Breitner, Hockey, Cork. A list of three surnames that wouldn’t have meant a thing to me last week. now it’s crystal clear. i’m slowly building up a first eleven of bearded footballers. so, onto FwB #4.
I watched the Carling Cup Final a week or so ago. bit boring. villa toiled, united won. same old. what changes? well, as a matter of fact, a lot. for one, Carlos Cuéllar has been growing a beard since the start of the season.
The fact he now resembles (for me at least) RATM frontman Zack de la Roche, makes me laugh a little. I can’t really imagine Cuéllar staging some mass protest at the poor working conditions of the Villa training ground cleaners, nor least de la Roche playing at centre-back under a pedantic Irishman. meh, stranger things have happened.
Concurrent with Glasgow Rangers remit as a springboard club (what, you didn’t know Gattuso played for them? And van Bronckhorst?), Cuéllar made the much-feted move across the border to Villa in August 2008 (before Hutton failed at Spurs, and after Ferguson flopped at Blackburn but before he triumphantly returned to Rangers-like form at Blues!), for a deal worth £7.8million, a fair whack for a non-international defender.
Thing is, Villa have a good record in bearded defenders. well, when I say record, I mean Olaf Mellberg. Carlos freely admitted in the summer he wouldn’t, and couldn’t ever emulate Olaf’s winning beard/fan favourite combination (at least until he tries some mass gesture; http://tinyurl.com/yhr7sul, akin to the viking’s).
So maybe it’s a shame Carlos says, according to the Birmingham Mail (http://tinyurl.com/yhv6y92), that his beard growing is ‘only a bet’ with a friend. It gives him a certain aesthetic edge. Villa don’t have some of the most charismatic of individuals at their club (except maybe big John Carew), and as a blues fan there shouldn’t be much love for anything in claret and sky blue. though Carlos, I’m ready to make an exception. so long as you give your training ground cleaners a pay rise. maybe then you’ll join the illustrious FwB roll-call.