The Wanderer - issue 119 - http://www.wwisc.co.uk/

The Wanderer - issue 119 - Online - WYCOMBE WANDERERS INDEPENDENT SUPPORTERS CLUB - http://www.wwisc.co.uk/

The Wanderer - issue 119 - Online - WYCOMBE WANDERERS INDEPENDENT SUPPORTERS CLUB - http://www.wwisc.co.uk/


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A Sido Jombati tribute

New words enter the English language all the time, but not many can profess to truly fill

a hole by defining a concept that is not covered by any previously existing word. The

basic test is whether you need more than one existing word to describe the new one.

For example, the word “woke” — all the rage in 2020 — fails this test because it means

the same as “enlightened”, which has been around for centuries. But a new expression

has recently entered the discourse in South Buckinghamshire that definitely passes

muster: The concept of “Sido-ness”.

Sido-ness requires far more than just one word to describe. In fact, rarely has one man

required as many descriptors as Sido Jombati. At times during his Wycombe Wanderers

tenure it was almost as though he was hoarding adjectives, possibly as some sort of

misguided attempt to woo Susie Dent from Countdown. He laid claim to many across

the spectrum, including (but not limited to) skillful, clumsy, calm, panicked, graceful,

calamitous, tough-tackling, marauding, reckless, insouciant, eccentric, inspirational,

genial and cantankerous. Calling him an enigma would be giving Alan Turing and his

team of codebreakers too much credit. When Sido Jombati plays football, none of the

primitive computers in Bletchley Park would have a hope of deciphering what he is going

to do next. We loved him though, because of his... well... Sido-ness.

In many ways, it was a surprise that a walking idiosyncrasy like Sido slipped through the

net and into the Wycombe dressing room. The incredible success of the Gaz and Dobbo

era has been founded upon a workmanlike style of football, with players that know their

place within the team and stifle the opposition by keeping mistakes to a minimum. Sido,

by contrast, very rarely managed 90 consecutive minutes of football without unfurling

some sort of horrific gaffe that presented a gilt-edged chance to an opposition forward.

Thank God that he did slip through the net however, because the 89 minutes that did

not contain a hopeless clanger were almost invariably eventful, entertaining, surprising

and brilliant (another four adjectives for his collection).

The glorious/terrifying sight of the beanpole defender receiving the ball at right back

and flicking it over the head or backheeling it through the legs of an onrushing winger

with his first touch, will be sorely missed. The opponent would realise all too late that

the gangly defender they were about to rob had seen them coming and had in fact

made them the mark in his hidden ball trick. Sido would then gallop on through the

midfield, his afro bouncing in the breeze, often remaining up front for a couple of

minutes after offloading the ball, until the drift of the game caused him to mooch back

into position, like a kid that doesn’t want to go home for his tea. There he would settle

again, ready to stick out another telescopic leg to break up an opposition attack.


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