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  • Writer's pictureMike Di Placido

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….


Goal Scoring

There are great goal scorers and scorers of great goals

George Best.

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 themwherever he goes.

Mike Di Placido

Alpha (Poetry Salzburg, 2020)

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