Friday, September 14, 2012

Matchday 26: Finally Something Good To Say

Today we played IFK Marieheim and tied 1-1.  I played about 25 minutes and had the worst game of my time in Europe, which is saying something.  I’ll start with my performance, then talk about the game more generally.

I don’t know why, but I could not do anything right tonight.  I felt ok all week in training and was even doing extra work outside of training to prepare myself for the match.  I think I may have overdone the physical work because I was very tired during the match.  I only made two or three runs before I felt fatigued.  As a result, I didn’t do what I was put into the game to do which was to stretch the opposition defense and maybe even get a breakaway.  Instead, I spent most of my time receiving balls to my feet and with my back to goal; not exactly my strongest skills.  Even when I made runs behind, they were so uncommon that the player with the ball was surprised I made it and didn’t pass the ball before I was offsides.  To compound my misery, I accidentally blocked a goalbound flick from Kris that may have been the winning goal and I dribbled the ball out of bounds when I thought I was going to get hit but didn’t.  It was just a bad day for me overall.  There was a lone positive about my performance though.  I made a good 60 yard run and got my head on a cross, but the goalkeeper made a great save and I was denied the winning goal.

I don’t think I mentioned this before, but we have a new coach.  Not Asko, but a completely new guy whose come in and made a big difference.  You would think that on a blog where I constantly talk about how nothing happens I would have mentioned that, but I guess I didn’t.  Oops.  Anyway, the new coach (Juha is his name.  I don’t even know his last name.) spent the majority of the time I was in the game yelling at me to do what he instructed me to do.  It made me feel really bad about myself, but not because I thought he was wrong or picking on me, but because I knew that he was 100% right.  In Sweden I used to get really pissed when the coach there, Siggi, would scream at me.  But that was because Siggi had crazy energy for the games and would go crazy because he was confined to that little coaches box.  So he would expend energy by screaming whatever popped in his head to everyone one field.  I understood him, but I still hated it.  With Juha he only screams when you’re clearly doing something wrong so naturally you do what he says.  When you can’t do what he says, you feel really badly like I did tonight.  It’s kind of like when you do something wrong and your parents catch you.  What can you say, that they’re wrong?  No you just have to accept whatever is said and improve yourself.  I’ll be working to improve myself so that another performance like tonight is impossible.

As for the team, tonight was the best we’ve played since I got here.  We played together and worked for each other and scored a pretty nice goal.  The goalscorer, Claudio Matrone, played really well and deserved to score.  It’s even more impressive when you consider he wasn’t even in the team as of yesterday.  He replaced Jonne Hjelm on the wing and couldn’t have had more than a few hours to mentally prepare to start the game.  The rest of the players were similar with no one playing poorly aside from me.  If we continue to play like we did tonight we will surely avoid relegation.  The only negative I can really think of is that we didn’t go ahead and get the winner.  We had the better of the game and in the situation we’re in, there’s a massive difference between 1 point and 3 points.  Our next game is against FF Jaro and that’s by far the biggest game we’ve had since I arrived.  A win by either team could be devastating to the other.  Knowing a little bit about Jaro from my time there in February, they will come to win the game and it should be wide open since obviously we’ll be playing to win the game as well.  Neither team is interested in a draw I think.  Should be nervy, but fun.

That’s all for now.  We will keep working to improve as a team and then go put on a show in our next game.  Only 7 games left and it’s time to see how we perform under pressure!

The meme:


  1. Juha Malinen, known for his vocal presence during games.

    1. haha he's definitely earned the reputation! I like him though. I never worry about yelling if the person is trying to help. I only get upset if someone yells just to make themselves feel better, not to help their player/teammates. I love that he yells at the refs when we get fouled. It's great to see the coach defending his players so strongly.