For the first time, I see you are a man like me
All eyes were on the Leicester City match Saturday morning. Cardiff City hosted a team who had just days before lost their figurehead, their boss, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha. The Leicester City players unanimously voted to play this game, rather than to understandably postpone it. The squad wanted to play to honor Mr. Srivaddhanaprabha. With heavy hearts, the Foxes took the field in Cardiff. As the country wore poppies to remember the fallen soldiers from World War 1 and all the wars after that, the country and the league also remembered by all accounts a great man.
With their arms linked they paid silent tribute to the man who constructed their miracle 2016 title-winning squad. As Kasper Schmeichel, who witnessed the crash first hand, fought back tears, I thought of one of my favorite books, All Quiet on the Western Front. Specifically a quote from that book.
“But now, for the first time, I see you are a man like me. I thought of your hand-grenades, of your bayonet, of your rifle; now I see your wife and your face and our fellowship. Forgive me, comrade. We always see it too late. Why do they never tell us that you are poor devils like us, that your mothers are just as anxious as ours, and that we have the same fear of death,and the same dying and the same agony–Forgive me, comrade; how could you be my enemy?”
As I watched the Leicester players mourn, as I watched Kasper Schmeichel tear up, I thought to that quote. That these superstars, these gladiators we watch, that we jeer and criticize for every errant pass or missed header are at the end of the day,
The stadium in Cardiff was heavy with emotion at that first whistle, the match was tentative, a bit nervy through the entire first half. When Demarai Gray scored a brilliant goal in the 55th minute, he wheeled away from goal, ripped off his shirt to display a tribute to their owner. From that moment on, anyone who has ever watched sports of any kind
Each and every Leicester player fought to the last minute for their fallen comrade. They won 1-0. All they needed was that one goal and they were never going to let go of that lead. On Saturday they paid fitting tribute, and the Foxes next match will be at home, where the entire city will get to say goodbye.
A theft in Bournemouth
Manchester United and “Fergie Time” went to Bournemouth and stole three points from the Cherries. Despite having a squad that cost fifty bazillion dollars, United doesn’t have a competent striker. Lukaku out injured, and ice cold anyways. Mou looked to equally chilly Alexis Sanchez, who has been pretty much a flop since coming from Arsenal last January. The Cherries were also missing one of their forwards Joshua King. I’m not sure what it says about both of these clubs, where Josh King is a bigger loss than Romelu Lukaku. Marcus Rashford who was dropped for this match came on and saved the day for United. Scoring in the 92nd
The Siggy and Richie show
Just like Bournemouth has the King and Wilson show, Everton has the Sigurdsson and
If Siggy and Richie (can I call him that?) produce Everton produces. Both players have become a joy to watch, Everton goes as far as they can take them.
The Claret Shootout
West Ham and Burnley participated in an unexpected shoot-out at the London Stadium. Two under achieving teams, who have had troubles scoring all season suddenly combined for a 6 goal thriller. Burnley put up a fight but West Ham was too much for them. The Hammers banged in 4 goals, and got a win for the first time in their last 4 matches. Burnley now sits in 15th place with just 8 points in 11 games. Thankfully for Burnley, there are teams far worse than them propping up the bottom of the table. (looking at you Fulham, Huddersfield, and Newcastle)
The Cockerel and The Wolf
Tottenham traveled to Wolverhampton, sporting the best away record in the league, with 6 wins on the road. Maybe Spurs have found success on the road because they really haven’t played a home game since May 2017… As they seem to always do, Spurs scored in bunches, banging in goals in the 27th and 30th minute. The first from red-hot Erik Lamela, and the second from “best last winter signing” Lucas Moura. Kane added a third in the 61st minute to end his short goal drought and seal the victory. Or did it?
The last 30 minutes were expected to be smooth sailing, but this wouldn’t be the Tottenham that I know and love unless they made things interesting. They conceded penalties 10 minutes apart which Wolves converted on both of them to make it 3-2 and set up a supremely nervy final 10 minutes for Spurs fans. Tottenham held on, and sit in 4th place, just a shade off the lead pack of Manchester City, Chelsea,
The Top three
Speaking of Manchester City, Chelsea, and Liverpool. Two of these teams are legitimate contenders, and one of them isn’t. If you are curious as
Liverpool, on the other hand, couldn’t muster more than a goal against Arsenal. Built up as the big matchup of the week, as usual, the big matchup of the week disappointed. A draw here did neither of these teams any good. If only Pool could maybe get a pair of soccer cleats on Mookie Betts, then maybe they would have a chance at the title.
Goal of the week
Easy. It was a nice goal, but the meaning behind it outweighs the skill. Demaria Grey’s goal for the Foxes wins this week award, and all the feels as well.
Match up to watch in Week 12
Another easy choice, the Manchester derby of course! City wants revenge, and United wants to prove they belong. I have a feeling this one will be tight for the first half and all-out chaos in the second. My prediction 4-3 City.
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