Saturday, July 14, 2012

Matchday 14: Another Loss

We played our last game before the midseason break today and lost, 1-0, to IFK Lulea.  Just like last game, we played even in the first half and dominated the second.  We still aren’t passing as much as we should be, but that’s not our biggest problem at the moment.  The problem is that we simply cannot score.  We get into seemingly dangerous situations, but often don’t even get a shot off.  In my opinion this ineptitude in front of goal comes from a lack of training finishing during training.  Not shooting drills that have no pressure or defenders and simulate long distance shots that we’ll never take in the game; I’m talking about games that have pressure, but are designed to create a bunch of realistic chances.  Then, when those come in the game they’re second nature.
Now, I’m not blaming our poor finishing today completely on a lack of training.  There are many contributing factors: some good saves from the goalie, some bad luck and some simple poor shots.  No amount of training is going to stop those three factors from causing misses.  However, we only needed two of our 15 chances today to be a goal, and I think with confident attackers we get those two goals and probably more.

After being the Man of the Match last game, I wasn’t quite as influential today.  I still played well I think, but I was severely hampered by an ankle injury I sustained in the 20th minute.  I was chasing a through ball and fouled the defender in front of me.  Ironically, when I pulled him down he fell on my left leg, trapping my ankle underneath him.  It hurt like hell, but wasn’t so bad that I had to come out.  My lateral movement was very limited, but I got on with it and finished the half at about 60%.  At halftime, I took a bunch of pain pills and got an awful tape job and I figured the ankle was as bad as it was going to get.  Unfortunately, I aggravated the injury and was forced to come out at the worst possible moment.  Erik made a good steal just inside our attacking half, and me and Joel made good runs.  Erik played the ball through and honestly either me or Joel could have been in, but the ball was a bit closer to me to I got there first.  The goalie came running out, but he was way late.  I took the first touch with my right foot past the goalkeeper.  With literally no one between me and my first goal of the season, I never made it to the ball.  The cut across the ‘keeper was too much for my injured ankle and I fell over in terrible pain.  That was the end of my game.  From potential glory to devastation in one second.

Despite the loss I think we played pretty well, just like I felt after our last two games.  Of course, playing well means nothing without results, but at least we’re moving in the right direction.  To his credit, Siggi didn’t yell like a madman today.  I don’t know if someone finally told him how distracting it is to the players, or if he simply didn’t have much to yell about since we were dominating most of the match.  He was kind of a dick to me when I came off, saying nothing other than, “You should have scored.”  Oh, is that what I was supposed to do?  I thought I was supposed to injure my ankle and come off.  When I said as much (but much less sarcastically), he just turned away, acknowledging my statement with his non-acknowledgment.  Almost like he thought I wasn’t actually injured.  As if for some reason I would just fall over in agony with the goal at my mercy.  I didn’t take the exchange personally though.  I know Siggi is super-intense and the way the game was going (and the season for that matter) didn’t help anybody’s stress levels.

After the match, I was briefly interviewed by the biggest regional newspaper.  He told me that I played very well, which was nice to hear from a neutral observer.  The guy asked me about my contract situation, and I told him that I was out of contract at the end of the month and that I was hoping to get an extension worked out over the break.  I wouldn’t mind staying at Enkoping for the rest of the season, but I seriously worry about what Siggi thinks of me.  It’s not like I’m on some big contract and I can just “Wayne Bridge It” and sit on the bench collecting checks.  I need to go somewhere where the coach values my skillset and considers me an important player.  I don’t get that feeling at all at ESK, even though I’ve been one of our best players the past month or so.  I think that as soon as we get healthy again (and we will) that I’ll be buried on the bench.  I know that Mtaka, Kerim, Daniel and Ernesto are all ahead of me on the depth chart, so when they return to full fitness where will that leave me?  Wherever I play will be based on how much value the team sees in me.  Unless it’s an Allsvenskan team, where I have no problem starting at the bottom and working my way up.  But that would also mean that I’d be earning 3-4x as much at least.  To be clear, this sentiment has nothing to do with ESK in particular.  If I was in the same boat on the first place team in the league, then I would leave and sign with ESK if I thought I’d be significantly more valued here.  The more I play, the more I can show my talents and get offers and/or trials in the winter.

So now the midseason break begins.  I find this to be a very peculiar practice, as there seems to be no reason why we couldn’t just play straight through until the end of the season.  Especially in a lower league, it would give players the opportunity to train/test with Allsvenskan and Superettan teams after the season if we played straight through.  However that’s not the case and I’m sure there’s a good reason why, even if I don’t know it.  If I don’t have any trials, then I will be heading to London on Thursday to stay with Celia for a week!  I’ve been to London once and loved it.  Now, with the Olympics on the way, I think it will be amazing.  The blog might be sporadic since I’m not bringing my laptop.  If there’s no posts don’t worry…I’m still active just not near a computer!

Lastly, I’ve started to go a bit crazy with Memes recently.  As a result, I’ve decided to end each post with a meme or something similar.  This may last for a week or go on indefinitely, but I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!  I'll start with one about the universe.  It's not actually a meme, but it interests me.  I watch 'The Universe' every night on Netflix so I'm kinda hooked!

No comments:

Post a Comment