Every Football Fans Dream

Article by Terry Mutton @muttonterry

13th January 2017: Dimitri Payet is sent to train with the West Ham United youth team after refusing to play for the club.

Without any major football scandal to write about this week, a hook as we hacks like to call it, I would like to indulge on you a re-occurring dream that I have had for most of my life that once again came into my subconscious this week.

The dream appears to have me in my twenties, taking part in a five a side football match at my local leisure centre, not aware that I am being watched by Tottenham manager Keith Burkinshaw. The managers have changed over the years, once it was Christian Gross, could have been worse of course, it might have been George Graham, happily he has never appeared. Anyway Keith likes what he sees, my midfield general performance was enough for the Tottenham boss to invite me to White Hart Lane to discuss a deal.

Scene change in the dream and I am sat next to my father facing Keith and some other bloke in a boardroom, between us on the table is a contract inviting me to join Tottenham for £140K a week, the first time I had this dream it was only £20K but hey my dreams are inflation proof. Pen in hand I am about to sign when my father proudly announces that I will sign, but I will take £20K a year just matching my annual salary at the time, as playing for Tottenham is a dream come true, in fact I’d play for free such is the honour to pull on the white shirt of Tottenham. A new contract is hurriedly put together and I am a professional footballer, every boys dream come true, even if I am about £7m quid down thanks to my now fired agent father.

Scene change and I’m on the bench in a vital Champions League game, it used to be the Cup Final but my dreams move on with the times, opponents Bayern Munich are 2-0 up on their own patch with only hour an hour to go. Keith gives me the nod and gives me instructions to go out, get hold of the midfield and get us back in the game.

I stand on the touchline, nervous as I’m about to play my first game for Tottenham, I’m not rich (thanks to my father) not pampered, just filled with pride as a dream has come true. I’m on, handshake with Glenn Hoddle whose magic just wasn’t coming off in this game, it’s this part of the dream that I always analyse too deeply, is me replacing Glenn Hoddle a subconscious realisation that the King of White Hart Lane has somehow slipped from his throne in my mind, if any of you are a trained psychologist I’d be happy to have your thoughts. I’m on the pitch and within five minutes have threaded an intricate pass into the path of Jürgen Klinsmann who rifles the ball into the top corner against his native German club.

We are back in the game, I’m commanding the midfield, I glance up into the crowd and my father is beaming with pride, his dreams played out by me on the pitch(his agent skills still poor) but moments like this money just can’t buy.

Injury time and the moment that I pray no alarm will go off to stir me from my dream, no child bouncing on the bed or a wife shouting up the stairs that a cup of tea is waiting for me, believe me it’s happened and I have been grumpy all day, robbed of that injury time moment by real life.

When real life doesn’t intervene, the injury time drama starts with a shot against the bar and then for some unknown reason Ralph Coates, in a total misrepresentation of time lines, gets pulled down in the box and the ball is thrown to me to level the game from the spot.

I step up, David Seaman is in goal, no doubt moved to Bayern in a multi-million pound deal on about £200k a week, I blast the ball passed him into the top corner, level the tie and record our second away goal. I run to the Tottenham fans, arms aloft with the rest of the team around me, remembering my time on the terraces and note that this must be the best feeling in the world.

I look to the crowd, my father is crying, wife looks like she could burst with pride and children have the best dad in the world.

Football….every fans dream and for most of us that is where it will stay.

Eat your heart out Dimitri!

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