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Which, if not victory, is yet revenge


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As the ball hits the net, emotion fills the air as jubilant fans project a raw expression of pure joy. The roar is primal. They hug, kiss, shout and scream. At the other end, the opposing supporters stare blankly. Wet eyes belie held back tears. Some stare at the ground, some at the sky, some just close their eyes. This didn’t just happen, did it?

Some learned souls may tell you that the latin terms for emotion and motivation are closely linked. That to have emotion, the motivation for it must be strong. The environment must be set. The atmosphere ready…, electric…, tense.

So, the motivation, the environment, the emotion?

The biggest of games.

The biggest of goals.

The biggest of…

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Mine is different to theirs’. Theirs is different to his. His is most definitely different to mine.

I have always had the same desire. The desire to win is one that runs deep and one that I cannot, nor do I want to control. That is my motivation. I will not be satisfied until I have the victory that I desire.

Theirs’, the fans, is honour. The pride they want to feel for their club. Replica top on, they want to be able to walk with their head held high. No more sly jokes from colleagues. It is time to silence their rivals.

His motivation? Above all it is vengeance. I rejected him. And they rejected him.

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It was a one-off. A small team in a major final. A motivated, but aging and previously unsuccessful manager. A slighted striker looking for revenge.

Reading back, perhaps it is not a one-off. The situation repeats itself numerous times in this sport. But to me, to them and to him it was a one-off. We were not detached like you are as you read this, but we were involved, engrossed and enwrapped in the situation.

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The kick-off is near. The atmosphere building. The darkening night sky is replaced by the glare of floodlights.

I am nervous.

They are excited.

He is disappointed. He is only on the bench.


A good start to the game. Only ten minutes gone, but we are playing with confidence. Two half chances already, we could be winning, but there is plenty of time to go and plenty of football to play. We haven’t frozen on the big occasion.

I am content.

They are enthralled.

He is jealous. He wants to be out there.


Our centreback is caught on the back foot. Their star man senses his chance and flicks the ball away. He goes down as the defender lunges to rectify his mistake. The striker screams in agony. The referee blows the whistle loudly and repeatedly. He runs over and flashes a card. It is red.

I am livid.

They are furious.

He is smiling.


Their star man cannot continue. Our nemesis replaces him. Our fans whistle and jeer. He gestures to them, but the referee does not see it.

I am pleased. He is not as good as the man he replaced.

They are enraged.

He is motivated.


With just ten men, we are entrenched on the edge of our own box. Only two minutes to go. The ball is flighted into the area. I can see it spin as it travels through the floodlit air.

I am tense.

They are praying.

He is alert.


Clichéd commentary of the ball travelling in slow motion are proven false. The moment lasts just that, a single moment. He peels off his marker and nods the ball towards the far post, past the despairing hand of our goalkeeper. It bounces off the post and into the net. He reels away in delight and the match is over. I sit, like many of our fans, with my head in my hands.

I wish we’d kept him.

They wish we’d kept him.

I don’t care what he is feeling anymore.


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Lads, here's a textbook example of how to write in short sentences and paragraphs. It's excellent.

For another example, go back in the archive and read "I Am Legend'. This two-time WOTY is telling you that that's how it's done.

Well done, Scribe, and welcome back. I wish you posted more often.

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Thanks folks.

I don't get much time to write so I like to post when I do get the opportunity. I take your point Elrithal; it could be viewed as very similar to my last short story in many ways. Indeed it probably doesn't appeal to everyone as a style of writing, but I quite like it as I don't have to put too much time or effort into writing it!

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