Wild Al’s Jan Plan – Part Three – Captain Versatile
Legendary hedonist, and erstwhile King of Cario’s nightclub, Wild Al, is doing his bit for Town’s tumbling fortunes by eschewing ‘Dry January’ for the 27th year running.
While others are dabbling in a New Year detox to pile off the pounds, Al has hit the pub to draw up a five point plan of action to help Tim Sherwood pile on the points.
Every day this week, he’ll be revealing another step in his scheme to save Swindon’s season, today…
No.3 Play Nathan Thompson as a holding midfielder
Unlike all my appearances in the dock, I’m going to start with a confession.
This idea wasn’t initially mine, but rather than include yet another example of my own brand of classic counter-intuitive double thinking – This piece was originally entitled, ‘Let’s give Argentina the Falklands back, Pochettino will be in a good mood, so Spurs will sell us some players again’ – today I thought I’d highlight the brain wave of another Town fan.
After all, I’m a team player, it’s about Town getting wins, not my being booked for a frankly overdue TED Talk. Though that would be nice: boffin wranglers, Ron has my contact details.
The idea of deploying Nathan as a defensive midfielder came either from Twitter, the TownEndForum or something someone bellowed across the bar of the Country Ground Hotel when I was trying to order a quiet pre-match sharpener of lager top – the top of course being an appetizing medley of Smirnoff Ice, Cointreau and Absinthe, have you seen us play recently?
I can’t recall its origin but let’s face it, the best ideas are always stolen. For instance, did you know that Trev and I came up with the original concept for Pokemon Go? Except rather than collect digital animals, in our version, you visited real life-licensed establishments to claim actual pints, and anyone could take part, not just virgins.
We dubbed it a ‘pub crawl’, but it was basically same game, and if the developers are reading, believe me, you’d be much better off paying up now and avoiding a law suit that will inevitably prove both expensive and embarrassing in the long run.
Once settled, I plan to give away much of my large-litigation-avoiding-lolly. One pence in the pound will go direct to the Supporters Trust, the same proportion will be gifted to the Prospect Foundation, and 35p in every pound has been ear marked to support the unfairly maligned ‘Bring Back St Tropez’ campaign.
I’m nothing, if not a local philanthropist.
Some may feel moving Nathan from defence into a deep-lying midfield role is simply shifting a problem, sticking a square peg in a round hole just to save mutual face.
After all, utility players are often looked down on by others in the game. They are generally dismissed as jack-of-all trade yes-men, who habitually display the kind of blind loyalty and ‘can do’ obedience it would otherwise take a lobotomy and two years of National Service to instill. Yes, I am looking at you James Milner.
But as a tough tackling, free-running, precision-passing, ball-playing defender, Nathan has always been, to use a technical term coined by erstwhile Manchester United defender, current Reading head honcho and Uncle Fester lookalike Jaap Stam, ‘a busy c**t’, so surely he could find a home as the heartbeat of the Town side?
After all, many of us alter our place in the pecking order over the years. For instance, the aforementioned DJ Trev went from a name you could reliably drop to gain entry to Vadim’s VIP, to clubbable, if unreliable, wingman, to a tubby comic foil in little over a decade– as the knicker-dropping reliability of owning assorted UK Garage singles has decreased in inverse proportion to his girth.
Like some many modern ills, Trev pin points the origin of both these cruel twists of fate to when Craig David shunned the ‘two step’ scene to follow a more ‘poppy sound’, basically rapping his week’s shagging schedule over a radio-friendly unit shifter.
It was, let’s make no bones about it, our generations ‘Dylan going electric’ moment.
But blaming your own primal urge to stuff buckets of KFC down your gob on yet another tearful listen to ‘Re-Rewind’ on repeat didn’t wash with the guys and gals at Wanborough Weight Watchers, and it’s not going to cut any mustard here Trev.
Though I do concede the Artful Dodger should at least chip in for the gastric band operation, and I’ve told them as much in a series of, to date shamefully unanswered, Twitter DMs.
So, before he moves to L.A., become unnaturally muscly and releases a truly woeful MOR album, let’s try Nathan T as a defensive midfielder.
If nothing else, this unexpected tactical innovation from Tim, will give the online beardy Jonathan Wilson wannabees much to ponder. And if Alex Cooke gets some grist to his real-ale soaked wheel, we can all look forward to detailed analysis of how Nathan is adapting to his new role on this very site.
Meaning that Vic Morgan and I will no longer have to keep the whole operation afloat and can go back to our real passion project, which as anyone who knows us will attest, is a long-held desire to open a ‘Led Zeppelin/ Steve ‘Chalkie’ White themed titty bar somewhere in the Exeter suburbs.
Tomorrow, Al concludes that Gillingham Chairman Paul Scally has pulled the ultimate fast one, and plots revenge.