XMAS LIST: WHAT IS THE ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR A FOOTBALL FAN?
What could a football fan ask for in their designer boot shaped stocking?
I don’t mean a new home shirt or a pair of goalie gloves but a gift that would inspire the whole footballing world. What realistically could Father Christmas give to us all football fans to make the footballing world a bit brighter? No idea, don’t worry, I have carefully reasoned to what is the perfect, and most fitting footballing Christmas wish one could ask for.
Firstly we could ask for something really pious. An end to scrounging owners or the end of football agents abusing naive young players. And certainly this would make the beautiful game a lot less ugly but for Christmas you want something with a bit of a pretty bow, so these controversial topics just aren’t going to make it. They certainly have the feel good factor, but as much as it’s the right thing to do, who really wants a charity voucher on Christmas.
So arguably you could go down the opposite road and ask for the most selfish of desires. A few things may float first to mind. A couple of wins for your chosen team is always first amongst the pile, or perhaps you would like that star signing to come to your EFL supported team. You may even be cynical and wish chaos upon your dreaded rival.
But wish as you might, Lionel Messi isn’t going to Blackburn Rovers. The Champions League glory that you have dreamed of isn’t happening for FC Halifax Town. And, as we all know, you can’t be that selfish on a day of family.
But we can take some lessons from these options. Firstly the gift has to be good for everyone, or at least it can’t be too selfish. It has to make the world a slightly better place by creating some joy, but in a way that can be directly experienced by yourself.
My first idea while writing this article was for the world to experience another upset like Leicester City’s Premier League title winning season. This seems to tick the boxes, it provides the game with a brilliant underdog story that inspires joy in most EPL or football fans in general. But it also was fun to watch yourself. It didn’t come across as pious and uppity.
However there is one problem
Some people, for whatever reason, are Leicester City fans, and they can not be unfairly privileged. And this isn’t just a dig at Leicester, though having spent considerable time being subject to their awful traffic I’m surprised it isn’t. This quandary is true for whatever replacement team we pick for our new underdog, uplifting story. We cannot let one fanbase be unfairly inspired and made hopeful and happy, that’s not very Christmassy. It certainly isn’t very footbally.
This problem can be solved however and it leads me to revealing what every decent football supporting fan’s ultimate Christmas present is. The solution is that we make the underdog story fictional.
Therefore the ultimate uplifting yet directly enjoyable Christmas football gift is…
Mike Bassett: England Manager