There’s been many a time when, while watching, listening to or reading an interview conducted with one of the many bastions of the world’s most beautiful game, Longpuntupfield have thought to ourselves ‘what on earth would this man do if it weren’t for football?’. We’re sure you, dear reader, have also been in this situation a number of times. The common stereotype tells us, the general public, that the terms ‘footballer’ and ‘stupid’ tend to sit very nicely together, locked in a loving embrace, never to be torn apart. Simple logic decrees that this cannot, in fact, be totally true – that being a footballer doesn’t always entail being hopeless at anything that involves a smidgen of brain power. Yet stereotypes are often born out of truths, whether we like it or not.
Nevertheless, Longpuntupfield likes rooting for a good underdog. We weren’t happy with this very casual dismissal of such hard-working and dedicated men. Do our footballers have to have the intellect of Stephen Hawking as well as being able to kick a ball well? Of course not!
This did get us thinking though. In a world without football, what would these men do? Who would these men be? Therefore, we decided to take 5 well-known servants of O Jogo Bonito and let our imaginations run wild. Just think of the possibilities!
1) Scott Parker – Extra in any WW2 drama ever produced
We don’t know whether it’s been just since his move to Spurs or whether he has always been this way, but Scott Parker looks like he’s jumped straight out of Band of Brothers and onto our football fields. The old-fashioned side parting/combover, the shirt tucked lovingly into his shorts as if his mother dressed him just before he left the house, his image as characteristically English and his little stuttering runs around the pitch; Scott looks like he belongs in 1939. We’re not saying he’d play any major part – we’ve yet to bear witness to his acting skills – but he’d make a superb background extra. Maybe give him a line or two – “Captain, B company’s taking heavy fire from the western flank” – that kind of thing. People are always making programmes about war, Scott would be raking it in.
2) Johan Djourou – Clown
We’re pretty sure that Johan Djourou’s parents, upon the birth of their beautiful baby boy, became aware of the tough choice that they would have to make in the future – whether to send their son to a clown college, or a football academy. Some may say that they made the right choice, but there will always be those who wonder of what could have been. In Clown terms, Johan Djourou has it all. Never has there been a face better suited to the white and red makeup. That large, friendly grin would greet kids who’d come from all corners of the globe, and those eyebrows would remain incredibly high … always … for no apparent reason. Although Djourou chose football one can still, at times, catch glimpses of the clown within bursting to break out. The most famous of his moves, which we like to call ‘The Clown Dance’ (where he shuffles on the ball in the hope of bewildering the opposing attacker but invariably ends up becoming more and more panicked before losing possession and usually conceding a goal), remains one of the most beautiful, yet mysterious, moves in the world game. We’ve heard that to perform the move on FIFA one has to possess a 6 star skill player.
3) Arturo Vidal – Latino Gang Member
Arturo Vidal – known for his energy, his dogged determination and his tenacity – all traits which would hold him in good stead in his new profession, leading a Latino Gang! Vidal just has that ‘token latin american guy in vest top’ look down to the ground, and we’re pretty scared just looking at this pic of him. We’ve done a bit of research and discovered that he will need to memorise and be able to use terms such as “ese”, “homes” and “güey”, and link any stories he may have to the “barrio”. Viva la raza.
4) Giorgio Chiellini – Evil Russian Henchman/Bodyguard
Giorgio Chiellini isn’t one of the nicest players around, and he has a Russian-looking face. We think it’s the nose. We just keep expecting him to shout “Soviet!” any day now. Anyway, in a world without football his penchant for violence would lead him down the wrong path. We have no idea how he’d end up in Mother Russia, but once there he would eagerly set about finding an evil villain to protect. On a video game, Chiellini would be a very tough boss level, and would undoubtedly return later in the game – after you’ve already killed him once – just because he’s that much of a bad ass.
5) Laurent Koscielny – Chav
Last but not least, we have Laurent Koscielny. We couldn’t really think of a job for Laurent, because he genuinely looks as though he’d become confused by even the simplest task. We’re sure Wenger takes him to one side before the start of each match and just tells him “Laurent go kick ball!”, and Laurent replies “Laurent kick ball good” while jumping and thumping his chest a few times. We were considering giving him the job of caveman, but since cavemen no longer exist, we had to go with chav. We thought the blank look behind his eyes and the ferociously angry facial expression, coupled with the 14 year-old boy spiky hairstyle that he enjoys, means that he’s only a burberry cap away from joining the chavhood anyway. Having never heard Laurent speak in an interview, we hope to be proven wrong in the future. Who knows, maybe he’s really the smartest of the lot.