Daniel Chapman | Writing etc

Leeds United 1-2 Charlton & Birmingham

Go to Elland Road for the game or don’t, listen on the radio or the internet or just follow on Twitter or check the result the next day, on the BBC Sport site later on or get a ticket, get a ticket in the Kop or the South Stand, West or East, upper or lower or don’t, and get there for kick off or don’t, maybe leave the pub a bit later than usual because there won’t be any traffic, and if you’re late in you might miss something or you might not, or if you’re early you could get a beer in the ground and if you don’t finish it before the game starts you can stay in the bar and finish it and then find your seat, and when you find your seat nod to the regulars around you or don’t, if they’re not there, if their seats are empty stretch out a bit, use the space and spread out and stamp your feet and keep warm or don’t, sit and thrust your hands in your pockets and stare at the pitch, and watch for a while or don’t, or flick through The Square Ball or sneak a look at the back of someone’s programme, they’ve got no.29 that’s Rob Hulse, do you remember, or no.9 that’s Marlon King, or they’ve got no.4 that’s Steven Caldwell, do you remember Caldwell when we were relegated and you watch him clear ahead of Becchio or you don’t, but you know it happened, you saw the ball or you didn’t as Luciano chased it, but you knew he wouldn’t win it, and you see David Norris score a volley or you miss it, ten minutes before half time maybe you went for a beer or a pie or a piss, or watch it and jump up and cheer and then sit down again, until you see Dorian Dervite equalise or you don’t, five minutes into the second half you might still be in the bar, warm with company, you can see the replay on the screen, see the usual defending or just the finish, point a finger at a defender or congratulate the attacker or don’t, you just shrug, and Leroy Lita’s winner feels inevitable, or you don’t even notice it, you don’t see the ball go in because the second half is nearly over and you’re thinking about which pub to go to or not, whether to go straight home or get a beer in town, and a losing goal doesn’t mean much apart from there might not be as many people out, and you give it ten minutes and decide nothing else will happen and you go or you don’t, you stay to the end and nothing else happens anyway, and you clap the players off and they clap back or you fold your arms or you don’t, or you just go down the steps and to the bus stop or down Lowfields Road to the car or you walk or you don’t, you turn the radio off before the phone in or you tune in to Final Score for a minute and then you switch it off or you look at the BBC Sport site or you don’t, because it doesn’t really seem to matter anyway.


From The Square Ball magazine 2012/13 issue four.