Published: 21 June, 2012
by RICHARD OSLEY
IN this summer of going on about how great we – the Brits – are, you get the impression the least enthusiasm is for Andy Murray's Wimbledon campaign which starts on Monday.
This lack of interest in how he gets on can be attributed to three things:
1. Tennis is not as popular as THE FOOTBALL and just imagine if we won Euro 2012, just imagine.
We could then say we are as great as those mighty past champions from Denmark to Greece.
2. Nobody seriously believes Murray can ever win a “big one” while Djokovic, Nadal and Federer still draw breath.
And, most importantly…
3. Andy Murray has never escaped the overriding image that he’s a bit of a grump, a bit of a sourpuss.
He lacks the spark and flair of other players and therefore we, collectively, find it hard to support him with the same gusto we afforded, erm, Jeremy Bates.
Truth is, Muzza is a bit of a bore.
He has a monotone voice which mumbles on and on about injuries and near misses, droning away about the world’s injustices.
Yet, through all of this, maybe he has a case for feeling miffed that his achievements in a sport that we – the Brits – have struggled to fully master for many decades are not better recognised.
He is, after all, the fourth best in the world at his trade.
I’d love to be the fourth best in the world at something.
Hell, I’d love to be in the top 100 in the world at something, the top 5,000 even.
Whatever your profession, it is quite something.
Look out the window, you’ll see people only able to dream about being the fourth best parking warden in the world, the fourth best pub landlord in the world, the fourth best teacher in the world, the fourth best automated supermarket checkout machine in the world, the fourth best member of One Direction in the world and so on…
For this achievement of being fourth in the entire world, Murray more often than not gets called a spoilt fluffball, booed in some quarters, and we switch over to the football.
If only he had flair.
And yet when people say they want flair and character, what they actually mean is somebody like David Nalbandian, the sweaty-headed maniac who brought flair to The Queen’s Club at the weekend.
In the final, he was so passionate about the game that when he flung a shot wide he kicked a plywood hoarding into a line judge and left a gash in the poor puffin’s shin.
The police were later called as a million people noted: “If I did that in a pub, I’dddda been nicked”.
That’s flair right there.
Should Murray invest in some of that?