Wednesday, 4 May 2016

And Leicester!

Dear Blog Readers,

Following yet another sickness related hiatus I returned to the football fray on Friday and even more excitingly for you the reader, this means back to blog action. Here goes…

The Gas Man pinged on no fewer than twenty names last Friday morning and here’s what my Player Attributes Selection System (PASS) ™ came up with –

Blues: Geoff, Steve, Simon Gas, Ian Baggies, Mark, Nick, Ed, Yev, Tony and Ross

Yellows: me, Bristol Paul, Joseph, Paul of the Antarctic, Alan, David, Charlie, Danny, Mick and Alex

With David, Yev and Mick all arriving late, the first few minutes were slightly chaotic. This sense of confusion was compounded by Bristol Paul donning the wrong bib, which mean that the Yellows kicked off with three players fewer than their opponents. The Blues duly made hay by taking a two goal lead – the first came after the Yellows had not one, not two, but three opportunities to clear the ball but still contrived to present Tony (I believe), with a goal. Paul then realised he was given a yellow bib in order that he could play for the Yellows, and with Mick and then David gradually arriving, a more stable and balanced game settled into place.

There are quite a few goals to record – fourteen in all – so apologies in advance if your particular score is lost in the ensuing blizzard of goals.

Alan and Charlie both bagged hat-tricks for the Yellows as they overcame their early adversity to steam into the lead. Alan had a great game, playing box to box and providing some clinical finishing while linking up with Alex and Charlie in midfield. The former was also on the scoresheet, nodding home from a corner, with Paul of the Antarctic chalking up an assist by lurking on the goal-line and ensuring that the ball bounced gently into the Blue net despite the attentions of their defenders.
For the Blues Ed, Nick and Ross provided all the running, with Tony adding some guile in midfield. However, following a clash of heads with Alex at a corner Tony left the field – as, briefly, did Alex – and this setback well and truly did for the Blues, as the Yellows took full advantage of their admittedly narrow numerical advantage.

From memory, Charlie swooped to head in at the far post from a corner, Danny slotted home a penalty past Ian Baggies after Simon Gas had unceremoniously upended him on the way through to goal and Steve scored an extraordinary own-goal by adding some fierce topspin to a bouncing shot in a manner which wouldn’t have been out of place at The Crucible. One of Charlie’s other goals came from close range and his hat-trick arrived through a composed finish which saw him turn one way and then another before calmly planting his foot to push to ball home into the right hand corner. Alan’s first goal saw him slot home past Geoff in goal via a pass from Alex, while his other two were a header and a real poacher’s finish that saw him force the ball over the line after Ross had parried Danny’s initial shot.

A word for Joseph, too, who may not have scored but provided a number of goal-saving interceptions and cruised around in midfield with all the grace and élan of a Trans-Atlantic passenger liner.
The Blues did manage to get a few goals back toward the end of the game to add a sheen of respectability to proceedings; Ross, Ed and Tony all got one goal each while Yev managed to grab a brace, (once he’d finished changing, that is).

Final score: Yellows 9 – Blues 5

And thence to the pub. Yev, Simon Gas, both Pauls, Alan, Steve and Geoff all made it down to The Skinners and topics of conversation included my apparent resemblance to Tyson Fury (thanks, Yev), which is possibly the worst thing anyone has ever said to me, a prospective bike ride to Cambridge, who will finish higher next season: Arsenal or Chelsea, the pub itself and, of course, Leicester City.

And the final words this week must really go on them, particularly Claudio Ranieri who was dismissed as a ‘loser’ a few years ago, but has since provided glorious evidence that you don’t need to be a preening narcissist with a blazing personality disorder and a billionaire sugar daddy to win the Premier League. Leicester’s own fiscal affairs haven’t been squeaky clean over the past few years, but you would have to be extremely churlish to argue against the Foxes’ triumph being the most remarkable story in the history of British sport. Imagine Jamie Vardy at the Nou Camp next season. Incredible. 

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