Més Que Un Column

But hold on, who’s actually right?

So, Derby Day on Sunday.

Funny how three of the biggest local football derbies in the country randomly fall on the same weekend, isn’t it?

Anyway, local derbies are weird ones, aren’t they?

In Ireland, we don’t have many Everton fans, for obvious reasons. Why would anyone voluntarily put themselves through that? So it wasn’t until I got on Twitter a few years back that I fully appreciated why winning the derby meant so much to Liverpool fans from the city.

Fuckin’ ell some are them are next level.

Never mind derby week, 365 days a year blues and reds go back and forth and back and forth in a never-ending game of one-upmanship. And it’s absolutely brilliant.

But there’s an underlying idea behind it all. It’s the ‘we’re right and they’re wrong’ mentality. Plenty of Liverpool fans are beyond convinced that Evertonians are inherently bitter and obsessed with as they call them, “the red shite”. And plenty if not all Everton supporters are certain that Kopites are deluded, plastic, spoilt Torys who wouldn’t be seen dead at the match without their iPad to film goal reactions.

But who’s right? We both think our way of supporting our respective teams is the correct one. We both bask in the glory of each others’ defeats while labeling the opponents as having an inferiority complex when it’s done to us. We both see ourselves as the good guys doing things as they should be done while the lads from across the park are the baddies, the antithesis of how a team should go about their business.

And it’s not just Merseyside. The North London Derby will be the same on Sunday. Three thousand Spurs fans will be packed into a corner of the Emirates, surrounded by tens of thousands of Arsenal supporters who see their North London foes as nothing more than a tinpot club who bottle every chance at silverware they get. And to some extent, I suppose they’re right.

But what if we’re all wrong in thinking that we’re all right? Is there really a definitively correct way of supporting your team?

Ah yes, there is.

Neymar – too self-obsessed to ever be the best?

Neymar’s being a pain in the arse again if you haven’t heard. It really is impressive how much the footballing world has come together as one to despise him.

He was brilliant on Wednesday though. You can’t deny his talent. Say what you want about him, but he is one of the best footballers in the world.

He’ll never be the best though. His petulance, theatrics and desperate need for the limelight will create a ceiling for him far below that of the greatest names to have played the game. While Cristiano Ronaldo was able to harness these three attributes to motivate himself to set records and carry often-underperforming teams to silverware, the Brazilian winger has them in an abundance that Ronnie never had.

The celebratory poses, the celebratory handshakes, the dives, the screams, the rainbow flick, the embrace of Thiago Silva when the centre-half ate up another minute late on with a head injury and being pictured front and centre of all the post-match celebrations wearing Alisson’s jersey. All before being unable to resist pulling off Roberto Firmino’s one-eyed celebration while departing the pitch

The lad seems to have a more cynical side than someone like Ronaldo ever did. He never seems satisfied at just getting even, he always wants to be a bit more snide than every other player on the pitch. He always wants a bit more attention, even if it’s for the wrong reasons.

At the age of twenty-six, he might not mature until his best days are past him. But if he ever does, he could be one of footballs’ bests.

All the best.