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Steve Sidwell: Playing As Beautiful A Game As Ever At Fulham

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This is the least ugly photo of Steve Sidwell I've ever seen.
This is the least ugly photo of Steve Sidwell I've ever seen.

Last night I had the pleasure of walking down to Craven Cottage to take in a Europa League qualifier, with Fulham hosting Crusaders FC. The first half saw Fulham go up 1-0 over the visiting Northern Irishmen while I stared at Mark Schwarzer and wondered why on earth anyone thought he needed an extra-tight kit (Kappa, take note: we don't need to know when the goalkeeper has a concave stomach. Thanks). But the greatest entertainment was Steve Sidwell, behaving, well, like Steve Sidwell.

When not playing for Aston Villa, Sidwell can be quite amusing to watch -- primarily because it seems that his entire aim is to avoid actually playing football. When the ball approaches, he behaves just as I did when I was seven years old. He kicks it away, as quickly as possible. Even more impressively, he almost appears to be trying actively not to score. Considering most of football is centered around trying to score more goals than the opposing team, Sidwell's approach is quite refreshing.

True to form, the ginger wizard kicked off the first half by sending a ball across the face of goal, inches on the wrong side of the post. Minutes later, he succeeded in hitting the post. The £1 bet place against Sidwell scoring was looking better and better. And then, miraculously, he scored. From a corner. And he still sent the ball off the crossbar first.

Well done, Sidders. You managed to score against a semi-professional side after three failed attempts from close range. Villa miss you.