A thought struck the other night, while watching Ashley Young. What happens when he turns 30, and canÃ¢ÂÂt be described Ã¢ÂÂ in football terms Ã¢ÂÂ as Young any more?
ItÃ¢ÂÂs a real concern to team-mate Luke Young, who hits the big Three-Oh next summer. Although to be honest, that square-jawed son of the soil never did Ã¢ÂÂlook young.Ã¢ÂÂ (Try it in a Peter Kay accent.)But rarely do names reliably indicate the mark of a man. Word reaches us from Barcelona that Lionel Messi keeps a very tidy apartment. Glen LittleÃ¢ÂÂs 6ft 3in tall. KilmarnockÃ¢ÂÂs Danny Invincibile has often tasted defeat. Ian Rush is a man of leisure. And Ruud GullitÃ¢ÂÂs very polite.
Hull CityÃ¢ÂÂs Ryan France isnÃ¢ÂÂt French, but then again his team-mate John Welsh is English, Mike EnglandÃ¢ÂÂs Welsh, Alan BrazilÃ¢ÂÂs Scottish and SwanseaÃ¢ÂÂs Jason Scotland is Trinidadian. Compared to that lot, Man CityÃ¢ÂÂs Stephen Ireland is a paragon of common sense. And thereÃ¢ÂÂs a sentence you donÃ¢ÂÂt see very often.
Robert Green: That's more like it
The world would be a better place if Robert Green was green Ã¢ÂÂ a Hulkian hue, that is, not worldy-unwise. ItÃ¢ÂÂd be fun to witness a hard-fought chess match between wild-eyed Darlo defender Alan White and Inverness hardman Ian Black. (You can, if you wish, add your own Wes Brown joke.) And weÃ¢ÂÂd pay to watch TranmereÃ¢ÂÂs Bas Savage clash with DarlingtonÃ¢ÂÂs Lewis Hardman, although our enthusiasm might not be shared by StockportÃ¢ÂÂs Christopher Coward. But if visible characteristics are easy to assess, personal traits are harder to guess. Is QPRÃ¢ÂÂs Adam Bolder than Modest Mbami of Ghana? Is HuddersfieldÃ¢ÂÂs Aaron Hardy? Is, for that matter, the oft-subbed Liverpool new boy Robbie Keane?If the authorities want transparency in football, players should be made to honour their names. Crime-fighting Shrewsbury duo James Constable and Shane Sherriff should endeavour to bring PeterboroughÃ¢ÂÂs Billy Crook before BlackburnÃ¢ÂÂs Alan Judge (and possibly Gordon Durie).
Ricardo tends to Tim
DarloÃ¢ÂÂs Ryan Valentine should try to win Joe Hart. QPRÃ¢ÂÂs Lee Cook should get busy with ChesterfieldÃ¢ÂÂs Darren Currie and WycombeÃ¢ÂÂs Robert Rice. LincolnÃ¢ÂÂs Stefan Oakes is probably glad he didnÃ¢ÂÂt spend much time at Sincil Bank with Jamie Forrester, now pulling up trees for Notts County. Similarly, Bolton's Ricardo Gardner should tend to the every need of Tim Flowers, not to mention HerefordÃ¢ÂÂs Richard Rose.
GrimsbyÃ¢ÂÂs Martin Butler should be at the beck and call of GillinghamÃ¢ÂÂs Simon King, while Billy Paynter (Swindon) must surely acknowledge his debt to ex-West Ham full-back Paul Brush. And if the Bristol Rovers physio needs some help with David Pipe, he could call on a panoply of Plummers: Andrew (Ipswich), Matt (Hull) and Tristian (Luton).
BoltonÃ¢ÂÂs Matt is one of many Taylors who might like to meet LincolnÃ¢ÂÂs Jack Cotton and MansfieldÃ¢ÂÂs Gary Silk. BarnetÃ¢ÂÂs Phil Carpenter could make something of BrentfordÃ¢ÂÂs Sam Wood, but Notts CountyÃ¢ÂÂs Richard Butcher might not find his phone calls returned by Barry Venison...