How cruel can the beautiful game be? I have just seen the awful and ugly truth: Oh, I laughed until I cried.

(Brighton and Hove Albion 1, Crystal Palace 2.)


Dipped Out.

Down to Brighton the team bus quietly drove,
To where Palace hoped a point might be nicked,
At best to share the spoils with Brighton and Hove,
A dour nill-all draw the score this Palace fan picked.

But what a strange televised game we saw unfold,
Brighton controlled the ball, a team wholly possessed;
'Twixt his pristine posts the Brighton 'keeper idly strolled,
Never had he or TV watchers seen such a one-sided contest.

But the crosses flew in from the heave-Hove side,
Hot shots blocked by Palace's desperate defending,
Volleys from the blue clad lads blazed high and wide,
Brighton's besieging of the Palace seemed never ending.

Finally, came one brief moment of respite,
A Palace foot hoofed a stray ball down the line...
His untroubled face turned up towards the sunlight
Hove's 'keeper rose from the grass- time to rise and shine.

In came the hopeful cross, from far far away,
But one Palace player had made an exhausted run,
That's how slick-heeled Mateta, against the run of play
Made the most of his chances, or more precisely, our one.

As the Palace players smilingly celebrated
'Twas tragic to see the Seagulls managers pain,
His all-going-according-to plan smile evaporated,
To return once the one-way traffic commenced again.

Palace retreated back in the box, same old same,
Our 'keeper breathlessly making miraculous saves,
Just get to half-time, our is an offensively defensive game-
Endlessly the blue tide washed 'round the Palace goal in waves.

The half-time whistle blew, and scratching his head
The manager of the boys in blue traipsed past, downcast,
His team followed behind, shuffling like 'The Walking Dead'
In the Palace shed, *Roy, head bowed, prayed his luck would last.

Half-time came, ten minutes later it went,
The game recommenced, settings back to default,
Whoever had charge of the console seemed Hellbent
On bombarding the Palace with all-too common assault.

Eventually the Footballing Gods smiled on Brighton,
The football finally found purchase in the ol' onion bag,
Leaning back on his goalpost Hove's 'keeper yawned on;
When you've not even sweeping to do tending tends to drag.

Ninety minutes approached with both teams played out,
Had Palace drawn out a point, with a team of ten at the back?
Then came that miraculous moment that leaves one in no doubt-
Those devilish Footballing Gods keep a joker in play in every pack.

A ball splays out to a man on the wing, gasping his last,
Though cramped up he somehow forces his legs to obey,
Into the Brighton half where he had so rarely trespassed,
He lobs the ball up in the air, anywhere, to get it out of play.

Toward a fresh legged substitute the ball kindly fell;
Our Mr Benteke is known more as Mr Hit And Miss,
But today his shot put us in Heaven and Hove in Hell;
Those Footballing Gods sure can take a trick, and the piss.

'Glad All Over' boomed from the visitors dressing room,
Then chorus after chorus as the London bus drove away,
But in the Hove shed the blue room was as silent as a tomb,
A seaside smash-n-grab, a torn-up **Amex? Crime does pay!

(* Roy Hodgson, the wise old old Yoda of football managing. Or on this day, one lucky bastard.
**Amex Stadium, home of the Seagulls/Brighton and Hove Albion/poor unlucky bastards.)


©Obbverse

The final send-off. Diego Maradona goes on his way; No arm, no foul.

Head In Our Hands.

At sixty years God has substituted Maradona,
No more muddy fields, he's off to a higher honour,
No dribbling then blowing past defenders any more-
He always had a nose for goal- and a damn good score.

For the true unblinkered unbiased football fan
There was no finer player than the wee Argentinian,
It's only the red white and blue 'uns of Old Eng-er-land
Who'll still send you off on your way with a heavy hand.

(one for the football fans. Some still recall the infamous 'Hand of God'. Don't we?)
Speak to the hand…

©Obbverse

Once you’ve finally managed to dredge your team up to the Premier League in English football the hard work isn’t over, it’s only just beginning. Along with the glory comes a scant few ups, quite a few more downs, plus another almost certain pitfall- just ask any committed West Bromwich Albion fan.

Temporarily Promoted.

That West Bromwich Albion crowd are all celebrating again,
There’ll be cheers and beers being hurled in Halfords Lane,
Navy and white scarves will abound around Old Birmingham town,
At least till next May when, historically they’re bound to go down.

The Albion are one of those teams that drive loyal fans to drink,
All season long, nailed to the table bottom or clinging on the brink,
The Baggies, back in in their regulation spot, flirting with relegation-
At least of late poor Aston Villa fans can sympathise with that situation.

Still, congratulations! on becoming Birminghams second best,
Now two bum *Brum fans can still share in one common interest,
For one season the twain are Premier League teams, and so sitting pretty,
Both loving lording it over mutually loathed Wolves and Birmingham City.

*Appellation the lucky locals use for Birmingham.

©Obbverse

Premier League; Frustrations from a foaming-at-the-mouth fan. And no, not a Wolves one!

Again, Palace Presents…

Wolverhampton wandered on to Selhurst Park,
For the Black country boys the future looked dark,
One place away from propping the Premiership up,
Hoping for a goalless draw or for Palace to slip up.

The past has shown
Slip ups aren’t unknown.

The doughty Palace team score, and then on the hour
A Wolves player wrestles himself into an early shower,
Surely for Palace this must mean game, set and match?
Ten man whimpering Wolves will be easy to dispatch.

