22 February ~ Football is riddled with cliches – and Alan Hansen is only responsible for about 40 per cent of them at a guess. Watching TV last week I saw Matthew Upson or Jimmy Bullard or Kevin Davies or somebody else whose team was struggling in the bottom half of the table saying that they would treat every game "as a Cup final". I don't know about you but I'd love to see that.
At this stage of the season where the games are coming thick and fast, I want to see the lesser talented players getting measured up for some godawful suit for a game on a Tuesday night away at Sunderland before sizing up another outfit for a home game against Portsmouth. I'd love to watch them have to record 13 new songs between now and the end of May, each accompanied with a cheesy, naff video in a ropey recording studio, maybe accompanied by such musical luminaries as Chico. Or a third of S Club 7. Or Timmy Mallett.
I want to see the club shop churning out crap novelty T-shirts for every game and the players expecting their route to the ground covered by a helicopter flying overhead. I want to see them recording six hours of TV filler for every single fixture and I expect to see them flogging their complimentary tickets to touts like footballers do on Cup final day.
At the end of the game, I want to see the winners do a lap of honour parading their kids around the pitch. I fully expect them to walk up dozens of steps and shake hands with royal dignitaries before doing another lap of honour. And, if they lose, I want to see them crestfallen on the pitch crying their eyes out, before throwing away a medal that they are gutted to receive.
And if I can't see all of that then I want people to stop using that phrase. Or I want journalists to stop blithely accepting the meaningless nonsense which comes out of players mouths. Put them on the spot, ask them what it means, pin them down to specifics and ask them how they will do that. Because if I can't see all of the above at the very least I can watch dumbstruck footballers realising that they may well have to start speaking sense rather than talking such tosh. Kevin Clarke