November 23, 2007

The Dickens Football Team

James Hamilton has just offered up his Wodehouse team, I think though they are good, they would come unstuck against this team that I offer up from the novels of Charles Dickens- it would be a good game, but for creativity and thuggery I think this team would have the beating of anything that the effete cricket playing toff Wodehouse could produce!

The team I have set out plays a 3-5-2 formation.

Goal: Always a difficult position but Joe Gargery seems an automatic choice. Dependable and thoroughly individual, Joe can be relied upon not to make any mistakes and to always take the simple option. A thoroughly modest man, Joe is not one for hissy fits or attempting fantastic saves at the wrong moment.

Left centre half- A problematic position but Ebenezer Scrooge is a natural in it. Miserly in the beggining of the game when he never misplaces a pass in possession, his game becomes more expansive as the game advances. He is always though keen to stop the other side scoring and his grim determination to win means that he is a ferocious competitor and absolutely merciless in the tackle.

Centre-half- Betsy Trotwood fits right in here- she is strong and stubborn and has an innate positional sense. She is also a great captain for the team- a leader of men and women who has the ability both to comfort those in distress and to be ferocious with fraudulent divers. She is tough but fair.

Right centre half- Bill Sikes the thug in this lineup. Sikes is the Norman Hunter of the team- he will bite your legs and leave you on the floor afterwards. He isn't adverse to aerial challenges either and has an ability to intimidate even the most seasoned striker.

Left Midfield- Jack Dawkins, the Artful Dodger, so known because he picks the pockets of opposition fullbacks when they aren't looking, is a skilfull young player, he nips through the midfield and is very creative and cunning. Can send the ball through the smallest gap and is very good at getting away from trouble.

Right midfield- Sam Weller- on the right because of his attitudes to his master Mr Pickwick, this chirpy Cockney can run all day, he is athletic and good at saving situations. But he also poses an attacking threat, he has good vision, he can see the play develop.

Centre midfield- Fagin- the master tactician, Fagin controls the passing of the team, controls the tempo of play and receives the ball. He can pass long ambitious attempts right out into the country, but is happiest with the ball at his feet masterminding intricate moves with the artful dodger on the streets of London. The only player who can control Sikes's temprament, he is vital to the unit.

Centre midfield- Sir Leicester Dedlock stern veteran in the centre of the midfield. Very concerned with the team's shape and maintains tactical discipline. Not the quickest but a very good recycler of the ball from the defence. A traditional style defensive midfielder who minds his estate in front of the defence with the utmost skill. He also serves as Vice Captain.

Centre midfield- Mr Micawber whereas Fagin and Dedlock are masters of the pass and the intelligent positioning, Micawber is the Gerard or Lampard of this midfield. He bustles everywhere always with the same hopeful optimism. Sometimes he can be ineffective- but at his best he can destroy any heep of opposition possession and furthermore surrounded by a supportive team can set moves going towards the Antipodean side of the pitch.

Centre-Forward Ghost of Jacob Marley- a ghostly presence on the field, often people don't notice he is even there but when he arrives he can be absolutely devestating and change the storyline of a game. Has a habit of rising out of fireplaces right onto the pitch into great offensive positions- he is a vital player for the team, motivated purely by a duty to recover his career.

Centre Forward- Mr Tulkinghorn- operates again secretly but a real team player, sometimes too cunning for his own good, he ticks along in the centre of this team with his great authority causing opposition centre backs shock and awe when he arrives on the field. Deceptively fast, deceptively deceitful and always with enough knowledge of the law to bend it using his vast authority to deceive the referees and the courts. Tulkinghorn is absolutely vicious in sending the ball away into goal- he is an imposing centre forward.


Sub Goalkeeper- John Jarndyce- cheerful and thoughtful Jarndyce is another who is totally reliable even when things are going badly. He always puts in 110% and he has mysterious resources of self knowledge to turn to when things are going badly. Not so good with a high east wind but apart from that curious liability he is a safe pair of hands.

Sub Defender- Ham Peggoty- Dogged and determined, Ham never gives up and is willing to toil against the most skilfull of strikers. He is courageous, rushing into flood and storm in order to get to the ball, he is also a team player, affectionate and friendly in a quiet way.

Sub Defender- Thomas Gradgrind- harsh and dogmatic in his ways, Gragrind is a useful defender. He doesn't regard fancy play as anything other than extravagance and is always able to detect the ball moving and tackle it. Perhaps not the greatest passer of the ball- though towards the ends of games he often improves, he is definitely a traditional stopper and as such can be relied upon.

Sub Midfielder- Nicholas Nickleby always willing to try, always willing to pick himself up after disaster and run towards trouble, Nickleby is a vital substitute who can come on in almost any position from wealthy inheritor to struggling actor in order to help the side. His versatility, knowledge of the game throughout the country and youthful enthusiasm make him the perfect substitute midfielder.

Sub Midfielder- Miss Havisham- one of the most thoughtful plotters of the downfall of men ever to grace the game. She is the mistress of the psychologicla arts, enticing opposition forwards into her imposing lair and then playing balls through to her pupil Estella Drummle. Miss Havisham is one of the great players of her day, if perhaps now a little traditional.

Sub Forward- Estella Drummle- beautiful and skilfull player of the game- if occasionally forgets strategy for tactics, Estella has all the skills you would want a fine player of the game to have. She fascinates centre halves with her intricate footwork before leaving them gaping in astonishment at the beauty of her play, she scores often and a lot and is absolutely heartless in her attacks. She is also supremely confident.

Sub Forward- Amy Dorrit- perhaps too shy and ascetic sometimes but her single minded devotion to the cause demonstrates that she has a talent worth developing. Is a hard worker and a team player and she contributes fully when brought on.

Manager- Jaggers. The formidable lawyer has the personality to intimidate even the strong personailities on this team. By nature he is cautious allowing players to play their natural game but his strong psychological insights into human frailty and his powers of perception are real weapons in the tactical game that modern football is today. Jaggers is quite simply the best in the world at what he does and he knows it.

Team: Gargery; Sikes, Trotwood, Scrooge; Weller, Dawkins, Fagin, Dedlock, Micawber; Marley, Tulkinghorn. Subs Jarndyce, Peggotty, Gradgrind, Nickleby, Havisham, Drummle, Dorrit.


Lord James-River said...

Definite blogfocus material tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

I raise you my Sven Hassel XI. When I get around to it!

Gracchi said...

I can see this could develop into quite a competition- I have a few things up my sleeve too Mr Hamilton!

Lord James-River said...

It's ready, sir.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Brilliant! Even the sport -hater here enjoyed this. Betsy Trotwood for England manager!