Tuesday, 17 May 2016

A Song for Europe

Greetings, one and all. After a one week hiatus spent watching this retro indie fourpiece at the Camden Roundhouse (still looking great, Miki!), I returned to footballing action and team selection duties last Friday. Here are your two teams, minus Andy, who was a late withdrawal following a chill which he was concerned would spread to his kidneys, (for reasons unclear):

Yellows: me, Ian Gooner, Joseph, Alan, Ed (no longer the specialist goalkeeper), Vitaliy, Peter, Tony and Mario

Blues: Paul of the Antarctic, Simon Gas, Bristol Paul, Mark, David, Yev, Liam, Danny and Alex
As the more mathematically minded of you will have spotted, that’s nine aside, or at least it was once the perennially tardy men from the Ukraine arrived.

Perhaps Andy’s late withdrawal threw the player selection system slightly off kilter, but the ensuing game ended up somewhat more one-sided than has been the recent custom, although it was no less eventful for that.

From memory, here’s your report.

A veritable smorgasbord of goals to choose from this week, with Ed bagging a brace, as did Mario and Peter. With Tony returning from injury he started in goal for the Yellows, who raced into a three goal lead before being pegged back to 3-2. Liam, making his first appearance for some time, led the line in typically vinegary fashion for the Blues, holding the ball up and generally making life uncomfortable for the elder members of the Yellows’ defence. Peter and Joseph both had monstrous games for the Yellows and their height, vim and general good play was probably the difference for the Yellows.

In terms of individual goals, the ones that stick in the mind were the more bizarre; David, in goal for the Blues, smashed an attempted clearance up Bristol Paul’s nose, whereupon the ball trickled apologetically over the line, while blood trickled somewhat less apologetically down Paul’s tabloid. Mark was also in the wars for the Blues – he and Ed clashed in a symphony of arms, knees and whoops-a-daisies and Mark ended up with a nasty looking black eye-in-waiting and a foggy head. No blame assigned to Ed, incidentally.

Another strange goal saw Alan, I believe, deliver what can only be accurately described as a leg break; the ball pitched somewhere outside the left hand side of the post (or the goalkeeper’s leg post, if you will) and swerved vindictively to creep inside and into the goal. Shane Warne himself would have been proud.

Ed’s goals for the Yellows were altogether more conventional – and well-taken, the one which springs to mind seeing him pass the ball calmly into the far bottom corner.

As for the Blues, Alex was typically combative and generally excellent in midfield, while Yev struggled manfully both for some fitness and to support Liam, although I am fairly sure he ended up with at least one goal.

Liam had a superb chance to make it five goals for the Blues with the final kick of the game, but having been put through one-on-one his curled shot hit the post and bounced out of play.

Final score: Yellows 9 – Blues 4

And thus to the pub. Another decent turnout this week, with talk of the end of the football season, including Manchester United’s inability to factor in London traffic when approaching away games in the capital, a double shooting in Ian Gooner’s East End manor and Paul’s prospective magnum opus of twentieth century life.

Given that it was the Barnet sage’s fifty-eighth birthday he marked the occasion by buying all and sundry some delicious single malts; as a consequence I can’t quite recollect the final hour of conversation before making the journey home.

Just a quick word about the end of the Premier League season – how on earth Tottenham contrived to lose 5-1 to a wretched Newcastle team that was already relegated and reduced to ten men is quite beyond me, but it was certainly very funny (sorry, Tony and Peter). I’m also slightly concerned that Sheffield Wednesday may come up – I can vividly recall seeing Arsenal relegate them at Highbury many years ago and my overwhelming memory of that night is that I wouldn’t have to hear that damn band of theirs again. Surely they’ve got rid of it by now?

Until Friday!

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