IT’S hard not to feel paternal towards ‘our Divock’. Hard not to worry about a big year ahead for a big kid in a big city. The city has consumed lesser men. Tested the best. Swallowed the rest. For starters, can he survive the local fetish for name contraction? Div? Divo? Divy, la? It’s an early hurdle in a busy schedule. He doesn’t need this. The Divmeister. Big Ock.
The boy is just out of his teens. He’ll have sorted a flat in town by now. It’ll have white walls, a patio in the sky, and come with a pre-plumbed 60-inch ultra 4 super HD behemoth of a telly. His dad is his agent and will probably be moving in with him for a bit. It’s a double-edged sword for the Divster. Good to have mister Origi there, to sort stuff out — pay the milk man, sort the lecky etc — but he’s also a bit of style cramper to a young buck out to make a name .
The Divy doesn’t need his dad making embarrassing quips when he’s got the lads round for a seven-hour FIFA sesh. He wants to look like he’s in control when his Belgian buddies — big Christian Benteke and Simon Mignolet — knock round. He’s played FIFA against Benteke on international trips and he’s no slouch. All you need is daddy putting you off by whacking on his Plastic Bertrand vinyl.
Still, dad says he’s just staying for the first six months. Girls and mates can wait. Get settled. Get some starts. Show what he’s got.
The last 12 months have been a roller coaster. World Cup star, £10m move to Liverpool, a bit of shit year back on loan at Lille, and now finally here — in Scouse land — in the pool of life; ready to roll.
Brendan Rodgers has been good. From day one really. He came round just after Divo got the keys to the new gaff. Gave him a nice big picture for his wall. Calls him ‘son’ a lot, which confuses and slightly annoys mister Origi the elder.
The lads in training have been amazing. So warm and welcoming. Having the Belgian lads there is great. He’s played alongside Benteke on Belgium international trips and he can’t help but look up to him. He likes Simon, although he finds him a touch gauche, what with the incessant high-fiving and fist bumping and calling everyone ‘man’. His heart’s in the right place though.
The lads here are good players. Even the rubbish ones can play a bit. Mario is a character and a friendly guy but you never know quite where you are with him. When he thinks no one’s looking he seems very sad.
Milner seems to be the important one. Even the captain, Henderson, seems to know he’s the big man on campus (BMOC). Big Div doesn’t mind. He’s just happy to be here. It’s the start of an adventure.
Job one will be to get on to a pitch in a first-team shirt. Any minutes will do. Christian gets an automatic place, and probably the new Brazilian as well. So it’s not going to be easy. Get into the squad for the first game of the season. Get brought on when Adam Lallana starts blowing. Stretch your legs Divo, lad. Stretch those tiring early season Stakhanovite Stoke legs at. Give ’em something to chase. Get a shot away. Get a touch on something. Score.
Then they sing your name. Somehow. DIV-OCK-OREE-GEE echoes round the Britannia. It feels good. Really good. Final whistle and your goal saves a point for Liverpool. Brendan’s not happy with the lads but he’s happy with the Divmeister. Gets him in a one-handed head lock. Fixing eyes. Well done, son. Well played. You did exactly what I needed you to do. You gave them something to think about. You worked them. You gave wee Phil some options. Well done, son.
Wish we’d won. Still, eh? Stoke 1 Liverpool 1. Origi. 68 minutes. On the television. In the headlines. Something for the folks back home. Off we go from here. This is what dad said we needed. A goal. Any goal. It’s the platform. The launch pad.
Time to relax in the city now. Going out with Jordon Ibe, Jordan Rossiter, Jordan Henderson and Christian. Dad’s coming as well. He edges himself ahead of the group as they enter the restaurant that is called ‘Nando’s’. We have a reservation, he proudly declares. He ignores the welcomer politely trying to explain that they don’t do bookings. Table for five. He sideways glances to his son, smiling proudly. In the name of ‘Origi’. DIVOCK ORIGI.
Pics: David Rawcliffe-Propaganda Photo