The big footballing story of the weekend was Tottenham’s total trouncing of Wigan in a match that ended 9-1 and which included five goals scored by England hopeful, Jermaine Defoe. Poor, humiliated Wigan have announced players will refund fans’ ticket money – I like this idea! It should be implemented at all clubs. If certain players knew they’d have to recompense fans for poor performances they might feel less inclined to drift around the pitch with a demeanour that says, ‘I’m only here for the money’. Not mentioning any names, but we all know who they are ;-)
Oddly, subsequent coverage seemed to focus on the fact Defoe’s quintet of goals brought him level with the Premiership records set by Alan Shearer and Andy Cole in a way that suggested football did not exist before the Premier League was invented. Call me an old fuddy-duddy but I found this irksome because I’m quite sure it did, and there was this thing called the First Division which was pretty much the same, but not in thrall to Sky Sports/dodgy agents/dubious owners. So, I went in search of evidence and discovered not only did we have football before 1992, Defoe’s goals weren’t even that impressive.
Back in 1936 a chap called Joe Payne scored nine while playing for Luton against Bristol Rovers. Not only is that numerically higher, it was also in an era when players wore huge, baggy shorts, smoked 20 Woodbines a day and wolfed down meat pies at half time. Could Defoe cope with such a regime? I think not.