BROWNE ON THE BALL: He doesn’t get his share of the glory, but not-so-flash Gordon deserves the plaudits at Boston United

Ben Gordon.
Ben Gordon.

An unsung Pilgrims hero is impressing Duncan Browne...

Mrs Brown’s Boys was voted the Best British Sitcom of the 21st Century by Radio Times readers last August.

Ben Gordon.

Ben Gordon.

Better than The Office, they said. Funnier than Phoenix Nights or Car Share. More giggleworthy than The Inbetweeners, Extras, Peep Show, Outnumbered, The Thick of It or Gavin & Stacey.

Maybe I’ve had a humor bypass. Perhaps this vote was one big joke that I didn’t get.

Either way, I can’t seriously believe that a chubby little bloke in drag swearing at another guy dressed as a giant penguin/sprout/chicken/whatever is as chortleworthy as it gets these days.

I can only pray this vote was affected by the availability heuristic - the theory that we humans allow our most recent and strongest memories to guide our decision making.

Ben Gordon.

Ben Gordon.

I mean, that may also explain why Channel 4 viewers voted Robbie Williams’ Angels the Song of the Millennium in late 1999, just two years after its release and much more recent than anything put out by The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Queen, The Rolling Stones or Vanilla Ice.

The availability heuristic also fits nicely in sport, arguing that footballers become overvalued if they are easier to spot (a cynic may suggest this is why Wales’ Aaron Ramsey decided to suddenly reach for the bottle of peroxide shortly before competing in his first major international tournament, and why people seem to think that a manager will be more successful if he shows ‘passion’).

This also means that players with obvious-to-spot talents such as pace, power and the willingness to make a big, crunching tackle leave more of an impression on the spectator, manager and scout than those blessed with more subtle skills.

Last season the pass-and-move style of Lewis Hilliard on the left wing may have been more productive for Boston United than Kaine Felix tearing down the right as if he was Linford Christie realising he’s left his phone on the bus, but we all know which one gets the crowd out of their seats.

Ben Gordon.

Ben Gordon.

And this brings me to Ben Gordon.

In the nicest possible way, the Pilgrims left back doesn’t have any real distinguising features out on the turf.

No bright blue mohawk. No pink boots. No visible tattoos. Not many fizzing 30-yard efforts at goal. No shoving matches with the opposition. No snood. Not even a sweat band.

His one goal for the club is probably the furthest forward I can recall him getting.

But just because he isn’t the easiest to spot doesn’t mean he is any less valuable.

Adam Murray has called on his squad to give seven-out-of-10 performances on a weekly basis, and that is the minimum you will get from the understated full back.

He may quietly go about his business, doing the simple things with ease and the tough stuff with such ease they appear simple, letting others grab the headlines.

But he remains quite frankly one of the best signings of the season.

Boston reached the play-offs without a recognised left back of their own last term (Dylan McEvoy was on loan, Tommy Cooney’s one appearance isn’t enough to count and the amber and black search party have now given up on finding Julian Bennett).

Just imagine how many more points they may have been able to harvest had they had a solid and dependable guy like Gordon in the back four.

Rene Steer was a cracking left back and those marauding runs and collector’s item goals made him stand out.

But when it comes to actually stopping the opposition, I’d argue that Boston’s current number three is the best the club have had defensively since Gareth Jelleyman. At least.

He’s no flash Gordon. But on the left he looks just right.