Looking back at life's regrets, I frequently return to the nagging issue of my poor record at Subbuteo. I have spent hours agonising over this single issue.
I now have a conclusion to the self-analysis, and the long sleepness nights, and it lies in one thing - team formation.
I remember the careful planning that went into each game and the trauma in deciding whether of not to use wing-backs, and indeed whether the opposition were strong enough to warrant me using the catennacio system extolled so expertly by the Italians in the Seventies. Eitherway, my team took the pitch and lined up perfectly, each knowing where to play and what to do. Then the problem developed.
After about four minutes my team would forget everything I told them and they would end up "all over the fucking shop" - five players bunched on the left wing, the full-back playing central midfield and inexplicably my centre forward loitering around the corner flag. Embarrassment sweeps over me as I recall the Inter-Toto Cup game when in ended up with 11 players in the opponent's half. Needless to say I was taking the ball from the back of the net fifteen seconds later.
As I look back with maturity and hindsight, I can now clearly identify that my failure was down to always using the man nearest the ball and not going for the long three foot long push, thus leaving the remaining players "roughly" in the right place. Every time I mistakenly sacrificed team formation for close ball skills. Lamentable.
Here's what I missed, to the sound of The Barrel with "Unreasonable". Look for twice taken penalty towards the end. Idiotic in its' simplicity.