Saturday, December 3, 2022

Always The Eternal Bridesmaid: Belgium The Tottenham Hotspur Of World Cup 2018

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Bishwaraj Bhattacharyya
Former athlete. Now a journalist hoping to cover football no matter the league or country.

“Hey, Eden!”

“Yes, Gaffer.”

“How far do you reckon we’ll reach in the World Cup.”

“Finals, Sir! This year is our year.”

Does a rainbow flick over Roberto, takes it on his forehead like a trained dolphin. “If not the Finals, definitely Semis. We’ll put the pressure on.”

A pretty satisfied Roberto hums Chas & Dave’s Ossie’s Dream and strolls back to towards the defensive huddle. Jan and Toby gather.

Suddenly, “Oh sod it. I never managed Tottenham. Why do I know their song?”

Vermaelen from the sidelines, while getting bandaged for a papercut, “You’re doing it right now, aren’t you?”

Scratching his own head, Roberto, “Oh yeah. Showed them Everton nuzzlers. Fire me? Huh, I’m still in the Premier League.”

“Ok lads gather around.”

“Romelu stop kicking the ball into the empty net and Simone for God’s sakes stop smelling Thibaut’s gloves. Ain’t no pixie dust in there.”

“A’ight Amigos. I’m gonna give it to ya straight.”

“The Cup! We can win it. But I’m gonna need you to give it your all.”

“We been building this team for a decade now. We got the talent. I got the talent. We can do it.”

“We got Arsen… sorry England in the group stage. No way we are finishing below them in the table, AGAIN!”

KDB, “But gaffer we never had Engl…”

“Shut it Kevin, baldy’s not here to listen to your crap. Just run 40 yards and whip in a cross. That’s all you’re good for.”

“Alright boys. Whatever we do, we can’t choke. I’m speaking from absolutely no experience but I got a gut feeling we gonna be alright.”

And that was the last we heard of Roberto. After making an inspiring speech and getting knocked out in the Round of 16, “the Red Devils” was seen shifting through the crowd into the Moscow airport.

Greeted with solemn hums. “Don’t worry boys we’ll get ‘em four years later.”

Note: Obviously this is a work of fiction. The disclaimer is so given so that we are not bombarded with mentions on twitter.

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