Well, now it's time to settle the score...
“The best way to gain acceptance among your fellow fans is by exhibiting a miserable fatalism about your team’s chances.”
“There are only three clubs whose names contain a swearword – Arsenal, Scunthorpe and F***ing Man United.”
“Don’t be surprised when a player appeals for a throw-in when the ball has clearly come off his own shin.”
Mark Mason is a supporter of Coventry City Football Club. Despite this fact, he retains a strong interest in the game. His own skills on the football field can perhaps be most charitably described as ‘non-existent’. Equally at home in defence or attack (i.e., not at all), his one and only shot on goal, in a school match at the age of 12, was a mere matter of inches wide – of the corner flag.
In football, as in so many areas of life, those who can’t do, teach, and those who can’t teach become England manager. But for those whose capabilities fall below even this basic level, there is nothing left except to write about the game. Accordingly, Mason has penned football articles for a variety of newspapers and magazines, as well as produced documentaries on the subject for the BBC.
He had hoped that interviewing players would cause some of their magic to rub off on him. Anyone who sees the look of terror in his eyes whenever he has to kick the ball back to a group of six-year-olds in the park will know that it hasn’t.
An understanding of the offside rule is vital for the bluffer — and even a linesman could grasp the explanation outlined here.