Someone 6 plays Nannas 0
Att: CB, DC, JH, RH, TH, TK, TW
The Nannas were looking to bounce back after a particularly terrible performance the week prior. It wasn’t just the score that looked miserable in hindsight but the way we went about it. Once the Nannas went behind, all our bad habits started to re-emerge: Gilla and Tao had a fight over who was take a free kick, and then carried that into the half time talk, and I had to stand between them to try to get them to focus on more constructive matters; speaking of halftime, we had three people, Gilla, Coach and Captain, all vying to try to give the pep talk (I really hate saying this but if you’ve said something the week before, and the week before that, and the week before that, and what you’ve said is not really that strategic/tactical, maybe it’s time to focus on something else, or just shut up already! I am so sorry); and then Coach and Cocky started arguing about something in the second half (I didn’t catch what they were on about but it did seem a little puerile and a lot pathetic).
So, on the day of this game, Jim wrote a long post on the flurry, and curiously he was only banished for a few minutes. Obviously, he wasn’t trying to be a smart arse, which he often finds hard to resist; instead he was honest in his suggestions that the Nannas should wake up to themselves and stop with the taking themselves so seriously and the grumpy old man routine. It had only been a month or so prior that they had been accused of being bullies, so after seeing this performance he felt compelled to say something.
Before kick off the Captain pulled everyone close and repeated Jim’s very wise words, telling all Nannas that they needed to look deep within themselves to rediscover their inner child and an Espirit de Nanna, which had been so sorely lacking on a number of occasions over the last months.
The game itself should have gone better for the Nannas. The first two goals against us were entirely preventable; our marking in front of goal from set pieces is at present wholeheartedly shit. Essentially, as happened the week before, we got behind our opposite number, leaving our keeper stranded one-on-one at point-blank range. The Nannas who let these goals in, and they know who they are, who had similar lapses last week, need to sharpen the FUCK up. It might seem obvious to say but if you are not as fast as your direct opponent, it’s probably a good idea to give that player a yard or two.
We probably should have pulled one back during this time. The ball fell most fortuitously to Jim who was standing just outside their defensive perimeter for a corner. He hit it pretty sweet with his big toe. It beat everyone, especially their keeper but cannoned off the back post.
Jim would do this twice more before the end of the game. Once when he was one on one with one of their defenders with the keeper still to beat. He thought about trying to go around the defender but once more unleashed his big toe. Like in the previous instance he beat the keeper but not the crossbar. On a third occasion, he was over to the left. He had found space. Tao picked him out. This time, he used his instep, but much to everyone’s bemusement, while the ball a third time eluded everyone, it seemed only destined to ricochet off metalwork and away from goal. The only other real chance we had was Coach trying to chest home from a corner. While he got his chest in good position, he never really found the angle or a sweet spot from his left nipple; he probably should have gone with the right but it’s a hard shot and Coach would have produced a miracle if he had of pulled it off.
One could make the argument that had Jim (and Coach, and maybe Cocky too) converted, the Nannas might have been more competitive and I find this case compelling. It would have given us hope and would have encouraged us to pass more, as we were finding space and did have time on the ball, especially in the first half. What’s more, their third and fourth goals did come from the bounce of the ball going their way but they were able to finish these, unlike Jim.
Moreover, the further we found ourselves behind, the more we exposed ourselves trying the long or miracle ball but most of the time we only succeeded in giving the ball away, which effectively led to their last two goals.
We went to the Union and talked about Takeshi’s wedding and bucks.