about, care about and am respected for – that my marriage broke up over, that I slog 18-hour days to succeed at, that’s my thing – it’s football,” you say to yourself. Then you draw with Chelsea and they behave as if Nicholas Parsons had managed to slice through their defence and slip a ball past the keeper for Stephen Hawking to thump home.