TSF: Best To Shut Up Over Sunday Lunch

Usually when men get together they discuss football, but not for The Secret Footballer, with everyone else either too scared or intimidated to speak up...

Last Updated: 04/10/12 at 10:59 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Five CL Games To Tickle Your Fancy

1 comments

Two must-win (and one must-not-lose) matches for English, but it is Atletico Madrid hosting Juventus that gets Daniel Storey dribbling most. That and Eboue coming home...

British Coaches Abroad: Lee Johnson

Post comment

He's worked for Chelsea in their academy - and learned a lot from Brendan Rodgers - but a failed visa scuppered a US move and now he's Rwanda U-17s coach...

All Articles

This is a preview of The Secret Footballer's weekly column. The full version will appear on his website - The Secret Footballer.com - on Saturday...

It's been a long time since my father told one of my more difficult opponents that his dad had died while the game was going on. He hadn't, of course, and the story has become part of our family folklore. It's fair to say that the old man has mellowed a little in the 20 years or so since.

These days, whenever our family is able to get together, the men still try to share their stories about football, whether it's my father once again regaling us with the time he was subbed in the first half of a pub match, after having a nightmare, only to be sent back on again in the second half, in which he scored a hat-trick.

Or maybe it's my cousin talking about the time he won the inter-office cup for his department with a mazy dribble in the dying minutes of the game. Or maybe it's me talking about the time we hammered one of the biggest sides in world football.

And that's the problem. What should be, for a group of men, one of the easiest subjects to talk about ends up with me talking about huge games, world-class players and inside anecdotes that the rest of the public never hear about. My career has reached the very top and yet, around the family table, we now have an uncomfortable situation.

After Sunday lunch, some family members won't talk about football at all for fear that their stories might somehow sound weak in comparison. I am not comfortable holding court - I never have been - but, like it or not, I know an awful lot about football and my stories and experiences will, of course, always trump anyone else's around the table.

And so the conversation drifts to subjects that nobody really wants to talk about such as work, politics and "him next door". Football, which dominated the conversation around Sunday lunch in our house for so many years when we were growing up, is now as awkward to listen to as hearing your parents talk about sex.

But for those people on the periphery of the football world, there is still a lesson to be learnt from my family's discomfort in talking about football. Sometimes, even if you do a have an opinion, it can be best to just shut up.

***

This week on www.thesecretfootballer.com ... Our man inside the game talks about the people who think that they're helping but are actually embarrassing the players and themselves. Featuring Demba Ba's agent, Mrs Federici and Mrs Foster.

You can follow The Secret Footballer on Twitter here, or buy his book here, which we reviewed here

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

put Ince in my fantasy football team, so it's no surprise at all really. I do that to players. Also responsible for De Jong and Upson being injured. Think I'll transfer in Di Maria just to ruin United....

megabrow (cufc)
F365's Top Ten Surprise Strugglers

L

ovren? £20m always seemed a touch on the expensive side, but I wasn't expecting him to be quite such a waste of money

stevenjameshyde
F365's Top Ten Surprise Strugglers

H

alf of our players have the physical presence of a 14 year old girl. I don't know why people are always shocked that they're injured.

TheWhiz
Wenger baffled by injuries

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Wenger: Giroud deal done

Olivier Giroud's new contract with Arsenal is "done", according to manager Arsene Wenger.

Champions League: Arsenal's Jack Wilshere trains ahead of clash with Galatasaray

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has trained ahead of Wednesday's Champions League clash with Galatasaray at the Emirates.

Premier League: Alan Pardew's job as Newcastle manager remains safe for now

Sky sources understand that Alan Pardew’s job as manager of Newcastle United remains safe for the time being.

Mail Box

How Much In 'Pounds Raheem Sterling'?

A whole lot of you use footballers' names in everyday life. And you hate yourselves for it. As you should. We also have mails on Newcastle, Rooney and more...

It's A Bit Sexy, This Southampton Side...

Could Southampton be this year's Southampton? We have an eclectic mailbox that features Man United, Liverpool, Arsenal and lots more. Come on in...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property