Morgan Schneiderlin and the death knell of tradition

A satirical look at the Frenchman’s choice of number at Everton.

Outrage. Fury. Bewilderment. No, we’re not talking about the pervasive reaction to Donald Trump’s recent Presidential victory. We’re talking about Morgan Schneiderlin’s heinous crime against football – opting for the no.2 to adorn the back of his shirt.

He tried to make light of it, explaining that his name was already too much of a task for the kit man to print, so he didn’t want to imposition him with two digits.

Tut, tut, Morgan. Do not mock the rich, intrinsic traditions of the English game.

Our country is being diluted enough as it is. People like Schneiderlin, who lamentably dismiss the deep values of British culture are the seed that Brexit stemmed from. An utterly deplorable action that deserves reprimand.” Thus is the utterance of one side of the argument.

Pan to a sparkling flat in the Shoreditch district of London…

Footballing hipsters stop to take a break from experimenting with a 2-3-1-4 formation on FIFA 07. They log on to Twitter with their MacBooks covered in myriad stickers – one a sticker of Yu-Gi-Oh character, because that’s cool. lounging in their classic football shorts that expose ¾ of the thigh and wearing their retro Deportivo de La Coruna third strip they rejoice at this subversive action – they’ve found a new God to worship.

Out with the old and in with the new, they cry.

Schneiderlin has occupied a niche in the footballing world; he has become the centre of a storm that originates from the binaries that perpetuate modern culture. A fierce battle has been waged between the contemporary modern philosophers of the game, and those who long for the days of crunching challenges and a return to the macho, uncompromising nature of the game.

What have you done, Morgan?

Most people aren’t particularly bothered. All the same, it is fascinating seeing the disparate worlds in the footballing solar system engage in a futile war of words.

Who, like Schneiderlin, are also guilty of such a cardinal sin?

Hicham Zerouali, Aberdeen – 0.

Zerouali outraged the hierarchies of the footballing pyramid with his unorthodox approach so much so that the wearing of number 0 was outlawed the following season.

Edgar Davids, Barnet – 1.

What happened, Edgar? You won a Champions League medal, is that not enough? Why did you have to take the number 1 jersey from your keeper?

Clint Dempsey, Seattle Sounders – 2.

Dempsey pertained to the stereotype that U.S. soccer is just not normal. How will we ever respect the MLS when this happens?

Asamoah Gyan, various – 3.

He loved the number so much that he had it trimmed into the side of his hair during the World Cup of 2010. We appreciate the commitment to the number, Asamoah, but you’re not a marauding left-back capable of banging in a 30 yard-screamer and scoring an own goal in the same match – that’s what every left-back I’ve ever played with do, anyway.

Hal Robson Kanu, West Brom – 4.

The Welsh hero, forever written into folklore. I’ll let him off for this, because I’m Welsh. Do what you want, Hal, you’re a God.

Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid – 5.

Perhaps the only criticism you can give this legend of the game (let’s ignore the 2006 World Cup Final).

Darren Huckerby, Norwich – 6.

A striker wearing number 6 – probably in a bid to get noticed. It failed, Huckerby.

Paul Scharner, Wigan – 7.

This number should always be reserved for the player who thinks he’s better than he is. The centre-midfielder who dons luminescent boots and tries a rabona at a corner kick.

Glen Johnson, Stoke City – 8.

What’s this about, Glen? Come on.

Steve Sidwell, Chelsea – 9.

His unsuccessful time at Stamford Bridge was made notable by his shirt number; the number 9 shirt should always be reserved for a European striker who has bags of flair and not an English journeyman.

William Gallas, Arsenal – 10.

Loves attention, Gallas. As if his controversial switch to Arsenal from Chelsea didn’t generate enough attention.

Charlie Daniels, Bournemouth – 11.

He plays left back. You’re not Giggsy, sorry.


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