I thought it would be good to imagine what would happen if you gave a few players, past and present, some drugs.
I don’t mean boring drugs that enhance performance. I’m talking cocaine, weed, ecstasy, that sort of thing. The fun stuff.
How about Dimitar Berbatov on Speed? But only for the second half of games. You could watch him glide around the pitch occasionally making a beautiful and nuanced flick for 45 minutes. In the second half you’d get raging bull with a Velcro first touch and a sublime finish. It’d be magical.
Imagine John Terry on MDMA. None of the hateful, racist bile. None of the “Captain, Leader, Legend” stuff. Instead he’d be all about the team. “Nah boys, you earnt this. You did it. Franky, come here, I want you to have the armband today. Nah, you deserve it mate, you work your bollocks off and I know I sometime take the piss, but I really respect you for knowing your latin. Nah I’m being serious, I do, Wayne Bridge’s Mrs has some lovely latin drapes.”
I think every United fan has at some point or another wished they could give Rafael a quick tug on a blunt once he’s got his first yellow card, just to calm him the fuck down before he flies in and gets his second yellow card four minutes later. Of course, you’d need to get the right weed for the right player because the last thing you want is a paranoid right back stood on the goal line and playing everyone onside.
My final call is Emile Heskey on cocaine. Football is a confidence game, look at Diego Costa for Chelsea and compare him to Diego Costa for Spain. You can’t tell me that there’s any difference in quality of service, it quite simply comes down to him thinking he’s going to score with every chance for Chelsea and shitting his pants for Spain.
Emile Heskey had the odd game here and there when he was all fired up and he was fucking unplayable. He once bullied Nesta and Cannavaro. Most of the time though he was terrified of his own shadow. You could psyche him out in the tunnel by telling him his flies were undone. He’d spend the next 10 minutes working out whether it was a “made you look, made you stare” joke or if his flies really were undone. It was only when the mascot told him that you don’t have flies on shorts that he could start running about again, and even then he felt silly.
Emile Heskey on cocaine though. Fucking hell. Who’d want to mark him? If cocaine was allowed in football Emile Heskey would have won a Ballon d’Or.