Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Matchday 10: Last My Ass

We tied our game on Monday, 0-0.  I was on the bench again, but I came on the last 20 minutes and did ok.  The point means we're no longer at the bottom of the table!  I’ll get to the game in just a minute, but first I have to tell you that I’m pretty sure that a freaking Chubacabra lives outside of my building where I live.

Now I know what you’re thinking: Chubacabras, while obviously real, don’t live in Scandinavia.  Well then to you I pose this situation.  Yesterday I put out some trash.  Today I walk out and see this:

Game. Set. Match.  Or, to quote ‘How I Met Your Mother’, “lawyered”.

Realizing my goal was ruled offside.
The game last Monday was against Dalkurd.  They were near the top of Division 1 last year, but this year they are firmly in the middle of the table.  They were pretty good and were absolutely the most deliberate of any of the teams we’ve played thus far.  That kind of played to our advantage because it caused us to play a bit calmer than we usually do.  I’ll skip ahead to the 60th minute, when Siggi summoned me from my warm-up to go in.  As kind of a metaphor for my season, instead of putting me straight in Siggi had a change of heart and had me continue to warm up next to the bench.  It was kind of weird.  Anyway 10 minutes later I came in for Daniel as a left winger.  Now I think I’ve mentioned already that we tweaked our 4-2-3-1 formation a bit to push our fullbacks higher up the field and also push our winger higher and more central so that they play a bit more like strikers.  On defense we’re still 4-2-3-1, but now on offense we look much more like an old school 4-3-3, with all three strikers playing within the width of the 18 yard box.  I point this out only to explain how with maybe five minutes left I ended up in the right side of the box scoring a goal.  A disallowed goal, but a good finish all the same.  Robert, who was playing center midfield instead of his usual center back, played a great deep cross to me between two defenders.  Instead of trying a header from 15 yards, I took the ball off my chest and finished from a half volley with my left foot.  Unfortunately I was whistled for offsides, though I’m quite sure I was not offside.  Attackers never think they’re offside, but in my case I was standing a yard in front of the defender when the ball was played and ran past him as it was in the air.  Our disallowed goal was almost identical to a goal Spain scored against Croatia two hours later, just I shot directly instead of passing.  I'd put a video up but it would surely be taken down by UEFA in ten minutes so you can just look it up yourself if you want. is the website I use for highlights.

Yesterday we were back to work with a whopping eight people at training, including the goalkeepers.  None of the guys who started trained but instead jogged and did recovery stuff.  Meanwhile, the guys who did train were treated to the hardest freaking training of the year.  Essentially we did drills intended for 10-14 players, but with six guys.  That meant no rotations in high tempo games that would normally feature a 1:2 work-to-rest ratio.  It was difficult, but good.  I’m never one to shy away from hard work and I could use the fitness anyway.

I only slept five hours last night because I had to wake up to watch the end of the NBA Finals game 4.  I’m a big time supporter of the Miami Heat so I want them to win the championship.  Actually, to be fair I’m just a big time supporter of LeBron James, so I’m rooting for him to finally win a championship.  Without getting into it so much, I think that James is incredibly scrutinized unnecessarily.  He’s the best basketball player on earth, but people hate him.  He appears to be a much nicer person than Michael Jordan (who is better) ever was, but people loved MJ.  If you’re not from Ohio and you have a grudge against LeBron James, then that’s a YOU problem (to quote Colin Cowherd).  I’ve got 99 problems but hating the best player in the NBA ain’t one.

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