If West Midlands Police, music division, are reading this then they might wish to take a few notes – Paul Scharner is back in town and he’s threatening to cause a nuisance. With intent.
Nothing illegal of course. Just a few crimes against music and general good taste.
I’m not joking. Type in the names ‘Opus’ or ‘Live is Life’ into your YouTube search engine. Not great is it?
But then you would expect no more than obscure Austrian rock from West Bromwich Albion’s resident maverick.
That he even has a ‘Matchday’ playlist on his iPod might come as a surprise to anyone who has come into contact with the colourful Baggies man.
Scharner is not a conventional footballer. Not for him the trappings of most modern Premier League stars.
No drink, no nightclubs, no excesses. He takes his professionalism seriously and is an ideal role model.
When he joined Albion, Scharner took the entire first-team squad to a restaurant in Sutton Coldfield for a bonding session.
That he wasn’t afraid to perhaps annoy a few of them with some choice words during Albion’s dip in form speaks volumes for his dedication to his trade and his diligence to the club who employ him.
But the man who once quizzed supporters’ club officials about the club’s history and traditions, has his own quirky way of preparing for matches.
While the Baggies dressing room largely rocks to cliched footballers’ fare like R’n’B, you’re more likely to find Scharner tapping his feet to a bit of mid-1980s Europop.
“I love classical music to modern pop but also oldies,” said Scharner. “Mozart brings me down and takes me away from football. I spend time imagining how he pieces his music together. But I wouldn’t use that before a game.
“I have a very mixed taste in music and I do have music for motivation. I have matchday music on my iPod to help give me a push. I have a few Austrian titles but some rock as well. It gets me in the mood, it helps focus my mind.
“Paul Simon, INXS, A-ha, David Bowie as well – I love my music. And this is what I put on when I go to the match.
“I have some Austrian pop music. ‘We Not Speak Americano’ – isn’t that good? I like that one a lot.
“Actually, one of the songs I like is Live Is Life by a band called Opus. They were Austrian and very good. It is the most popular of songs in Austria.
“But after games there is no music. I have three boys, Constantine, Benedict and Paul-Pius and I spend time with them. I live in Sutton Coldfield during the week and away from my family so after the game I go back to Warrington.”
The former Wigan Athletic man certainly believes that Roy Hodgson is hitting the right note since his arrival at The Hawthorns.
The Baggies boss faces a struggle keeping Albion in the top flight but his work and diligence to the team’s weaknesses has been appreciated.
Scharner has noticed a marked improvement since he took the reins and gave an insight into how training drills have been altered to bring the team back into form.
“Roy Hodgson has always been successful. We are actually unbeaten in five games and you can see his work in the team.
“Roy is very very focused on the tactics and shape,” he added. “That was something you could see from outside – it was our main weakness. It was the only area that wasn’t working under Roberto Di Matteo.
“There were no problems with our attacking play, we played good football but if we lost the ball the defensive shape became our flaw.
“At first it worked because we had good spirit but when we got into a mood and bad period it wasn’t working for us.
“It was vital we worked on this because we know we can score goals. Not many teams have had more shots (only Chelsea, Manchester United, Spurs and Arsenal) and we’re in the top eight of goals scored.
“We conceded too many goals and we knew we needed to work on the shape from the offensive to the defensive modes of play.
“We are conceding less now. Even the goals we concede now are not always down to us – the goal by Wolves and the first from Arsenal were great goals, based on ability of other players not just our defending.
“It’s very difficult for opposition sides to create chances and it works well.
“Our scoring record hasn’t changed and that’s a good thing. We need to continue that. If you want to win some games you need to do that.”
Regardless of Albion’s strengths or otherwise, this season is becoming too difficult to call.
Scharner added: “We need to call the table the ‘top and the bottom’.
“There is a big, big ‘bottom’ from 11th place.
“There is so much in it for everyone. Two or three wins can put you in the top half of the table.
“We still need wins because it’s so tight.We will need a minimum of 40 points.”
“It’s been a strange year. It looked very good in the first third of the season and coming here seemed the best move I could have had.
“Things changed a little bit but I don’t want to speak about mistakes. Right now the main focus is to get points and survive. That’s why I don’t think about the past anymore.”
Scharner certainly knows what it takes to win a Premier League survival battle.
The midfielder was part of the Wigan side which claimed a victory and survival on the final day of the 2006-07 season.
The Austrian opened the scoring against Sheffield United, only for Neil Warnock’s men to draw level.
But Wigan ensured their victory thanks to a 45th-minute penalty by David Unsworth – that goal being enough to keep them up, on goal difference, at the expense of the Blades.
But he is anxious to avoid another nerve-jangling afternoon by ensuring Albion’s survival before the final day.
“I don’t want that experience again. There was a lot of pressure and I don’t want to go through that again,” he said.
“Our focus has to be to get away as quickly as we can.”