Little bit of background.
Two weeks ago I took my children to a local schools surf competition. The organizers had persuaded local legend Mike to judge. He is current UK Champion and Ex European Champion. I had never met him before, but we chatted for ten minutes or so.
Now yesterday. We head off to the beach. Park. Looking over the cliff at the Atlantic I “nah, what’s the point. Too small. You guys go on in”. A couple of “oh come on Dad’s” and we’re suited up and heading in. We leave my daughter and her chum in the shallower stuff, and my son and I paddle out in the hope that some freak micro tsunami that might appear over the horizon.
There we sit waiting. “Hello there” comes a voice, and it’s Mike. “Blimey” I say “didn’t expect to see your sort out here in this”. “Why not. It’s all good fun” says he.
I watch in absolute awe as he effortlessly rides the smallest wave time after time. Performing unreal manoeuvres that I thought only possible in more powerful conditions.
He chats away to us all. What a modest bloke. Surfers, like any sportsmen, can be arrogant, but here was THE local legend out in conditions that even rubbish surfers like me deemed unworthy. Chatting away, unassuming, charming, polite and supremely modest. No “look at me, I’m the big swinging dick around here”, and it got me thinking about personalities amongst sportsmen.
I’ve always leaned towards the maverick. The wayward genius. The Senna against the Prost. McEnroe v Borg. Fischer v Spassky, and in surfing Kelly Slater (the professional) v Andy Irons (the now deceased troubled genius).
However, I’m singling out examples in individual sports. Arsenal and Football is a team game. My question is this: Do teams need to have a blend. The wayward genius, the DNA blood man, the aggressive street fighter and the leader all in there to bring balance.
I’m not sure the current Arsenal side has the right blend. For me, our current squad is a bit nice, a bit predictable and a bit samey.
Any thoughts ?
Written by MickyDidIt89