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Goldsmiths' Official Student Magazine

Footy Politics: Which one is your team?

3 October 2018
"...and a team like Bournemouth are kind of like the leftist middle class (all a bit privileged but never really up to much). Thinking about it, Bournemouth are really just the population of Goldsmiths." Sam Mandi-Ghomi twins each political giant (or non-giant, depending on your stance) with their Premier League counterpart (a pinch of salt is advised)...

To everyone’s chagrin the summer is over. Back to school, back to uni, back to your jobs, back to the rigours of life after a lovely few weeks of relaxation.

Except it wasn’t really, was it?

Because the world is now in chaos (or it always has been but now we’re just more aware). Amid rising fears of a no deal Brexit, the stress about that weapon in the White House, and England actually winning a penalty shootout, the summer didn’t seem at all relaxing. And now it starts again, the drone of a routine, football on the regular, and we’re no closer to leaving the EU successfully.

What a coincidence it is then that you’re reading an article comparing this season’s Premier League giants to our current political climate. Strap yourselves in because we’re about to clutch at straws.

Without a doubt, Manchester United are the Conservative Party. Annoyingly successful despite being hated by more or less everyone you know and, when one of your mates is a fan of them, you’re never really able to look at them in the same way again. The sad truth of it is that when they get their own way then a disadvantaged person probably dies (which gets grim when you consider the Tories have been in charge for 8 years now). However now they may just be up shit creek without a paddle. If Sir Alex Ferguson is football’s Maggie Thatcher, creating enemies with every closed coal mine/last-minute winner, then Jose Mourinho – who was once a revered innovator but now seems to be greying with every glaring error – is quite clearly football’s Theresa May. They both had so much promise when they took over the job but now they really are suffering from being a bloody difficult woman.

If Manchester United are the Tories, then Liverpool are undoubtedly Labour. Their opponents at every turn, Liverpool have tried their best to thwart United for years but haven’t been quite up to it. This could all be starting to turn around, however, with an unexpected campaign last year taking them to their best result in years. Liverpool understand that to get what you want you have to spend and spend big (£56 million on a goalkeeper, anyone?) which has brought criticism from their rivals but adoration from their fans. They are led by a prophetic figure who, depending on where you stand, is a one-season wonder or the second coming but undoubtedly had a blinder last time the pressure was put on. They also both hate The Sun – for unexpectedly similar reasons – and are surprisingly likeable for all their sins.

With that, we come to the wildcard. The ones that stood no chance, that everyone doubted, the ones that got you onside unexpectedly and came from nothing to achieve their glory. Fellow students, Leicester City are none other than UKIP. They had their crowning moment in 2015 after a remarkable run and haven’t actually done anything since, but by god did they give the people a moment to remember. They bucked the trend of who can be successful and gave hope to the little man everywhere. They’re also led by a racist (we’ve all seen the video, Jamie Vardy).

Now here’s where we get to the big guns – Manchester City. I deliberated long and hard about who they were but really it comes down to this; they’re bold, they’re brash, they’re rich, they came out of nowhere and are now on top of the world. That’s right Goldsmiths, Manchester City are Donald Trump. Now whilst this comparison is a little harsh, because City are a little easier on the eye and definitely more likeable, their rise to dominance out of mediocrity on the back of their fat, fat wallets is unmissable. They are almost definitely in their position undeservedly and could end up ruining the world because of it but, one thing’s for sure, life’s not gonna be boring whilst they’re in charge.

I suppose, by abstraction, that makes Tottenham Hillary Clinton. Tried to put the pressure on but bottled it when it came down to it. Should be likeable but something seems a bit off, you can’t ever really get behind them. Sounds about right.

And after that you have a lot of dross. No-names who are still impactful but you don’t hear as much about. A team like Burnley are probably just the abstract concept of Brexit (what with fielding 10 white players consistently in this globalised world), and a team like Bournemouth are just the leftist middle class (all a bit privileged but never really up to much). Thinking about it, Bournemouth are really just the population of Goldsmiths. So keep an eye out, you lot, and maybe all of this will have changed by the time we get a chance to impact any of it.

Words, Sam Mandi-Ghomi – @sammandigee

Illustration, Bobby Sanderson – @bobbysanderson