It’s Sunday and I welcome the break for internationals with open arms. I don’t think my body would have been able to handle another game this week. I am not kidding, struggled to get out of bed. When I got injured against Forest I was playing at my best, but I hand’t had a proper pre-season and the bad results haven’t allow us to train in a more productive way, so I struggled to get back my optimal physical condition. I struggled to find the real me. When I managed to shake off those little demons and I started to play the way I am capable of, I had to stop again. Four weeks might not look long, but for a professional footballer is an eternity.
One training session and 90 never ending minutes in Bournemouth, one recovery day and another training sesión followed by a game against Charlton on Tuesday. If you didn’t see the game you would think we are on freefall, but we should have won that game without any problems. Charlton was one of the teams who created less chances against us and they scored 3 times! This shows what the season has been for us. After that game I struggled to walk for two days as there wasn’t a loose muscle left in my body. You must remember that 90 minutes at Bloomfield Road are like 180 on a normal pitch. It’s a bit like playing a full game on a beach…
On Friday during training my legs were fine and I felt ready to play on Saturday. I always like to play against Leeds, for the fans that always travel with them and because they are a very competitive team. I again had fun in the field (or the beach) and I think in the first half we were much better and deserved to get a goal, but then yet another error cost us three points. It is amazing and makes me nervous thinking how we could be making such silly errors. But the team responded and the crowd was as always on our side. Hopefully this will be the level that we show until the end of the League. No pressure anymore we just need to try to make our fans happy.
I was especially glad to see my friend Cubero in the first eleven. Jose has had a very tough time but his professionalism and work have rewarded him with the chance he deserved and he responded as expected. He worked hard, pass the ball well, was well positioned on the pitch etc… I noticed his presence on the field because with him we had more freedom to do things and he showed is important to the team. If you see the smile on the picture you will realised how happy he finally is.
The goal was scored by Gary Madine after a great save by Silvestri and a free kick taken by me. I hadn’t taken good free kicks for a while. Funnily enough I felt like practising free kicks before the game and It was a shame it didn’t go in but it ended up in the net which is what really matters. I was also elected ‘Man of the Match‘ and although we did not win I left the ground, at least in that respect, happy. I am now stiff and all my muscles are sore…
At home there have been ‘fun’ days. On Thursday we celebrated my daughter, Norah’s, third birthday. Three years that have flown by. My mother and my sister Berta came from Barcelona to be with her and Norah forgot she had a father. It is always nice to have the company of your family, especially those who live far away and when you do not have family nearby to help or to babysit now and again. Simple things like going to the movies… I think the last movie I watch in the theater was in black and white!! That says it all.
The fact that my daughter completely ignored me because her ‘nonna‘ and ‘tieta’ are here is at least a little bit funny. Besides she was so subtle about it and that made her even more sweet. It occurred to me to sing the happy birthday first thing in the morning when she got up, to which she responded with a loving, ‘Daddy, shut up, you talk too high‘. Then she subtlely ignored the slippers i had chosen for her. This is Norah, take her or leave her. I will take her all the time and I actually love her dearly.
That said, we all went to eat in Manchester and had a most enjoyable family day and we opened the presents in the evening. A ballerina’s dress, ballerina shoes, ballerina tights… My worst nightmares came to life. I went back to relive those agonizing moments when I was forced to watch my sister at her ballet sessions. Those endless three hours of dresses and dancing. Also I could not recognize her among a crowd of girls so it was like a living hell. Well, I think with Norah I am going to have to relive that again! Emma by now is more focused on the theme of food. Basically she eats everything all time. I hope that by the time she gets interested in ballet she will be too old for it!
Another gift for Norah were some Peppa Pig’s skates. No helmet or anything, I have told you many times, to play in Blackpool you have to be brave. For now we are just preventing the tragedy, there have been falls but most Jesus Navas’ style, more diving than real.
Now that we have two days off I will take the opportunity to fly to Barcelona. I’ll fly in an out quickly to sign the purchase of our apartment. A dream come true. You can’t imagine how much I wanted to have my own house in the center of Barcelona. Today it’s Sunday and today it’s El Clásico! I will just get to Barcelona just in time to watch it. As you read my article on Monday, I will not tell you who my favourite is in case I screw up. I’ll talk about it next week…
By the way, before I finish there is one thing I want to say to all of those who follow these articles from Blackpool: Gaz, from Blackpool FC Gym, organizes a ‘Fitness fun day‘ in order to raise funds for Trinity Hospice Charity. Gaz is a really nice guy and he is preparing a great party. It will be next Saturday, the 28th, from 10 am until 4 pm and he would love to see you all there. It will be a worth while cause to party for!
See you next week.
Translated by Alfons Vinent.