It is a craze sweeping the game of football; for me, far worse than diving, Sepp Blatter or that annoying habit of keeping the ball in the corner with ten minutes of a game still remaining.
I am, of course, talking about the footballing cliché. Some footballers, and pundits alike, are almost fluent in the language of cliché - speaking to some players, it is hard not to imagine them praising their WAGs for ‘giving 110%’ with the dinner at home, or telling their cleaners to ‘take each room as it comes’. But sometimes, just sometimes, a player comes along and, through lack of media ‘polishing’ or damn right honesty, just tells it how it is. It was, therefore, a ‘breath of fresh air’ - see what I did there - to read Rotherham midfielder Lee Frecklington’s account of their 1-1 draw with Walsall at the weekend. That result took their unbeaten start in League One to eight games, and Frecklington said: “Walsall are a decent side and when we look back later in the season we may feel a draw was a good result. But everyone has left disappointed we didn’t get more out of the game.” Rotherham, of course, are still coming to terms with life in English football’s third tier - Walsall have operated at this level since winning promotion from League Two in 2006-07, and were dark horses for a Play-Off spot last season. Any right-minded team would regard a point as a decent result - but the Millers were disappointed not to get all three, an attitude that should be applauded. Too many teams suffer from overcautiousness upon entering a higher league - just like that guest to a party who doesn’t know anyone, so hangs back around the buffet and keeps himself to himself. Rotherham don’t want to be that guy - instead, Steve Evans has waltzed into the League One party, grabbed the microphone and announced that his side have arrived, and are going to shout about it. Fair play that man.
n Off the field, too, the Millers are fast becoming a model to emulate. Scunthorpe United chairman Peter Swann wants to build the Iron a new stadium, similar to the New York Stadium both in terms of capacity and ability to generate atmosphere. My two previous visits to Glanford Park have shown that Iron fans have never been shy of making a racket, but their ground simply doesn’t do them any favours in doing so. Aside from the acoustics, the stadium - which the club only moved to around a quarter of a century ago - looks tired, and a redevlopment figure of £2m per stand makes moving an attractive option. The end goal is to bring in more revenue, to allow Brian Laws’ men to compete in their quest for an instant return to League One. The Millers have shown that the sky is the limit - and now the Iron must follow suit.