Wednesday, July 21, 2010

How My Last Soccer Game this Spring Was Like the World Cup Final

We were in the playoffs matched against a much better team (we'll call them Spain) and spent most of the game boxed up in our end (like the Dutch). Spain couldn't finish though. They didn't have a really creative forward like Arjen Robben. I'd never seen Robben play before this cup. Holy Haysoos, he just blew by people and made the Spanish seem puny and slow.

I was playing sweeper, holding the back, shouting orders. In the middle of the second half, my team started to buckle from the constant pressure. And as with the Dutch, we lost following a ridiculous series of mistakes. First we gave up a corner kick when one of our players kicked the ball over the end line even though I was following him and shouting - 'Don't touch it! Don't touch it!' Later he told me he'd gotten drunk before the game. Then on the ensuing corner kick, one of our players tried to run the ball out of the box. The ball was in the air and he got under it - and brushed it with his arm. Even though there was nobody within five feet of him. The other team started calling for a PK and the ref gave it. The ref was blocked and it's possible that my friend only brushed the ball with his shoulder. Anyway, they scored on the PK and that was the end of us. In a game like soccer, where scoring happens so rarely, pressure almost takes the place of scoring. The more pressure, the more mistakes. You can feel the tide changing against you, and the desperation growing, and as you're only one of 11, it's hard to do anything about it. That is basically how the Spanish navigated their way through the Cup and a series of 1-0 games.

A side note: a snotty kid kept talking trash throughout the game. This was an intermural game but he kept running his mouth. I've been playing for a long time but never seen some behave that badly. I got so pissed that after the game I tried to get him to fight with me. He wouldn't stand up though, just kept looking at his feet. I guess I should be embarrassed about threatening a kid twenty years younger than me, but... Every time I go out to play a pick up game, I look for him and second chance.

7 comments:

A.P.U. said...

painful memories robert, we'll get them this winter

Robot Boy said...

I think I broke a couple of toes that last game. Finally starting to heal.

承蘋承蘋 said...

你不能左右天氣,但你可以改變心情.................................................................

thomas said...

Hey Bob. I read "The Gloves" a few years back and check out your blog from time to time. I still pick up your book now and then and flick through random pages those nights when I'm lacking motivation to head to the gym. Just wanted to let you know that theres a young aspiring writer/boxer, thousands of miles away, on the OTHER side of the pond that really digs your work!

Cheers,

Tom Dennerly, Manchester UK (I grew up near Ricky 'Hitman' Hatton!)

P.S. It's football, not soccer... ;)

Robot Boy said...

Dear Tom: Glad you liked The Gloves. My new book should be out this winter, finally (one reason I haven't been blogging much).

Been doing a lot of BJJ and Muay Thai these days as well. I like BJJ because it doesn't give you brain damage.

It's football, I know, I know. But I have an American audience.

thomas said...

I've played with the idea of BJJ myself but the sweet science suits me better at the moment (mainly because the gym is minutues away from my house!). As for 'soccer', should you ever happen to be over here and fancy a game I have season tickets for Manchester United. Just hit me up. I'll keep an eye out for the book. Good luck with everything!

Robot Boy said...

Tom
I miss the old-school boxing gyms but in Southern California there aren't many. ManU tickets are reason enough to visit the British Isles. I might be in Ireland in April. You should friend me on facebook.