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Beesotted contributor Nemone Sariman is looking forward to the return of Christian Eriksen to West London .. or is she?

When I was at school, I was the funny, articulate one in my class. Unfortunately, at the time, I didn’t want to be the funny, articulate one. I wanted to be the pretty one. Now that I am older, and my social bubble consists of people who are more mature and less shallow, I don’t mind not being the pretty one. In fact, I would rather be funny and articulate. 

Yet the Christian Eriksen saga, of which much has been said and continues to be said even though Brentford has moved on, made me feel like a teenager again, and not in a good way. 

Let’s face it, Bees: we were punching above our weight, and we were dumped. Worse yet, the boy who dumped us is coming back to our town to flaunt his sexy new girlfriend in our face (although the jury is still out regarding whether Manchester United is THAT sexy). 

When I hear stories of high-status people doing nice things for ordinary people, it warms my dark, bitter soul. I was overcome with joy when Dave Grohl invited that little girl to play drums with the Foo Fighters, and when Machine Gun Kelly (if you’re over thirty, ask your kids) offered that hotel employee a ticket to his show and a lift there on his private jet. To have Eriksen stay with us would have brought me as much, if not more, pleasure than both of those stories combined. He is a household name and we, despite being in the Premier League where the streets are paved with gold, are (I hope) still Little Old Brentford, the Bus Stop in Hounslow. We may not be the big hitter in terms of looks and glamour, but we all dreamed that our engaging personality would be enough for that boy to date us for a little while longer, even if he didn’t want to marry us.

“You can’t blame him; you’d have done the same thing!” screamed the internet. I don’t think this is true. Of course, most of the boys that I never dated as a teenager bypassed the girl with the great personality (me) in favour of the trophy girlfriend (erm, everyone else). But we’re adults now. Come on. No empathetic, well-adjusted grown-up gets that warm, glowy feeling when glamour and status win over heart. And as for the wallet, we all know, or can imagine, how loudly that can shout when it wants to do so. It seems that everyone has a price, and it’s simply a case of finding out what it is.*

*I like to think it were some high-brow intellectual, such as Oscar Wilde or George Orwell, who said this, but I fear it may have been a mob boss or a drug baron. I daren’t Google to check.

I also feel a little let down about the fact that Eriksen’s farewell message to Brentford was on his Instagram Stories and not just a normal post. If you’re unfamiliar with the labyrinthine twists and turns of The ‘Gram, an Instagram Story flashes up fleetingly, then is gone forever. If you don’t follow that person, or if you log on too late, you never see it. Our relationship with Eriksen was by no means one-way, and I feel that we deserved a more enduring adieu in return for our contribution and the chance we took. Being relegated to a mere Instagram Story was the equivalent of having your ex unfollow you, delete all trace of you and pretend you were never an item.

One more season, or even a half-season, before leaving us, would have been one small step for Eriksen, but a giant leap for us. The moon on a stick, as they say. But it was not to be. And something about the way in which he ended our relationship was almost … well … UNGENTLEMANLY. 

This time last week I would have been intimidated to see Eriksen in the starting line-up against us, in the same way that opponents feel when the All Blacks do the Haka. And this strategy may well have succeeded in its objective. However, one match in, it seems as if our ex’s new relationship hasn’t got off to the best start. We don’t have to PRETEND we’re doing fine without him. We ARE fine. No, we’re better than fine.

How will/should we welcome Eriksen? Generally I don’t like churlish, uncouth behaviour towards ex-Bees. But I am leaning towards the very advice that Present Day Me would have given to Teenage Me all those years ago: “Say hello, be polite, but never give that boy the satisfaction of knowing he hurt you. And, besides, there are plenty of other boys out there who will see your worth.”

(My husband: “What other boys? Who are these boys?”)

EDIT: We hear that a new boy is interested in us. He’s young, exciting, and he’s after something longer-term than a casual fling. He also happens to be one of our ex’s friends, which could make this season very interesting.

Nemone Sariman