Date: 19th January 2011 at 10:16pm
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On the interview that should be required viewing for any footballer, plus the Wheater transfer, Rodrigo and Tom Eaves.

Evening all. I make no excuses for putting the great man’s photo up there again and anyone who saw the programme on Sky Sports 2, either last night or this morning will understand why.

When I heard that there would be a tribute programme to Nat, I expected a a montage of goals and talking heads. And that would have been fine. He scored some great goals, although you suspect that the ones that remain on film are but examples of the fine art that he brought to forward play. ‘I could run, jump and head’. The comments from the great and good of English football have been played on radio and television since the news broke on Saturday night that he had passed. We had hardly heard from the man himself.

I had forgotten that he had been interviewed by Dickie Davies back in the 90’s, but what a treat. For almost an hour, with little footage but with a large amount of graciousness, he, in a sense, tried to make himself out to be just a footballer, plying his trade.

He mentioned Charlton, Lawton, Edwards, Byrne, Finney, Matthews and Mortenson as if, somehow, he shouldn’t be mentioned in the same breath as them. He talked about his team mates at Burnden Park. He talked about his wife and told the story of the first time he plonked two white fivers down on his mothers table. ‘And what did they do with them?’ Davies asked. ‘I don’t know, but it kept us for a month’ he replied.

As was tweeted last night by one of our fellow Bolton websites, ‘Every current Premier League footballer should be sat down and made to watch Nat’s interview on Sky Sports 2.’ For those who had heard the name but could only go off reports and obituaries, here was ample opportunity to see what the rest have been talking about. But what I thought summed him up the best was at the last when he was asked what his proudest moment was.

‘Signing for Bolton’ he said.

And it was probably our proudest moment too.

Anyway, once I’ve wiped another tear from me eye, onto other things. When I was much younger, my sister and I were dragged on walking holidays by our parents (More Mrs X Snr than Mr X Snr to be fair). On one such trip I spotted a couple of snails on a path in the middle of nowhere and wondered how long it would take them to reach the end of the path, some ten to fiteen miles away. ‘Probably by the time we’re long gone’ said my father. I get that feeling at the moment over the David Wheater transfer. Sky Sports are reporting tonight that Igor has agreed terms. So all we have to wait for now is the medical and the fee. I’m going to start growing a beard and won’t shave until he signs. Or until I’m long gone, whichever is first.

One person who it appears will not be at T’Reebok next season is Rodrigo. It looks like he will return to Benfica come the summer, which is a bit of an arse, to be frank. The chances of him coming on a permanent deal in the summer were slim, with Real Madrid having a buy back clause, but there could have been the possibility of a second loan deal. However, his ‘father and agent’, which sounds a bit too like the two cops in The Fast Show who were ‘partners and lovers’ for my liking, has said that he will return to Benfica in the summer. Big Daddy Moreno told something called ‘Renascenca’.

‘ In the last week of January or first week of February I will go to Lisbon for talks with the Benfica president and we will talk about Rodrigo’s future. But the idea is that Rodrigo returns to Benfica to develop his career.’

Obviously I would prefer him to stay and develop his career with us, but it won’t come as any great surprise if what his father says comes true. As it is, he is still the player best equipped to step in for Chungy at the moment and as he had his first start against Chelsea, maybe St Owen can do a bit of symmetry come Monday.

One player who will definitely be with us next season is Tom Eaves. Scoring twice for the reserves, as he did last night against his former club Oldham in the Manchester Senior Club shouldn’t exactly have you sitting up and taking notice and by all accounts he is still as raw as a recently caught haddock. However, if we are to have just six subs on the bench on Monday, would there be any chance of making the seventh one Eaves, especially if Big Ivan is out.

Just a suggestion.

Is it Thursday tomorrow already? I’ll see you there then.

 

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