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Shooting stars: David Jack

Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2022-05-04 12:52:28

Data providers: Isaque Argolo.
1 - David Jack (England & Arsenal)
Ivan Sharpe | 01/09/1930

"Sea kings, merchant princes, royal surgenous, law leaders, revolutionising inventors, fast bowlers and stonewallers, and Soccer pioneers have all been born and bred in Bolton" — the borough, gentlemen, with "the most humid atmosphere in the North of England."
I quote it because it is what I have heard — day in, day out, for years.
How, then, could one look elsewhere for the first of these "Shooting" Stars — a title meaning we are going to "shoot," in the cinema sense, a few famous men who shoot in the field of football?
And, anyway, wasn't David Jack, from Doffcocker way, the first £10.000 player in fact, as others had been in fiction! A RARE BIRD True to fee, he is a rare bird. Which bird is it that stalks about silently and solemnly with lean shanks and long strides? Anyhow, David Jack on the football field is rather like it.
He is rather like it, too, because on the field he seems a lonely player — cold and uninspired; never ruffled; never chatty or "chummy."
Is this surprising? He is a thinker — a student of the game; he is studying the run of the ball, planning an individual raid on goal or some move unexpected by other fellows. ALL QUIET
Perhaps it is a device — to lull opponents into a false sense of security. Perhaps not. plenty of pianists cannot play when anyone speaks to them. They must concentrate.
Noise is part of football: if the players were gagged the crowd would make it, anyway. Nor should players be entirely silent. The good man calls for the ball — quietly and respectably — when he sees his chance. But football would be all the better if all our stars, let alone our many moderates, took a leaf from the book of David and developed their powers of concentration.
For that is just what the game needs: closer study. "SNAKE!"
I have always admired Jack's play, because it is so polite and polished and unorthodox.
No one makes with such subtlety and so little display the through-pass near goal that uproots a defence. No one can make a hole in a defence while attracting less attention and with less fuss.
Rather like a snake that midfield move of his. So smoothly and silently, with a turn of the body, he glides past an opponent. Then silence ends; the crowd has sensed the sting and the danger so suddenly developing.
Everyone has come to know that those long strides of his may take him along to a Bloomer-like descent on goal and an arrow-like shot. But the danger is there just the same because, if his pals know their part, the result will be a defence drawn cut of position and a low, unruffled pass that leads to some other man's name on the score-sheet. "DIZZY"
I have never seen David Jack do anything unfair or anything like it. My experience of him is that it is true to say he "wouldn't hurt a fly." He couldn't: it isn't his nature.
It is equally true to say that when he left for Londo the proletariat at Bolton didn't cry. "He's runs hissel dizzy," I heard them say. Meaning he was trying to introduce into Association football, as known to the multitude, too many intricate manoeuvres.
Well, everyone is satisfied — Bolton with its £10,340 or what is left of it, and Arsenal with the "dizzy" state of opponents of this quietest of stars.
Moral: Silence is golden, or Still waters run deep.