Who can claim that these two are recognized? Perhaps only Jose Mourinho, presumably in the deepest march Rome has seen since Tiberius and who is now considering a hateful retirement to speed up his application, or at least a Wikipedia edit that makes him goalkeeper of the 2003/04 team of the season .
This year’s 15 candidates are so predictable that you could chase them away in a dark dream. Adams, Campbell, Cole, other Cole, Ferdinand, other Ferdinand, after which your eyes might glaze over. Poor Tony Adams has been hanging around on the nomination list since its first incarnation in 2021. Matt Le Tissier was on that first shortlist as well as last year, but has now mysteriously disappeared, not that you’ll read about it in the lamestream media. No Ryan Giggs either, undermining the idea that all that is taken into account is a player’s performance in the league.
Do any of them care? will you? Why is there a Premier League half of fame? Where is the Premier League half of fame? “The Premier League Hall of Fame lives online,” it says, like a vaguely evil AI. In other words, the Premier League Hall of Fame is a URL. Copy paste premierleague.com/hall-of-fame and feel the tradition, the nostalgia, the capital letter Respect.
It’s all so lame, yet it’s rampaging through the idiot constituency’s Whatsapp groups who believe football is only measured in goals, assists and triple Captain Fantasy points. This is where we need Debrett’s intervention. It is not acceptable to discuss certain things in polite company: sex, politics or that Yaya Toure was better than Jermain Defoe.
In America, hall of fames have been part of the sports tradition for almost as long as their entire sports culture, that is, almost 100 years. NFL players are often said to be destined for Canton, which always sounds a bit like being buried. It’s not that bad, it’s just Ohio.
This is where the idea is already starting to gain steam. It needs an injection of originality to thrive or we’ll be heading for a meaningless list of obvious men, all top notch players, all horrible meaningless answers. Perhaps outgoing presidents could appoint wild card inductees, such as life peers? Was there a quiet internal row when David Pemsel tried to snare Liz and force a place for his all-time favorite Chelsea player Bjarne Goldbæk?
The solution is to broaden the remit of players and managers. Justice for Martin Tyler, Delia Smith and the Adidas billboard kicked by Temurai Ketsbaia. These are the real heroes of the Premier League.