Sometimes early in the morning, in that crossover zone between sleep and consciousness, I think that I am actually still in England, freezing my ******s off as winter arrives with avengence. But then I hear the sound of the familiar cart sellers and realize that I’m not in England after all.
The wife has had the aircon turned up to the max overnight, and it’s now colder than the Arctic. My house must be the only place in Indonesia where ice forms on the inside of the windows.
And I bet Peter Withe is having similar thoughts as well. WHAT THE F### AM I DOING HERE? Cos after a spate of poor performances, there are calls for his head as the Indonesian football team manager.
The strange thing for me is that a number of years back, I was calling for his resignation as well.
Cos for a very brief period Peter Withe managed my team – the perennial premiership underdogs and ruffians, the veritable Crazy Gang, Wimbledon FC.
Although I can’t really remember much of his brief spell (about 40 days if I remember rightly) in charge of the Dons at Smellhurst Park, I do recall Wimbledon losing 2-0 at home to Bristol City in a vital FA Cup game and then some furious Wimbledon fan running up to the dugout from the terraces before squaring up to Withe and giving him some real verbal.
Later in the week, Withe was sacked. Such is the nature of professional football.
But whether Peter Withe is any good as a manager or not, one thing is absolutely for sure: he’ll always be a football legend. Cos in the 1982 European Cup final, Peter Withe bundled over a tremendous pass by Tony Morley to put Aston Villa 1-0 up against the German giants Bayern Munich. The Villans held onto their lead and lifted the cup.
Oh, it must be. It is. Peter Withe!
> the late great Brian Moore
How many other players in the game can say they have scored the winning goal in a European Cup final? As it is that was back in the early 80s when football was proletariat and violent and huge barbed wire fences kept the fans apart, so Withe didn’t earn nearly as much as top football players today, meaning he still has to work for a living.
That’s probably not something that most Indonesian fans appreciate, but I guess to be fair to them, why should they care? For them – and like football fans everywhere - it’s only the results that matter.