Tucked in Shirts: An Ode
It's 9am on Saturday morning. 2013. I've got my Xbox headset on and I'm strapped in for a full morning of Pro Clubs on Fifa. The club that I play for with my mates - named after our favourite celebrity chef Delia Smith - has a special place in all our hearts. We lose pretty much every game, but every time we go out kicking and screaming. If someone has to take a red for an atrocious two-footer from behind just to injure the opposition's striker, so be it. That's what you agreed to when you signed your virtual contract with club.
My mate had hacked his online Pro into an 8ft Bosnian monster with a comedy ginger afro. He was our target man. Others had turned there's into long throw specialists to fit our das boot game plan. What I was more interested in, though, was how I was going to wear my shirt.
I was playing in the pivot at centre defensive mid. I needed something to wear that meant business. This is the area of the pitch where we'd by throwing in the no-nonsense slide tackles and pinging the ball up to our target man from kick off. The choice was obvious. I'd have to fully tuck my shirt in. All the way round. Just like Lee Cattermole.
Tucking your shirt into your shorts. It's the most important part of the Midfield General starter pack. The Nevilles knew it. Just take yourself back and picture Gary and Phil patrolling the flanks at Old Trafford with their waist high shorts. Launching into the tackles and notching their shorts back up, every time. They never broke their stride doing it. Oh no. That was the Nevilles.
And then there was Scott Parker. Remember him? Waltzing around the pitch with his non-trademarked black boots. He wore the shirt properly, he did. None of this tucked in at the front and loose at the back shite. This is English league football, mate. Doing that down Sunday League is basically the equivalent of asking some to hack you in the shins. Save it for Fifa Street.
But waist high shorts are dying, man. We're losing the very fabric of Englischer Fussball. Fergie's United wouldn't have been the same without Roy Keane and the rest of the boys tucking themselves in, and Wengerball wouldn't have been Wengerball.
Tucked in shirts are a casualty of the modern game. Though its now seen as hideously uncool to strap yourself in, I'll carry on wearing my shorts high with pride on pro-clubs. Just like the old times.
Title Image Credit: Fabio Venni, via Flickr