Despite a history of weeping in public not rivaled until the ascent of John Boehner, former England captain John Terry took it upon himself to urge Chelsea teammates to “man up” earlier this week prior to their Champions League encounter with FC Copenhagen. Writes the Guardian’s insufficiently inspired Barry Glendenning, “it must have been the equivalent of being urged to lighten up by the pope.”
Just two days ago, in this space, came the astounding revelation that some Premier League footballers read actual books, with the Blackpool midfielder Andy Reid being singled out for his heroic attempt to negotiate James Joyce’s Ulysses. Assuming it’s this sort of unmanly behaviour with which Terry steadfastly refuses to have any truck, one can only imagine the futility of his struggle as he fist-pumps and snarls his way around the Chelsea dressing room, seeking out rogue copies of such classics as Dostoevsky’s The Idiot, which are notoriously bad for morale
Ultimately, for a dressing room to man up, it first needs to woman down. And contrary to what the marketing men would have them believe, those designer-monogrammed vole-skin men’s hanging wash bags so beloved of footballers are not “distinctively masculine” and need to go. So too do the expensive, scented lotions and potions of the dressing-room showers, to be replaced by odourless, Albanian prison-grey carbolic soap.
In place of that padded skull-cap with chin-strap, Petr Cech might at least consider adopting a fearsome Highlander style Kurgan skull-helmet, while for all we know, the increasingly effete flower Fernando Torres could be just one left-up toilet seat from hitting the richest vein of scoring of his career.