The inadvertent mangling of metaphors to comic effect is an honourable tradition among those connected with sport.
Football, in particular, has certainly kept its end up over the years – and it’s good to see Pompey’s stand-in manager, Guy Whittingham, joining the ranks of the revered.
Commenting upon his side’s recent defeat against Walsall, he was quoted as saying: ‘We worked our socks off – then shot ourselves in the foot.’
The image has a pleasing sense of logic, because depositing a bullet in the general vicinity of the metatarsals before removing said socks would have been far messier.
But Bobby Robson was the undoubted master of the art – and if the old boy were alive now, he’d be turning in his grave.