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Desert Island Kicks: Christopher Mann
by Ed Bottomley

Desert Island Kicks

“Desert Island Kicks” is a pale imitation of the legendary “Desert Island Discs” format. I’m looking to nab answers from footie fans from all corners of the globe and all walks of life.

You’re stranded on a desert island, what footballing memories would you take with you? I want you to pick a game, shirt, goal, player and piece of turf from a stadium to take with you to a desert island, oh and you’re allowed one luxury too.

Christopher Mann – Christopher runs the rather bloody good footballing site The Equaliser. You can also follow him on Twitter.


I think I’d have to go for the 1974 World Cup final. Not only was it a game which, at times, showcased the very best of Total Football, it also fascinates me because Holland – despite their technical superiority – came up short. While relentless success has its interesting tenets, nothing captures my imagination more vividly than the concept of flawed genius. Masters who never quite conquered the game at its very highest level, I would dedicate a lot of time on the island – in between building rafts and hunting for food – to pinpointing exactly where the Oranje went wrong on that fateful afternoon.


Given that it’s a desert island and therefore likely to be bathed in sunshine, I think I’ll go for Cameroon’s ill-fated sleeveless jersey from the 2002 African Cup of Nations. Not only will it work in a practical capacity, it also has a history of controversy having been banned by FIFA ahead of the World Cup in Japan and South Korea. Useful and also rebelliously cool, any shirt given the Rigobert Song seal of approval is a winner in my eyes.


I get an inordinate amount of satisfaction from watching Wayne Rooney’s thunderous volley against Newcastle in 2005. An angry, blistering strike, I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of watching the trajectory of that ball as it spears into the top corner and threatens to tear the net into the Stretford End – an absolutely phenomenal goal.


Emmanuel Eboué, obviously. Something of a class clown, Emmanuel would be great for keeping your spirits up even during those dark times when it seems help may never arrive (you know, like the bits that are meant to be sad in Lost). Whether he’s prancing around in a tiger costume, wearing garish shell-suits, regaling you in Korean or teaching you his vast array of dance routines, there would never be a dull moment with the Ivorian around.

Piece of Turf:

I’d choose that piece of The Dell’s eighteen-yard box where, in 2001, Matthew Le Tissier pirouetted and volleyed to score the last goal ever seen at the ground which had been home to Southampton Football Club for 103 years. Arguably the most talented player to have ever graced the arena, for Le Tissier to bring the curtain down on The Dell’s history was a remarkably fitting finale.


One of the original Adidas Tangos from the 1970s. Not only would it provide endless hours of entertainment, I could also strike up a Castaway-style relationship with it should Emmanuel’s continual pranks start to grate.


Written by Ed Bottomley

Everton fan exiled in Michigan. Duncan Ferguson obsessive, history buff, optimist. Follow me on Twitter @Dixies60

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