Alpha at the Euros - Part II - 'Goal Scoring'
Well done England! And good luck against Ukraine on Saturday. (Now that you’ve broken your duck, Harry, you can get a hatful!)
It’ll be fifty years, next year, when I played for England in the, then, Home International Championships. (Doesn’t time fly when you’re enjoying yerself!) We beat Scotland and Wales and drew with Northern Ireland to win the competition. (I managed to score against the Welsh side in our 4-1 win.) Don’t know if I’d last a full game now though (if Gareth calls) unless I just hang around their penalty area for ninety minutes – which, when I come to think of it, is pretty much what I did then, anyway.
And talking of which, it just so happens that I have another poem to share on that very subject….
There are great goal scorers and scorers of great goals
And when it comes off –
when you roll it or flick it in –
with defenders blaming each other
and looking up at the sky,
it’s as though you’ve materialised
with the ball tucked up your shirt –
like when you were a kid –
then blatantly kicked it in. An art.
And the supreme examples
are the tap-ins, the doddles, the
couldn’t-bloody-miss jobs – the ones
mi granny could have scored.
Because a great striker dictates
where the ball will be: a seer,
omnipotent, reading the game.
Think Greavsie. Enough said.
Forget your forty yarders, your
Beckham jobs around the wall,
Diego’s miracle in ’86,
or the latest wonder strike on YouTube.
Look for the scruffy, messy goals – no,
not him: different planet, different poem –
but the lucky guy who scores them –
lots of them – wherever he goes.
Mike Di Placido
Alpha (Poetry Salzburg, 2020)