On the English Riots, Samuel Beckett and Football


Well, shall we go?


Yes, let’s go.

They do not move.

This snappy piece of dialogue ends Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. Beckett’s virtuoso post-modern duet in which (spoiler alert) nothing happens is (amongst many many other things) a disappointingly apt metaphor for football’s current stasis. I refer not to the perpetual wantaway status of Nasri and Fabregas at Arsenal (let’s not speculate on the abominable mess the Arsenal duo would make as Beckettian puppets), but to the potential progression of a metaphorically interminable preseason towards a literally interminable one.

As London, literally, burns, the Premier League are consulting with the Police over the safety of staging this weekend’s long anticipated round of season-opening fixtures. At stake, as well as the travel plans of thousands of fans, the safety of thousands of police officers and local business owners, is the collective patience of footballs hangers-on.

Those who write, but especially those who read, about English football have done so over the last 10 weeks with Saturday’s date as Endgame (ho ho). Should that be delayed then paralysis will ensue: ‘I can’t go on, I’ll go on’.

Check back tomorrow for @EilidhBarbour on the Women’s Champions League and don’t forget to follow @calumcm and @gdfeet4abigman on Twitter.

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