A morning that could only be described by Scots as ‘dreich’ (unless you count the alternative spelling ‘dreigh’) and a nagging bug that would only be described by a doctor as a ‘virus’ (roughly translated as “you’re not very well but I haven’t got a clue what it is”) didn’t promise too much in the form of walking today. But this was a day that was certainly more than the sum of the parts as my new signings William Waterproof and Barry Base-Layer performed admirably and promised so much for the future.
Barry didn’t actually look the part early doors and I did check that the XL was an adult size rather than an XL for kids. Skin-tight and rather fortunate that I have lost a little weight off the stomach so that I didn’t look too ridiculous. I guess that was the design, to soak up or divert the sweat away from the base layer – I’m not that au fait with the science of this stuff but it sounds convincing. The proof would be in the pudding. William came on just before kick-off and was soon into the action after about 40 minutes as the drizzle became steadily heavier. Confidence was really growing as I could feel the protection offered by William, his only weakness being the lack of visibility stripes. It was a weakness exposed as a couple of drivers, clearly oblivious to my pavement presence (yeah right!), splashed through the puddles near the kerb. If only they knew the range of my defensive capabilities – William was just sublime and completely protected me like Makelele at his best and Tommy Trousers soaked up everything that was thrown at them – Tommy, that dependable 8 out of 10 performer every week, signed in the August transfer window. By the time I got to Woodstock, er, I mean Costa, Tommy was almost dry, only very shortly after the heavy rain had ceased. Everything underneath was dry. The only sun I saw all day was in the free paper rack – the Sun on Sunday, quickly rejected in favour of the Sunday Times.
Another flurry of rain later tested the durability of both the rainwear and the mind and body underneath. I would never have guessed that I could have managed 16 miles at the time I set off. I’m really chuffed at how effective all the gear was and, though it takes time for a new team to gel, that was three points in all but name. I might have imagined it but, at the final whistle as I reached the front door, the crowd cheered and stood to give a deserved ovation and I turned to applaud them for their support. A truly superb performance and one that has provided much confidence for the team, me as manager, Tommy, Barry and William. After I’d had my shower, Barry was dry without a trace of sweat smell, William was as good as new and Tommy was on the radiator. I’m sure there will be some difficult away days in the winter but this really was a very encouraging day and I’m looking forward to those callers on 6-0-6 professing our brilliance. But, to be honest, at the end of the day, Team Spicer should really be beating teams like these. No need yet for the chairman to give me the dreaded vote of confidence.