The 1st of July in the Year of Our Fowler 2015. Just another day for some, but Redkind knows better. For that was a day when Liverpool's back four added a dimension--a fifth dimension. One beyond that which is known to man. A dimension restricted in space and of timeless endurance. It is the middle ground between Red and shadow, between sports science and superstition, and it lies between a fan's fears and the summit of their knowledge. This is a dimension of no offensive imagination. It is an area called The Clynight Zone.
What do we really know about Nathaniel Clyne, anyway? Twenty-four years young, 5'9", around 150 lbs., right-footed, and full-blooded. The prototypical fullback. Or is he even more than that? Doesn't it seem a bit coincidental that Liverpool's new #2 materialized, seemingly out of the ether, as heir apparent to the footballer formerly known as Glen Johnson? Usurping the former Red's part for both club and country, while the world distracted itself with Sterlings and Stones'.
As the legend goes, the fee was only £12.5m, but the more games the lad plays, the more that figure feels like a misprint. Or something even more calculated. A tactical diversion from the truth? A distraction of normalcy from the obviously unique? The qualities are so robust they feel out of this world, after all. Perhaps even alien.
At 1,756 minutes of football and counting, one thing we do know is the lad is always present. His first page of google search results show no known associates or past transgressions, beyond this crime against humanity. And since internet by-laws demand that life ends after the first page of google search results, that is as squeaky clean as a record can be. Too clean, even.
Plenty of those results plainly describe his training at a palace made of crystal. Bit ostentatious for a human, but for an alien? That's like a YMCA. Certainly, no run-of-the-mill right backs are honed by palatially crystal training grounds. Then he quickly demonstrated a, shall we say, gray sensibility in accepting a move away from the bright lights refracting off those crystals. His choice? The inconspicuously cold and industrial embrace of a dreary Southampton.
Relishing the quiet toil behind the younger, purportedly more talented peer in Calum Chambers--yes, that sort of ubiquitous existence fit just right, didn't it? But you don't fool us, Nathaniel. Then Arsenal suddenly sign Chambers away and Clyne is exposed for the hyper-evolved right back he's always been. Perhaps always will be. Right here, under everyone's noses. A species of athlete seemingly dropped from the sky as an example of the way forward to the terrestrial mortals around him.
Of course he seamlessly gives Liverpool what they want. Rounding in to 100 combined tackles and interceptions before the new year is rung, Clyne has being doing it all. Passing, moving, having a crack at goal. He doesn't defend attackers so much as he abducts 90 minutes of a player's footballing existence and erases all memory of the encounter.
The chasing of wide opponents like a cheetah chases a spooked impala. The shredding into the tackle like they'd insulted his dear old grandmother. Leaving bested foes hazily describing their encounters to teammates and coaches as if it was a debrief in Area 51. No human being moves quite like that quite that much and without so much as a hair displaced. But a Martian might.
And that's not all. See this video evidence? NATHANIEL CLYNE!! That is absurd. And something so clearly inhuman forces us to consider the following real facts:
- Most countries have reports of alien abductions, whether in large cities or rural areas. England is a country with both large cities and rural areas. And in the case of Essex, very, very rural areas.
- Abductions, like football games, can occur during the day or night.
- People who have been abducted often write books about their experiences. People who have played footy against Nathaniel Clyne have written books about their experiences.
- Aliens have big heads. We're just saying.
- Abductees have reported attempts to video or photograph the events, but most footage is useless. Football fans have reported attempts to video the events of Liverpool football games, but most footage is useless.
Are we saying that Nathaniel Clyne is a benevolent alien visitor caught up in a complicated charade of humanity, cloaking his true identity by winning the hearts and minds of a core group of fanatical humans known as Liverpool football fans? Of course not. That would be ridiculous. Further, it would be besides the much more important point that Liverpool are galaxies away from where they ended last season at the right back position. A reassuringly constant presence for a Liverpool team well in need of an equal and opposite reaction to the cosmic Rorschach that is Daniel Sturridge's state of fitness. We're not shunning young Nathaniel, but we can't accept that he's all that normal, either.
You tell us if Nathaniel Clyne's game, like his hairstyling, is out of this world. You tell us if it is mere coincidence that one order of letters spells Nathaniel Edwin Clyne, the terrestrial pseudonym of Liverpool's pace-setting #2, while another order of the same letters spells Wild Cayenne Alien Nth? Cayenne as in Red. Nth as in to the Nth power. A man possessed or an intergalactic planetary visitor, gracing us with that cosmos game? Is the truth out there? If it is, you'll find it on Liverpool's right flank.