The Ghost of Barry Bannan

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 A slow moving weather system,
burdened by a week of brooding, low-lying
internet traffic will break or settle
in the pre-match huddle.

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 Straining my eyes; who is that team?
They were so far gone from the first leg
as to be forgotten in the present: out of place –
a relic from last season; is that the ghost of Barry Bannan?

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 Switch to Amsterdam to see the boys from Forest Gate
and Canning Town hold firm and punch down
into tragi-comic, uniform Dutch disguises.
But the manager made a micro-climate

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 back in Sheffield, papered the walls with insults
not as motivation but as a thin membrane
with an outward facing trace of false propaganda:
‘Yes we are defeated, and the tie is over.’

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 The circle of the huddle faces inwards
so local truth can be created
without slander’s cross pollination
and maybe one or two wondered: could they?

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 At the final whistle, that stillness,
that ‘keeping of the head while all about you…’
that fixed, impregnable gaze against imposters…
was it relief, exhaustion, a subtle two fingers?

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 Back to the training ground. When they’ve got us pressed;
here’s a classic – the raking long diagonal
with subtle outswing fade. So they close up the pitch:
we turn on sixpences. Barry puts you into debt

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 in a coin of his own minting, then he switches
from tiki taka to go direct, and the huddle
lifts the heaviness so, with respect to Barnsley,
for the final: we’re all Wednesday aren’t we?


Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/the-ghost-of-barry-bannan/