A pretty picture, but who are the Beauties and who are the Beasts in English football? Trust a Londoner to put Sunderland in the second category …
We have to get away from the Boxing Day match and move on from the Howard Webb/Leon Osman affair. Legitimate, compelling subjects … but there’s a limit.
So here’s another starter for 10.
What do you make of the following statement, which I spotted in a text message from Dave of London – probably pronounced Dive of Landun – when checking the BBC website’s live football coverage last night?
“Three most attractive teams to watch so far this season 1 Spurs 2 Man City 3 Arsenal. Three most unattractive 1 Stoke 2 Wolves 3 Sunderland.”
Just the view of one man (maybe that should be “one geezer”). But it raises interesting questions. Many of us felt Sunderland, under Steve Bruce this season, played a mixture of attractive but ineffective football and deeply unattractive and ineffective football. Maybe Dive saw us at home to Fulham or away to Arsenal.
But if he’d seen us at Spurs, under Martin O’Neill, surely he’d have recognised a team that could string a few passes together, did have some ideas going forward. We just weren’t quite good enough at anything we did, but that didn’t make for ugliness. Or did it?
Dive certainly could not have based his mini-table on QPR away last week. It was a thrilling game, with lots of errors of course, and two of our three goals looked rather attractive. And we had Jarvis the cocker spaniel, prominently placed and willing to show off its most intimate physical charms to the delight of millions of MOTD viewers, among our supporters.
He’s right about Spurs looking good, though. At their best, they are lovely to watch. Arsenal, too, though without any longer having quite the killer instinct. Man City, of course, can be exhilarating enough to make us forgive or at least understand the reasons why. And it is refreshing to see Man Utd and Chelsea excluded from his list.
But I wonder whether Wolves and Stoke City fans might have something to say about coming second bottom and bottom respectively – or second top and top if you prefer – in Dive’s Ugly Mini-league …
* Photo of Wearmouth Bridge by Mrs Logic