TNT blast Philosophy apart
PFFC 2 TNT Magazine 7
[Ed’s note: This was sent to the team by our skipper as an email after this dismal performance.]
I’ve always liked the phrase that Philosophy Football Football Club is ‘more than just a football team’. I used to think it was very true but now, we’re not even a football team.
When I marched off to the dressing room alone after the game, I wanted people to notice. I thought since people’s ears weren’t working for the previous 90 minutes, maybe their eyes would work and they would see their captain disgusted with the performance of this so-called team. No post-match congratulations or sentiments of bad luck this time. I felt someone trying to catch me up, perhaps wanting to talk to me. “Let’s save the talking for the dressing room”, I thought, as my pace quickened. I don’t know who the person was but it may as well have been Filippo, or Roy Keane, or anyone else that gave a damn about playing football because I felt an affinity with these two figures as I walked, alone, to the dressing room.
I entered the dressing room, threw down my bag, shaking with anger, tore off my kit and had a shower. For about ten minutes. I tried to calm down before going back out there. It was silent, which was what I expected. Entering the dressing-room ready to break the silence, I was astonished to find only five other players plus the Gaffer; mainly those people I didn’t feel anger towards as they had given a pretty good account of themselves. Where were the others? Scared to come in? A bit late on a Monday night?
Normally I’m a nice captain. Perhaps too nice at times – more of a Beckham (humility included when I say that) than a Keane – look at what I do and how I do it rather than do as I say or else. Well, some of you had better do as I say now, or there won’t be any Philosophy Football after this year. No tours or any of the things some of you hold dear because the people who put their efforts into running this club don’t want to run it for people who give nothing back to the team.
Last night felt agonising, puzzling, soul-destroying, heart-breaking, embarrassing and made me feel physically shaken with anger at people who couldn’t give a fuck about their fellow team-mates. Of these emotions, puzzlement, embarrassment and anger are still with me. I hope you get that in the tone of this email. I’m puzzled at the second half where plastic table footballers would have shown more composure and passion than our players did. Embarrassment at having to shake hands with our opponents as captain after the game. I’ve always felt pride at being captain of this team but last night, I was embarrassed. I hope some of you feel shit that you made me feel that.
This email is deliberately vague in terms of the people I’m talking about who let me down but the reason is because I was not allowed to vent my spleen after the game last night. Not even then did you allow me a misplaced swear word or two and some frothing adjectives. This email has some harsh sentiments but I don’t get any satisfaction from anger. Never have done.
I used to love it when an opponent tried to wind me up because I could take the piss out of him with the football rather than with my mouth. Getting a goal rather than a booking is, I’m sure you will agree, very satisfying indeed.
THIS IS MY POINT
WE need to become a team again. Not 11–14 individuals giving up when we go a couple of goals down, but a team ready to pick anyone up that made a mistake, ready to drive on and score an equaliser. Bryan’s last run of games with the team a few years ago, resulted in 7 wins on the trot. For those of you who are new, we are not inherent losers. Kieran, Owen, myself, Bryan and Vipul all know what it’s like winning with this team. It seems that some people don’t give a damn about their fellow players and couldn’t care less if we win or lose. This attitude is disgraceful.
It must and will stop.
Before the game in the dressing room there was such a good feeling for the game ahead. Gaffer talked, I talked, heads were nodding, words were raised. I said “Let’s talk, lets communicate”; this was agreed. The game started – we played OK, but in silence. A few players talking. The rest – silent.
Steps to becoming a team
1. EVERYONE needs to talk to each other
2. We change before the game together and we fucking get changed together after the game and we certainly pay our fucking subs to Owen at the end of the game.
3. We let each other know what we and our opponents are doing – oh yeah, that’s talking.
4. We give the ball to those in red. Unless we’re in our changed kit then it’s the ones in navy blue.
5. We talk, we shout, we froth at the mouths, we lose our voices but we at least talk.
Get the message?
It’s not all doom and gloom. We can play together, we just do it very sporadically but I want to see EVERYONE try a lot harder next week or else names will be named either privately or in the dressing room – like I said in private.
If you don’t think you can talk and shout and communicate or if you don’t think your fellow players are worth the time or effort to do this, then don’t turn up again.
You won’t be missed.