Sometimes you look but you don’t see, you hear but you don’t listen. You get desperate because you don’t understand anything, you get depressed wondering where you went wrong and you think again and again about the same things and the more you think about it the less you understand. I don’t understand anything. I have never lived through anything similar to what happened on Saturday. It was the worse game I have been in since I started my professional career. In fact, it wasn’t too different to the game with Ipswich but letting in 6 goals at home… More people should have complained.
It was painful. Crazy. There is no excuse and when I looked at the faces of our fans from the bench I got even more depressed. I don’t know anymore whether we deserve this or not but they definitely don’t. I remember Eddie Scott and all the other fans who came to the stadium. Very depressing. We could try to find some excuses, which is typical in the world of football, the pitch for example, it’s awful and every game gets worse. But the pitch was as bad for us as it was for Bournemouth. I really liked them, I must admit that. They are a very humble team who work very well and in which the men are more important than the names and they all work together as a team. They all run, all play… It is very nice to see them play and they remind me a lot of Swansea. When things are done well you get rewarded and right now they have the premiership in their sites. I would be happy for them.
Tiredness is another common excuse we use all the time but we trained very well all week, without too much physical pressure and we looked well going into the game. I believe that you have to want the ball more than they do. It doesn’t matter how much you run, if when you get the ball you don’t know what to do with it, you can pray as much as you want but you won’t get the job done. The ball doesn’t lie and if you use it will wisely it will reward you. I learned that many years ago and I still think this is a must in football. I can only apologise to the Blackpool fans. They don’t deserve these kind of games and even though I have been on the bench for the last 4 games I understand it is a desperate situation.
Last Tuesday I played in a reserve game. Again, we played against Fleetwood reserve team. Not sure why, they were very young players and we played on our pitch just to enjoy the quality of our grass and to make it better for Saturday’s game… Unbelievable.
The thing is that I was going to play in my normal position, in the midfield, and in front of a young player who was on trial, I won’t say his name. He had been training all week with us but on the day of the game he never turned up. No one knew where he was and in the middle of the chaos the under 18s coach came to me to ask me if i wouldn’t mind playing up front. Why not? so there I was, with number 9 on my shirt playing like Michu. At least I had a good time and I played again with the Oriol twins, who are really going through a tough time. I like to play with good players around me and if it can only be in these kind of games, so be it! Jonathan Legear scored a super goal. To those of you know don’t know him, he was top scorer in the Europa League with Anderlecht. You see football can be a game of ups and downs… We have another friendly, this time against Burnley. Let’s see how it goes.
My family arrived from Barcelona yesterday and after 10 days I was really looking forward to hugging my girls. Laura won’t complain as the fridge was full this time! Let me explain, my landlord is a football player who now plays in London. He used to buy his meat and fish from a really nice guy called Taff who is a huge fan of Plymouth Argyle. One day he turned up at my house and told me that my landlord had sent him and since then I buy my steaks, chicken and fish from him. On Friday he came around and I filled the fridge and the freezer. Desserts, canapés, the whole lot.
And giving that he loves football we had a coffee and a chat about the human and the divine in the game. Plymouth are in League 2, the fourth division, and on Saturday they won 3-0. They are fifth and in the promotion spot and I am happy for him. At least I can be happy for a friend which is better than nothing.
I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas. Despite everything, I like this time of the year. When we were little we used to go to my grandparents house in Italy. We used to fly to Bologna and we would hire a car just to get beeped at every 5 minutes. My dad has never been a very good driver, he even got a ticket once for driving too slow!! My sister and I used to have a blast in the back seat during that 3 hour journey to my grandparents house, and when we arrived the table would be set and a really nice Passatelli soup would be ready. My grandma who I really miss, was an amazing cook and an even better person. I like Christmas because it’s also a good time to remember your past and to be grateful for what you had. Having my family next to me means the world to me.
I get sentimental, I can’t help it. Somehow it helps me to go over this situation. On Friday we are playing in Sheffield against Sheffield Wednesday who lost 4-0 against Fulham during their last game. They will want to bounce back from that result. They will be as eager as we should be. I still have hopes that we can turn this situation around and therefore I will take this week very seriously. The game is on Boxing Day, a very especial day for the fans and I hope that despite all, they will be there to support us.
There are tough days ahead of us, as on Sunday we play again, this time at home against Rotherham and I have got the feeling these two games are going to be very important. We will also be playing in the FA Cup in Birmingham against Aston Villa and I hope that by then the atmosphere in the changing room and in the club is better.
I will write again on 5th of January. A little break of Orlandi’s Monday will do us good and I hope that when you read my article again in two weeks time, we will be able to see things differently.
Translated by Alfons Vinent.