I’m all for it. In this day and age you have to. That’s it really.
As a player, I probably did not have too much in common with Dimitar Berbatov. Berba is more what you would call an artist, a Bulgarian or a lazy so-and-so. I was all action, a craftsman, toiling in the trenches, carrying the water, sometimes carrying the magic sponge as well. That said, I did once go to Bulgaria on a stag do, and let me tell you something it’s no wonder Berbatov always looks a bit sleepy and knackered. The women and the drink are top drawer, but to be fair my blood sugar got dangerously low because it was so hard to get anything decent to eat. By the end of the weekend I was as weak as a kitten and I would say that Ferige giving me the hairdryer treatment would be the absolute last thing I would of needed.
Berba’s been and left saying “thanks very much, respect to all at Old Trafford” but has not passed up the opportunity to settle a few scores with Ferrguson. Schoolboy error there from the Big Bulgarian. You want to save a bit of that for your first autobiography, that would set the cat among the pigeons. To be fair though I suppose your Bulgarians are not big readers. When I left Peterborough the second time I got a tattoo saying “Eff You Barry Fry” in Chinese but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t regret it in later life. Especially when I found out that my tattooist, Wang, had actually gone and wrote “I want bum-bum Barry Fry” on it in revenge for me having given him a bounced cheque when I paid him for my dorsal three lions.
For a player who was never afraid to take on a new opportunity, like I was, transfer deadline day was always a massive day in the calendar. I moved a lot in my career: sometimes if I didn’t fit into the system, sometimes if I wanted to smash the system from within, sometimes if I had a personal situation with the manager and on one occasion, when I had a personal situation with the manager’s wife that led to a personal situation with the manager and the manager’s two brothers behind the changing rooms at the training ground. Be it seeking pastures new, realising it is time to move on, being told you are surplus to requirements, or being beaten up and told to leave town tonight, sometimes in your career you can find yourself checking Sky Sports News every five minutes and hoping that Jim White has GOT NEWS OF A MASSIVE DEAL INVOLVING RONNIE MATTHEWS.
For a while it seemed like hardly a transfer window went past without me being either bought or sold by Harry Redknapp and still to this day if I see Harry sticking that big old face through his car window to talk to a reporter I get an involuntary twitch in the wallet region. To anyone that never got their dream move this weekend I will just say: stay focused, chin up, keep doing the simple things well and start really making an effort come December time to hopefully put yourself in the shop window for January.
Today is a massive day for me, probably the most important in my career since I got my England cap. I said to myself at the time “Ronnie no matter what happens they cannot take that away from you.” As it turned out, tragically, Sepp Blatter and his FIFA Europrats WERE later able to take that away from me by having the 2007 friendly v the Faroe Islands posthumously stripped of its full international status due to my so-called disgraceful behaviour towards a female linesperson. But that’s football.
This is a book. My book. My thoughts, my hopes, my dreams, my life in football, my loves, my dogs, my fears, my run-ins with Barry Fry. I Kick Therefore I Am is a book by a footballer who sees beyond football. I am very proud of it, and I hope you are proud of it too.
I have a book. Whatever happens, they cannot take that away from me (unless it got recalled because it had poisonous ink or sharp edges that were not suitable for kiddies etc.) But that is not very likely, to be fair.
Really feel for Joey Barton today what with the news that his dream move to Marseille has broken down. I know Joey a bit and believe me as a young lad growing up his one ambition in the game was to one day pull on the famous blue or green or whatever it is shirt of the French giants. Joe told me he loved the place it was because a poet called Rambo died there. I’m not one for poetry myself, or Sylvester Stallone, but Marseille has always been in Joe’s heart.
In my own career I have had the indignity of getting all hyped up for a transfer and then having the rug whipped out from underneath you and raining on your parade at the eleventh hour. It was like when I was at Watford and they told me they was sending me on loan to Barcelona. They actually ended up sending me to work in the night-club Barcelona, which is in Rickmansworth and to be fair more known for it’s four-for-one WKD Thursdays than it is for its Tika Taka. They said if i wasn’t getting in the team I might as well make myself useful and clean up some of the vomit by the ladies loos and to be honest as a young player it takes a lot of strenght of character to come back from that sort of a disappointment.