By Chris Wright
Granted this is a bit of a non-story, but I’ve chosen to relay it for one good reason – it contains what is possibly the most bafflingly excellent metaphor in the history of the modern game.
Legendary Russian striker Viktor Ponedelnik, a veteran of Soviet Union’s single European Championship triumph in 1960 (he scored the winning goal against Yugoslavia in the final), has criticised former Russia manager Guus Hiddink for ruining the career of Chelsea’s first-choice auxiliary left-back Yuri Zhirkov.
Zhirkov caught the eye by excelling as a ‘flying full-back’ for Russia during Euro 2008, but 73-year-old Ponedelnik believes that the role that he was asked to play by Hiddink was actually counter-productive;
“As a player, Zhirkov was broken by Hiddink, and it’s important to say this loudly as previously Yuri played tremendously as a left attacking midfielder.
But Hiddink decided to invent some revolutionary system so that one player was the left back and the attacking winger. But for that it was necessary to insert four hearts in Zhirkov.”
But wait, there’s more…
“He has a left leg as if he were holding a spoon in his hand to eat borscht [a variety of beetroot soup] from a cup.”
Well said that man.