Friday, August 19, 2011

So, Constable is a Swindon fan is he?

So, Paolo Di Canio says James Constable is a Swindon fan.

Firstly, let’s deal with what is, perhaps, the closest thing we have to a fact on this. All evidence suggests that he is, in fact, a Spurs fan.

And secondly, so what?

We know he’s from Malmesbury, 15 miles from Swindon, and that he was 9 when Swindon got into the top flight. Similarly, I was 9 at the beginning of the Glory Years and lived 15 miles from Oxford. Although I’d started going to The Manor a few years before that, the attraction of Oxford in the top flight is something, naturally, me and my dad couldn’t resist.

So it’s not inconceivable that Constable went to the County Ground during their Glory Year (Year not Years) and that he developed an affinity towards the club. That’s fine and expected, he probably checks their results from time to time. However, it clearly isn’t enough to declare himself a die-hard.

We can also be certain that Constable is not an Oxford fan, certainly not one in the same sense that you and I are. He couldn’t spontaneously recite *deep breath* JudgeLanganBriggsShottonTrewickHebberdHoughtonBrockPhillipsCharlesAldridgeThomas on demand. But I can imagine that, given the experience he’s had here, when he’s in his dotage, he will check our results and occasionally reappear at the ground to wave to the crowd.

Even if Constable has a Swindon leaning, are we to assume that he has been operating as a sleeper cell and that he joined Oxford 3 years ago, putting in a series of full-gas performances, propelling the club to its healthiest position in over a decade all in preparation for Sunday?

And, even if he is an avid Swindon fan, and hater of Oxford and everything it stands for, even if putting on a yellow shirt is like having shards of glass rubbed into his back, are we truly to expect that he will deliberately turn-off on Sunday sending us to our doom? Even if his performance dropped by 5%. I’m guessing he may be substituted.

I repeat, Mr Di Canio... so what?

Admittedly this could be all about Di Canio trying to bag Constable for himself rather than Sunday specifically. There seems to be something in this story as both Luton and Swindon have made public their interest and the club have, thus far, done little to push them back. Presumably any offers that have been received are in the right ball-park, and there is a contingency in place should he leave. I would be surprised if Thomas and Wilder will allow the player to go until they are absolutely comfortable they can benefit from it. It’s not as if Constable has much emotional leverage – such as family commitments or, say, a boyhood desire to play for his beloved club.

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