"Let me tell you something about soccer"
Anyway, what better way to come roaring back like a really angry Iain Dowie than to combine current affairs with the way we tend to end up analogising most things that happen to us through the prism of football. And in this light, looking at Donald Trump suddenly becomes very straightforward. The man is simply a frustrated goalkeeper. And given that, surely, 150 years of football has taught us all about how to handle goalkeepers, life should be about to get a lot easier. You can thank us later.
It’s a bold claim, but the evidence stacks up like a big lovely pile of apples, albeit a pile of apples doing their usual bastard trick of hiding an onion at their core, a bit like a fruit and veg incarnation of Iain Dowie. So here we go:
1. He needs to wear massive gloves
Now it’s not really like us to go in for the personal taunts, particularly not from the outset, but the world has changed and everyone’s being a shitstick so you’ll excuse us if we pick up on the most widely reported of Trump’s physical traits, his tiny hands. Having really small hands seems a counterintuitive place to start as a goalkeeper, but it does mean that like lots of keepers, Trump has the almost primal need to wear really massive gloves so his hands look bigger.
Besides, goalie gloves these days are almost like giant suction pads anyway, so it gives Trump extra grip when teetering at the top of a ramp like with all the panache of a tightrope-walking Iain Dowie. It’s surprising Theresa May managed to get away from him at all – bet her hands still smell like goalie gloves – you know EXACTLY what smell we’re talking about.
2. You are not welcome in his territory
It’s a well-known fact that goalkeepers are incredibly territorial and are renowned for bollocking defenders for coming anywhere near their personal space even when there’s absolutely no threat. For years, Peter Schmeichel would threaten to leave dead animals in Steve Bruce and Gary Pallister’s wives’ handbags should they ever encroach into his penalty areas. David James used to keep an elastic band and some paper clips in the back of his net just to ping at Mark Wright and Rob Jones if they got too close. That’s how Rob Jones lost his eye.
And for slaughtered weasels and childish weaponry, read an executive order banning a select few from entering the country Trump now views as his personal territory. Even if there’s absolutely no threat whatsoever, and the ball’s halfway up the other end of the pitch, you can guarantee your goalkeeper will be screaming ‘GET OUT’ at you with all the wide-eyed fanaticism of Iain Dowie exorcising demons from a small child. It’s Trump all over.
3. He has an unhealthy obsession with walls
Goalkeepers have an almost indelible attachment to walls. To spending absolutely ages putting them together, aligning every element until the perfectionist at their heart is truly happy that the barrier is insurmountable, then watching them have precisely no effect whatsoever on the exact scenario they were meant to be stopping.
We probably don’t need to add anything to that particular analogy, do we?
4. He’s part of a union of other fucking nutcases
Since time immemorial, the mythical ‘goalkeepers union’ has existed to implicitly support those psychopaths of a similar persuasion, and there’s no question that Trump is a fully paid-up member of some kind of mad association that bears all the hallmarks of being a group of goalkeepers. For one, it’s a union of men widely considered to be nutcases. For another, it’s a lot like the football fan’s relationship with goalkeepers where you can name the main one from each country but precious few others – you know, like Lloris. Neuer. Buffon. Putin. Assad. Jong-Un. And obviously Trump.
5. He talks complete and utter shite
Footballers generally can be relied upon to deal only in banalities, but in goalkeepers there’s a particular brand of nonsense that really leaves you wondering if they’ve got any idea what they’re meant to be doing at all. Again, it’s not a huge leap from here to the President of the United States but we can at least highlight a few examples to conclusively prove that all Trump really needs is to be put between the sticks and have some balls pelted at him for 90 minutes to truly find his place in the order of things and leave the rest of us alone.
“I was a bit anxious when I got to the stadium, but in all fairness if hadn't been anxious I'd have been worried” - Paul Robinson
“If I could be a superhero, I would be Batman. He's got the least silly tights” - Paul Robinson
“If you don't believe you can win, there is no point in getting out of bed at the end of the day.” - Neville Southall
“In football, you don't really know what is going on but we will worry about that when it happens.” - Neil Sullivan
“I think mercurial is a too-often used word, but he had mercurial pace, mercurial ability and a mercurial love of the game, and I think that’s very important.” - Iain Dowie
“Bing bing, bong bong, bing bing bing” – Donald Trump Lincoln Day” speech on political lobbying, 2015
*Oh what, it’s not actually eight reasons, it’s only five? Well no, it’s 8. It is 8. Let me tell you something about numbers. I’m great with numbers. The best. Period. And if you feel a little bit let down by that, I suggest you blame the fake news media who promised you 8, because I never promised you 8. Never happened. Ask Russia. I mean don’t. I never met Russia. Don’t know them. Great people though. I have a great relationship with them. Lev Yashin? Old friend. The best guy. Awesome guy.