With Brentford getting themselves ready for a return to action at Wolves this weekend, all the talk has been about Scott Hogan. His goals speak for themselves but, once more, those Republic of Ireland stories are doing the rounds.
Perhaps too soon for a player with just handful of Championship games but just about as many goals under his belt? Or a chance for the Irish to grab a player who is, metaphorically, ‘on fire’ and terrifying defences up and down the land? Somebody really should use that one. It might catch on. Please. No.
It’s all part of the debate that makes up football’s rich tapestry of pub talk and desperate column inch filling during the quiet period between games. Moreso on a week such as this one, with Brentford having already exited the EFL cup at the first stage.
Then, yesterday, #TOTW started trending on Twitter. I literally had no idea what this meant. Was it some take on the TOTL (Top of the League) so beloved of Bournemouth fans when they bought (sorry, fought) their way out of the Championship? Probably not and more so as these days BOTL would be more appropriate.
A spin-off series from TOWIE ? Please. No. The original was (is? does it still run? ) bad enough. And the thought of Mrs Bruzon hogging the remote control forced me to cheat – it was time to invoke Google. Killer of pub debates yet, at the same time, the source of resolution to all mysteries.
Of course. TOTW. Team of the week. Specifically, for the FIFA 17 video game that is , apparently, being released shortly. I say apparently. I have neither a PS4 nor the co-ordination to play such games on these days. “My controller is broken” being the usual cry whenever such an attempt is mad. My Real Madrid being run rings around by Accrington Stanley (exactly) as another 7(seven) – 0 thrashing ensues.
For somebody growing up in the mid-80s, Match Day on the ZX Spectrum was the height of video game sophistication.
Seriously. We played this and it was THE game. Supposedly realistic ball motion and cutting edge graphics. Nostalgia is desperately prodding me towards a revisit but in the cold light of day, I fear this would end up being somewhat of a nightmare on memory lane.
Besides, if I’m being honest, the likes of Super Soccer on the Super Nintendo, where every game had to be prefaced by the word super (Super Star Wars, Super Mario World etc) to illustrate just how super the SNES was, soon overtook even Match Day. 3-D graphics and something called mode 7(seven) that allowed the ball to zoom in and out of the screen were as good as it got.
What a game. This was the Scott Hogan of gaming. Match Day soon became the equivalent of Nick Proschwitz.
Then the FIFA series came along and that was it. I’d gone. There’s no denying how beautiful and realistic the games progressively became but the controls. Oh, the controls. Just give me a D-pad and an x-button. That’s all you need. Not combinations that require a University level of education to comprehend and the hands of an octopus (metaphorically – I realise they don’t have hands) to control.
So whilst the release of the latest incarnation of FIFA holds about as much excitement for me as the Bees re-signing the aforementioned Proschwitz, this time around it is a bit different. With Brentford as a Championship team we are bound to be more heavily featured.
More importantly, their first #TOTW of the season features none other than our own Scott Hogan on the bench. Given the team contains the likes of Kevin de Bruyne and Edison Cavani, giants of world football, this is some company to be mentioned in.
Forget the Republic of Ireland. For now. This is recognition that is as current as it comes. Video game selection. Congratulations Scott. Seriously.
Much as I will look on with curious eyes, I’d suggest it unlikely I’ll be hammering your R1 button. And I’m not bitter because I don’t have a PS4. Nor sour because I’m just a cack-handed numpty that can’t keep up with da kidz. Honest.
Now, if somebody was to say Super Soccer 2…..