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Desert Island Kicks: James Tyler
by Ed Bottomley

“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.

After a brief hiatus we’re back with James Tyler. His twitter profile describes him thus: “Writer, editor, researcher, and soccer idiot savant. Founder/Editor of Unprofessional Foul. Thoughts on music in the mix too. I’m a double-threat Dirk Kuyt.” – We thoroughly recommend having a look at his football site Unprofessional Foul (after you’ve had a butcher’s at James’ answers below of course.)

GAME:

I think I’ll indulge the LFC anorak in me and pick the finest game that I ever experienced. Liverpool 4, Everton 4, FA Cup Fifth Round Replay, 1991. Though the second replay ended in a 1-0 defeat, I’ll never forget the electricity of Peter Beardsley that night. And that of Tony Cottee on the opposite side, his last-minute leveler to send it to extra-time at 3-3. A game never to be forgotten… which is just as well as I’ve never found a decent video of the game in the nearly two decades since. Sublime goals for both teams, and a game without so much of the spittle and limb-breaking that accompanies most derbies in the modern era.

SHIRT:

The Sampdoria kit of the mid-1990s, the one worn so improbably by David Platt during his brief Serie A sojourn. Something about those colors, and the way they mixed so sweetly with Attilo Lombardi’s shiny bald head.

GOAL:

Not sure which one, but one of Matthew Le Tissier’s finest. There’s a reason I think that he and Messi look somewhat alike, and it’s because Le Tiss was so wonderfully capable of brilliance much like the Argentine, and it also seemed to flow as freely as it does from Lio in 2011. So many wonderful volleys, free kicks, and rocket shots from long range that it’s almost unfair to the legions of players that had the misfortune of fighting with the Channel Islander for TV time during Match of the Day, as Le Tiss highlights blew those by any other player of his generation out of the water. It never clicked for England, but who cares?
Let’s say his dribble+goal v. Blackburn in 1994.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xn3OtbMmaC4&feature=related
It’s effortless. Look how he just nudges his foot through the ball and off it goes… simple brilliance. Could score from anywhere, and frequently did.

PLAYER:

I’ll take Owen Hargreaves, as he’s spent so much time around doctors that he has to have earned an honorary PhD by now, surely. Would be an excellent one-man medical staff should I get bitten by a tsetse fly, attacked by a shark, or simply get overwhelmed with dehydration.

PIECE OF TURF:

A chunk of the goalline that Geoff Hurst’s second goal in the 1966 Final absolutely didn’t cross. (Not sorry either, West Germany.)

LUXURY:

Antonio Cassano’s autobiography, preferably translated into English of course. The man boasts so openly about his sexual encounters and fondness for pastry that I’ll need some kind of escapist lit to take my mind off the fact that hey, I’m stuck on a pissing desert island with some grass, an old VHS, Owen Hargreaves and the beating, unrelenting sun. Might as well be Cassano’s tall tales and general iconoclasm, eh?

Written by Ed Bottomley

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

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