The referee decides, at last
To give this game a final blast…

Of course, in that last lingering moment Wolves whip in a cross,
They score, and to this Palace fan the draw feels more like a loss,
The way my Eagles cough up points would make a parrot sick;
The reason, last day of the season my nails are down to the quick.

 

©Obbverse

The Premier League Football Show! Drama, farce, heart-rending finales! Or a cheap slipshod Horror Show. Direct from Manchester, we present-

Dribbling On.

I’ve been reduced to tears with what I’ve just sadly seen,
A bad Shakespearean tragedy, played out on the big screen,
I saw a dull first act, then a direr second half, ay, but the rub
Was seeing City outperform United, down at our neutral pub.

How those happy blue-clad lads scoffed and laughed
As I sobbed in the shadows, hand clenched to my Draught,
To drown my sorrows it’s swig, swallow, belch- then repeat;
But not even Boddingtons can dull the pain of this bitter defeat.

I rewound the game in my mind, I compared the teams,
My United looked all clapped-out at the Theatre of Dreams,
Especially statuesque Pogba, devoid of emotion- or motion;
The only thing to get him goin’ would be some Sennapod potion.

Our offence seemed content to quietly sit back
Hoping indolence would be the best form of attack,
The City midfield were all fleet of foot and quick of mind,
Ours gave chase, ran all over the place, always two feet behind.

But our backline stood tall and strong, stout and true,
They and the keeper conspired to keep out all- but two;
So all I can do is put on a smile and say ‘the best team won,’
I love Old Trafford, but Gunnar, there’s rebuildin’ to be done.

Walking woozily to the bar I recall when we were Best,
Now the froth has gone, up at the top are teams I detest,
It’s with tears in my beer I cry ‘Christ, how can life be so cruel?’
God above, my choice for Champion is down to City or Liverpool.

 

©Obbverse

Manchester United V Everton; A tough to swallow result for us poor Devils.

Red-eyed And Blue. (Sorry Wilco, I appropriated your title.)

Manchester United versus Everton?
The trip to Goodison should be a good one;
This is one Scouse team the Devils can beat,
Ah, downing those Toffees will taste sooo sweet.

But the game did not go United or Ole’s way,
The Reds ‘play’ left Ole lookin’ old and grey,
This four goal loss leaves poor Ole ashen faced
And Red faced Mancunians with a bitter taste.

 

Obbverse

Premier League letdowns; Tough times for the dogged, game but toothless Terriers of poor Huddersfield Town. Commiserations- of a kind- from a Crystal Palace fan.

Down In Hudddersfield Town.

Huddersfield Town’s future, so bright last June
Finally faded at Crystal Palace this dull afternoon,
It’s bound to be a silent, sad, sombre- and sober- coach trip
As the Terriers head back up North, down to the Championship.

By Xmas, Town knew it was gonna be tough at the top
But it’s a lot rougher when you’re the first team to drop,
To survive in the Premier League is a simple numbers game;
When Town tote up their losses all it amounts to is a crying shame.

If only Huddersfield’s brittle defence had been stronger
Or if their busy goalkeepers arms had been a little longer,
Or if they had a striker- or two- to pop in an occasional winner
The Terriers season mightn’t be finishing up a total dogs dinner.

 

©Obbverse

The magical golden run of Crystal Palace Football Club in the FA Cup dries up at Watford. (Watford 2, Palace 1.)

Shake It Off.

I’m not saying I’m a religious man,
I’m more a godless Crystal Palace fan,
But trying to follow Hodgson’s odd squad
Leaves me believing there’s a devil, swear to God.

Off we went to Vicarage Road,
On the train up we drank- a load,
Arriving in a giddy state of inebriation,
But our loss meant ’twas premature celebration.

We’d gone into the Hornets nest and been sorely stung,
Now I stand, swaying, with heavy heart and head hung,
Thinking of how, again, our dreams of an FA Cup final
Swirl away, down the drain of a poxy Watford urina

 

©Obbverse

Crystal Palace play host to Brighton And Hove Albion. Old friends always find succor and comfort at Selhurst Park. (Palace 1, Brighton 2.)

Home Truths.

Oh, how the Crystal Palace fans love to roam-
They know there’s little joy in playing at home.

Eagles fans and players revel in their travelling ways
Since Selhurst Park offers ’em cold comfort these days.

The staff at Selhurst Park remain convivial and charming
But heaving out the welcome mat to Hove is most alarming.

And so goes the game, Deja vu, Palace do what we do best,
Letting Brighton Albion linger on, like an unwelcome guest.

Selhurst Park is becoming an Away teams Field of Dreams,
Surely we’re taking ‘charity begins at home’ to extremes

Obbverse

 

Premier League football, Leicester v Crystal Palace at the King Power stadium. Match report, written with a bit of bias and a ton of poetic licence. (Leicester 1, Palace 4)

Foxes In A Hole.

Off to Leicester Palace glumly go
Hoping to put up a gallant show,
Hoping to cling on for a goalless draw,
Roy’s boys can’t hope for much more.

But Palace take joy in the unexpected,
Bathshuayi sticks in a goal- deflected,
But its equaled by on-the-spot Evans
As Goalie Guaita swears at the heavens.

The Foxes smelt blood at the King Power,
Then the smell of success began to sour
When Wilf nipped past his poor defender-
Was he ripped into by Kasper the goal tender!

Then Jonny Evans was penalised
Hero to villain, transformation realised;
Keeper Kasper, not a ghost of a chance-
Another goal, another kick in Puels pants.

Then came the final twist of the tail,
For the Foxes manager, the final nail,
Zaha goes forth, another cruel Puel blow
And back to London Roy’s boys joyfully go.

 

Obbverse