With England set to endure their last World Cup with Emile William Ivanhoe Heskey, the striker should be beginning to think about where his future lies. Yes, he does have a couple more years of football ahead of him, even if it isn’t in the top-flight, but it’s never too early to think about how the transferable skills he has gained as a footballer could assist him in future job opportunities.
As any boisterous English publican will vehemently recollect, Emile has consistently exhibited that he has the dexterity of foot of an atrophic mule. So infamous is he for such frequent lapses in technique that defenders often oblige his attempt to control a pass by standing several yards in front of him so they can easily receive the ball from his inevitable misjudgement. Goalkeepers who often wince at the prospect of being one-on-one with a striker have many times been reassured by the appearance of the fella’s name on the team-sheet.
With that in mind, it’s imaginable that Heskey would be more than welcome to take up a position in a Belgian mill, turning the wheel, lurching towards the unattainable carrot, to grind the grain, and providing walks and curious amusement to small children.
In fairness, that’s probably not the most realistic option.
Another key area often highlighted is his miraculous ability to plummet to the ground at the drop of a hat. Although he’s clearly quite a bulky lad and, at 6ft 2in, not exactly miniscule, Emile often finds himself on his backside having been muscled off the ball by a player with all the physical attributes of a Yorkshire terrier. Yet, whereas many would see this as a downside, this is a skill that is definitely one of note outside the beautiful game.
Imagine the scene: the Prime Minister leaves 10 Downing Street for an appointment with the Russian Foreign Minister; before he can get into his nearby limousine, a gun shot is fired. Heskey, instinctively, falls to the ground, colliding with the minister on the way down, catching the bullet in his ballistic vest. Heskey as a bodyguard makes impeccable sense. Unless, the bullet manages to shove him out of the way that is.
Heskey is also often derided as being too sluggish, too immobile; a single ball-boy often covers more surface area of the pitch than the Aston Villa forward. That’s why he has the illusory title of the ‘link-up’ man, the guy that creates chances rather than scoring them. He basically stands there to nod or pass the ball to whoever is within proximity.
It’s feasible then that he may well return to the England set-up in four years time. Not in a playing capacity, obviously; but as Peter Crouch’s mug stand. Think about it. He has the appropriate height to save the delicate backbone of Crouch from severe discomfort and his seldom movement will prevent against breakages, or even spillages should Peter wish to rest his mug on Emile’s dome.
Or better yet, Heskey could take to Belgium after all as a scarecrow. The downside to that proposition though is that the forward isn’t exactly scary; Vinny Jones, he ain’t. In fact, the buzzards will probably feel sorry for him, forgive him for his downsides and buy him a pint. He may even get a sympathetic nod to join the birds’ international squad.
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