Some memories when I think of England soccer:
Summer 1974. Vikings v. English team of police officers: David Ho Sang crumples under an elbow from his mark on a corner, his man beats me with a header. Beach Chalet #2, east side.
70s and 80s: countless British coaches take our best jobs, do very little with them. Jack Hyde, Colin Lindores.
John Micklewright: a walking clinic on how it’s done. A gentleman and a gifted player.Marin leagues.
Bisham Abbey, England: Charles Hughes screaming “SLOPPY, SLOPPY, SLOPPY” at us in a coaching course. He drives a Rolls-Royce.
They group the students into three sections: all the Indians in one group, all the Africans in another. They don’t know what to do with Mike Keohane and our friend Manolo Vilches from Spain, They end up putting us with the Hong Kong Chinese. I don’t drink the Kool-Aid. I do not pass the course.
Roehampton: FA schoolboys course. A class experience with Toby Rappolt.
Yesterday: Martin Tyler on ESPN showing he doesn’t understand the offside law. But he gets a job that could’ve gone to an American, because they want to give their broadcasts more credibility.
Hampstead Heath, London. I dislocate a finger playing in the park. A stranger I’m kicking with takes me in his car to a local medical facility. The staff there fix my finger and put it in a splint. Cost to me — zero dollars, zero cents.
All my soccer life, England has been the parental figure of how to play the game. Sometimes, I’ve worshiped them as the font of all football knowledge. Other times I’ve resented them for their arrogance, cruelty and smugness.
Today, it is time for the student to surpass the master. Please, please, please.