At age 11, a young lad from Edmonton was selected for a boys district XI. Well when I say selected to play, he was actually used as the substitute partly due to physique and partly because of a chronic lack of pace. Anyway enough of a failed footballing ‘career’.
The real reason for mentioning this schoolboy honour was that it enabled the lad to gain something he did not earn. Right, the truth will out, I failed my Football Proficiency Test. Yes, I know that sounds a bit odd but in those days, just like the Cycling Proficiency Test there was also a football equivalent.
The bit I couldn’t manage on the day was playing the ball into the net from around the penalty spot from a pass coming directly from the side. Blaming the pitch because it was lumpy, bumpy and encrusted with footmarks, just wouldn’t wash. I was given several attempts but failed on each occasion, the ball skewing wide off various parts of my shin, ankle and occasionally boot.
Because of participation in the above squad, a pass certificate was granted nonetheless. A fact that still winds me up today.
Back to The Arsenal.
Aubameyang’s worst miss on Saturday brought failed Football Proficiency tests back into my mind. In slow motion you can see the ball lift slightly off the floor just as he’s about to hit it. He’s concentrating so hard on which defenders he has to avoid to put the ball in the net, that the 100% concentration required to get his head over the ball, strike it cleanly and down underneath the crossbar is missing. Result, ball ends up in row X and the Gabonese looks an idiot. (I’m sure he calls himself a ‘twat’ as he turns around!)
In contrast Micki’s beautiful left footed strike was all about him concentrating on getting the contact correct on his weaker foot. The beautiful placement was, perhaps, a fortunate by-product of such perfect technique.
Some days they go in off your shin or backside, other days you can’t buy a goal. I’m sure Auba will start hitting the back of the net soon. 🙂