In his song ‘Little by Little’, Noel Gallagher claims that “True perfection has to be imperfect,” before going on to accept that, “I know that that sounds foolish but it’s true.”
It is foolish. There are two reasons I call bullshit: Firstly, if Noel is right then ‘Heathen Chemistry’, the wretched album from which ‘Little by Little’ was taken, would be as close to true perfection as humankind has yet come in any art form. Secondly, and more importantly, it would mean that Raheem Sterling’s long-range effort against Norwich City in April 2014 was actually improved by the deflection it took off Michael Turner.
I know this not to be the case, for thirteen months later I still occasionally fret about what Sterling’s shot would have looked like without Turner getting in the way. Would it have been even more beautiful? Would the keeper have got a hand on it? Would it have rolled innocuously along the ground like just about every other shot I have seen him take? I know not, but I do know that in my mind Sterling’s entire career is now tainted by me sub-consciously writing that goal off as damaged goods, to the extent that my reaction to hearing that he is about to ask Liverpool for a transfer is, “good, he can’t bloody shoot anyway.”