The Adventures of Clayton Morley: Excerpt from New Episode

So, along with my new ‘best mates’, I went off to spend some hours at the local pub down the road. We covered such a great deal of conversational ground over the drinks, to a soundtrack of passable German chart music. Our ‘who is the worst football commentator/pundit on television?’ debate sparked some interesting observations. I dared to put my neck on the line and defend Andy Townsend, as well as arguing that Michael Owen, Alan Shearer and Jermaine Jenas could all strongly contest the aforementioned accolade.

And then, a few drinks turns into several, conversations flow and evolve more easily, those ‘new best mates’ become probable ‘very good mates’. We were all in agreement on how dreary and meaningless the lecture had been, and whether it was even relevant to the 8-month placements that would subsequently follow. We just wanted to get on the training pitches and into the classrooms, and impart our in-depth football knowledge on whichever young boys happened to be attending the sports institution we were ‘posted to’. Special delivery, on its way – good-looking 20-year-old from the nation that invented football, determined to make his name as a top coach in a more successful football nation, use his knowledge of German and have some fun along the way. Estimated time of arrival of first trophy: 2 months. Return to sender: not until end of contract, please. ParcelForce: not needed, I can make my own way there (incidentally, I reckon MarcelForce would be a good name for my lessons in defending, based in part on the great skills of two Marcel(l)s: Desailly and Jansen, who was actually better than people tend to remember).

The last pub we went to booted us out at 2am, and it was apparent that the final whistle had been blown on this surprisingly enjoyable night. I hadn’t expected much, but it pleased me without being too breath-taking – a bit like an above-average Europa League group match! Back we went to the Hockenberg, through the quiet streets in fairly mild October temperatures. Despite the effect of all the alcohol we had consumed, Morley Mean Time states that I can still hold my own after 2am, provided the conditions are right.

But these conditions were becoming adverse. First of all, we had to climb over the fence to re-enter the main building, as the press-button-to-activate-opening-of-gate system wasn’t in operation, and no-one was manning the entrance. Now, this fence was built in a pretty sturdy fashion, to keep out intruders, in the same way that a solid 5-4-1 formation is designed to deter opposition attackers. So, we decided to play through the lines to circumvent this defence, moving in a jump-get a footing-then launch into a downwards leap- formation. I’m sure prolific burglars are well-accustomed to this strategy. I managed to sustain a minor knee injury during the final stage of this motion; were I a player, it would not exactly be season-threatening but it would provide a credible excuse to get out of a pointless international friendly.

When we got back inside, it soon dawned on us that there were not enough beds after all, so Esther Rantzen lookalike wasn’t being honest with me earlier! We managed to quietly scamper around and search through some cupboards upstairs (not as easy as it sounds when you’re four-fifths of the way to total inebriation), finding some old mattresses and a pillow that looked so faded it wouldn’t even get onto a price.drop.tv rummage sale. The other boys agreed that I could have the pillow, as long as I slept in the caretaker’s store room!!! They took the mattresses out into the corridor, inadvertently waking up at least 4 people. The store room was cold and the surface onto which I placed the pillow was so hard it could have been a central defender in the 1970s. Christ, I thought. I didn’t expect this when I left for Germany. Getting any sleep at all now would be about as likely as Sol Campbell managing Spurs…

Adrenalin addict

Adrenalin addict

Can’t kick the habit

I ain’t ever gonna settle down and have kids

Life might seem like a labyrinth

Or strange or even savage

But playing my game means playing it with granite

 

My family train will terminate

With me, those words reverberate

End of the line, that job is mine

In this day and age, hardly an earthquake

 

Am I misguided or just undecided

Never scared of being undeclared

Even if derided

 

Gotta find something to go after

Otherwise I’m the sole actor

In this film of mine I want to

Entertain and evoke laughter

 

Too much of a maverick

To wow the crowd at a gathering

Maybe too individual, a gap unbridgeable

If so many streets away from average?

 

But destiny delivers

When your recipe figures

Ecstasy builds breathlessly

And your weaponry hits its triggers

 

On this decision…

On this decision hangs the fate of many things

And if you listen I can state the very things

That give my mission precision from the date it brings

Me a new vision, vindication – there for the taking

My fear, based in part on conversations I have had

Is here, in the dark situations when I am mad

It’s clear, in the heart of devastation so sad

And always near, to spark this new route to embark on – good or bad

They think I’m going after some far-off sun

But I’m trying to tear forward; I won’t be outrun

Standing still means going backwards; that means you’re done

Cos this party was over before it even begun

And no, I haven’t got big numbers behind me, mate

Socially of no fixed abode, unaligned…but wait!

As long as I’m pleased in the future when I rewind this tape

And know I found what was there to find – that’s fate

 

Almost believing I’m the speaker

 

But this is the digital age – forget tapes, got my C: drive

.exe file, scan my plans from raw to deep fried

Is it best for me to rest on the west or the east side?

No floppy disks, don’t copy this – not for me, Clive!

If it all goes wrong, what happens – do I crack then?

Will my steel be strong like it was way back when?

Or will I go to ground and it’s fade to black again?

Like sleeping through an album and waking up at track 10!

Never loved, only respected – I’ve got my fans, though

Cos I turn a risk into a tactical plan…go!

