A SEETHING ball of self-loathing, anger and raw talent, Andy Murray should have been a footballer.
Olympic champion, US Open champion, national hero and still tortured by doubt.
A tumultuous combination of conflicting character traits he’s a cross between the arrogance of the enigmatic Jim Baxter and the ferocious aggression of an early Billy Bremner.
Ask your grandad ,kids, he’ll know.
Watching him against Tomas Berdych in the opening match of the season-ending World Tour Finals at London’s O2 Arena yesterday was like watching the history of Scotland in one game, one set even.
Brilliant and dominant one moment, mediocre and riven by self-doubt the next. Now flying along full of condfidence, now eaten up by paranoia.
But the talent that has always been there is coming to dominate the demons.
The intensely inward looking over self-analytical Murray is being overcome by his older, less critical self.
He’s a man now and the youthful personality quirks that held him back are beginning to fade.
Andy Murray will win Wimbledon next year, I’ll put my last, best fiver on it.
That anger and desire will carry him through to be world number one.
Finding the way home during the Olympics and at Flushing Meadow - despite himself on both occasions - means that when it comes down to those dry grass, dry mouth moments in July next year he will find the automaton instinct of the champion and he will win.
He’ll never go on to be as boringly winning as his coach Ivan Lendl was at his best but he’s taken enough from the Russian to balance his own more volatile character.
In his head he knows he’s a winner now and, despite losing his previous three matches having been at match point himself in all three, he’s moving on to another level.
Get your money on him while you can get a decent price.
A weekend full of games and no real controversy? No race row, no refree lynch mobs, no goal-line furore.
Boring or what?
But then there’s Alfreton Town striker Ben Tomlinson.
Ben scored Alfreton’s fourth goal in his sides 4-2 FA Cup win at Wrexham on Saturday - and was then sent off.
His 90th minute game-sealer was his second of the day and put his side through to the second round. He’d already scored a penalty given after Wrexham’s Cameroonian goalkeeper Joslain Mayebi was dismissed for elbowing Alfreton’s Lee Franks in the face.
So what did Tomlinson he do when he scored? He ran along the touchline blowing kisses to the Wrexham fans and received a second booking for his trouble .
A little provocative but there should be a place for humour, sarcasm even, in football. Luis Suarez got away with it when he launched into his fake, fake dive in front of Everton manager David Moyes after he scored at Goodison in the Merseyside derby.
There are few worse things as a fan than being taunted by opposing team goalscorers with a cupped hand to the ear a fingers-on-pursed-lips sshh! or a kiss of the badge.
But surely the flamboyant blowing of kisses should be encouraged - especially in the last minute.