In my element, my own zone – I’m that kind of man, so

I’ll become known as I’ve shown – honouring Jill Dando!

Retreat might give me respite but then real regret

I see there’s a red line that I just haven’t met

The heat when I get high has just simmered as yet

There may not be a next time so I must be all set…

 

Almost believing I’m the speaker

 

The lyrics to Game-Set-Match: a commentary on the state of tennis

 

Federer

He used to be the predator

The chairman, secretary and treasurer

The emperor

But other competitors…

Like Novak Djokovic

He knows a lot of this

His grand slam record is spotless

On that topic, he can rock it

Rafa

The gaffer, some stature

In claytime

Ball attacker, shot dispatcher

From the baseline

Injury misery put Murray on the periphery

So it feels like a victory to see him

Back in the vicinity

 

Del to the Potro

He’s been through hell, but he’s not low

And you can tell he’s on the top row

He does so well when he’s got to, got to show

Stan Wawrinka – what persistence

Lateral thinker – in his existence

Had to tinker his game

To go the distance

See, tennis can make a pretty story

Or it can be gritty/tawdry

Listen, it’s a pity glory

Hasn’t come to Nishikori

Beaten by Cilic

2014 Final – the finish

Ye, the big man knew how to win it

After beating Federer with spirit – he killed it!

 

[Refrain]

 

Ready set, let’s go for the match play

Wimbledon’s busy with the new grass lay

French players had their chance on that clay

Tsonga, Simon and Monfils and Gasquet

The missing piece in the big 5 jigsaw

Was supposed to be Dimitrov (Grigor)

In the big games he really ought to give more

Otherwise he might as well withdraw

Querrey – big server

Very much with fervour

Been to a semi, can he get further?

Ask me, the tennis observer!

Anderson – last year nearly got his hands on one

US Open, had a chance, had a run

Still questions, but at Wimbledon he answered some

 

Raonic

His serve is hypertonic

The speed is cyclonic

Like poetry; a nice sonnet

Goffin is a top man

He’s got some beautiful shots and

A good all-round game but it’s always the same

His grand slam record is not grand

Schwartzman

Smaller players’ leader; their foreman

Watching him never leads to boredom

Knows how to put in a big performance

And this’ll be my third trip

Got time off work and a permit

It will be worth it, just to see Thomas Berdych!

 

Shapovalov

Winning a slam? He ain’t far off

And can Sasha be the gatecrasher

Of stature who can matter?

Thiem’s dream is a familiar theme

Can Coric be the tonic and reign supreme?

Kyrgios and Kokkinakis

Can they hit their targets?

Can Tsitsipas hit the gas

And become a starlet?

Americans are here so

They’ve got a stake in this

With Tiafoe

And the boy Taylor Fritz

 

Can Rub(lev)/Med(vedev)/Khach(anov)

Get through every match

Russians under discussion

‘Cos they’re ruling their patch

I think Dzumhur’s gonna be a late bloomer

Jarry’s in this new army

And Vesely’s getting better technically

My thought, not a rumour!

Haase the grafter

The hard-hitting master

If his hands can

Get on a grand slam

It’s a non-starter

Gets through the first two rounds

Then goes out thereafter

Chardy and Gulbis and Karlovic and Paire

Older hardies like Lopez, Verdasco, Ferrer!

 

[Refrain]

 

Youzhny

People say “who’s he”?

His backhand is a thing of beauty

His celebration is vivacious but on occasions

It’s his duty…

Do you see?

FRIDAY FREESTYLE #1

There’s a rave at the weekend

All the money saved is what we spend

Rethink unless its free drinks otherwise we’re in the financial deep end!

I can see it now, it will be outside

Somehow that sounds about right

No loud commercial music – how trite!

And it will have an open mic

Installed most likely overnight

By an old ghost or poltergeist

I’ll break it bad, like Walter White!

Will I impress the audience?

Or be an excess of gaudiness?

Or sound depressed or laborious?

I only want to test they’re curious!

Should I go or just stay put?

Remembering how the last rave looked

I went once then became hooked

Made me feel so tall, like 8 foot

Stay in and watch television?

Judi Dench and Helen Mirren

My face would be forever hidden

And not exactly well-positioned!

No, I’ve gotta be centre stage

Cos I’m still at a tender age

And these are now momentous days

Trying to avoid a tremendous rage

Make the most of my latitude

Don’t ever wanna be sat aloof

Make new friends, no matter who

Stays with me on this path to new

Check One Two

Go for the big prizes with stability behind us

Everyone realises there’s agility to bind us

They’ve never seen such flair than when we’re on our A game

Higher speed than 8 trains, avoiding the plain lanes

We know what we’re running from, but not towards

Give it some, escape from the hordes with the flat and sharp chords

Always different to the norm…but not belligerent to those who conform

 

We use our brains to impress, not looks or physique

Hit a peak when we speak in a way that’s unique

A*s in thinking deeply and laterally, that’s chiefly the strategy, it keeps me from apathy

We’ll dance to our beat even if no-one else is doing so

Am I in their viewing mode? I’m assuming no!

The atmosphere is ours as we continue, decked in blue

Is that clear, is it within you? Check one two

Check check check one two [repeated]

 

Musical version to be found here: