There is nothing worse for a footballer that to get injured when you are enjoying your game. I had been wondering for a while whether the condition of Bloomfield Road’s pitch would get someone injured and it happened in the end. Considering what could have happened, I was lucky though….But how boring! I want the ball, I want to run, to laugh in the training sessions, to get tired, to joke and to argue. I want to study how to hurt our rivals. I want to feel all these sensations that I had to put aside all week.
Getting in the car every morning knowing that what awaited me was just treatment has been very annoying and terribly boring. But I have tried my best. I won’t be able to play at Griffin Park tomorrow but I am convinced I will be able to play against Wigan on Saturday. It will be a huge game for us and I hope my teammates will be able to maintain, in Brentford, the good sensations we had in Blackburn as this is the only way of facing such a huge climb we have ahead of us.
Who could imagine that Wigan would be where they are right now? They have a great team and in the summer they were solid candidates for promotion but when things go wrong there are so many aspects that make you go down. We know that very well but I am still confident that we will be able to compete. We need to add points 3 by 3 but the point in Blackburn showed us that we are holding on to that dream.
I think that our biggest problem away from home is the fact that we concede early goals. The team gets extremely affected by an early goal and we are not able to overcome that. But when Rodhes scored on Saturday the team reacted after just 15 minutes. We fought and we survived. It is an example that the team is working well. If only we win in Brentford…That would be the best way to scare our rivals, to show them we are still there, wounded but dangerous. Because no one can take away our pride.
Football is a state of mind and can change from day to day. On Friday I had a call from Barcelona, from the SPORT newspaper to ask for my opinion about Barça’s game in Manchester. I maintain what I said despite the fact that some people will change their mind after Saturday’s result. Those who live the day to day of the changing room know the reality of football. It is hard to explain but despite City’s reaction after their 5-0 against Newcastle and despite Barça’s doubts after their loss, nothing changes the sensation of having to face Messi, Neymar, Suárez and the rest…
Moreover, and watch this space, it will be Suárez’s return to England and Luis here is like a little devil. He loves the English atmosphere, knows English football very well and he enjoys it. I believe City’s defense will struggle if Barça is capable of recovering their best feelings, because if they start passing the ball as they have been doing in the past few games, they could make anybody go crazy. Saying that and knowing Barça that well, I am sure there will be some doubts and sometimes one bad result weighs more than eleven good ones. You go from hero to villain in 90 minutes.
Saying that, good work bears fruit in the long term. I have to look towards Wales when I say that and proclaim my happiness for Swansea. In August they beat United at Old Trafford for the first time ever and this Saturday they beat them again. They had never beaten them twice in the League, never managed the double and for this they deserve all the credit. The Swans have defeated a big team with a much bigger budget and they have done so with good football. The club is growing slowly and quietly and my friend Garry Monk is absolutey responsible of all this. He deserves all the congratulations because in just over a year he has returned the best sensations to the team. Although I would ask him to play Angel Rangel a bit more! It is hard for me to see him on the bench, but the Gaffer has to make decisions and on ocassions these are hard. I still see him as our captain, a joker and a leader. We still have that connection as I managed to find out when I met him last summer and I am sure that it’s not easy for him to leave Angel or Leon on the bench…
As I have spent all weekend off the pitch I have had time to pay attention to other teams. Amongst them all I have picked Brighton, for a very particular reason: my daughter Emma was really happy and proud beause her godfather was reincarnated in Ulloa. He scored twice on Saturday against Birmingham! Some people still talk about age being a handicap. Calderon, my Calde, our Calde, has made his experience his best weapon and I can’t understand why he hasn’t been offered a new contract yet. That left side with Bruno should be the one for Brighton for the next 3 seasons because their performance is phenomenal. Calde is always amongst the best, apart from when he goes to the barber, that is a lost cause. He is one of the most regular footballers I have ever met.
I am looking forward to running and finding out if I am in good condition, to look my coach in the eye and let him know I can play on Saturday if he wishes me to do so. The feelings are good and the boredom has raised my adrenaline. As I said before, there is nothing worse that having a small injury and having to miss two games when you are playing well. This makes you want to play more and more and to recover the lost time.
I remember that we lost in Wigan in August to an Oriol Riera’s goal, the only one he scored before returning to Spain to play with Deportivo. Since then he has been able to feel like a football player again after a bad experience at the DW Stadium. He plays all the games now and I am wondering if they didn’t have enough patience with a new player who had just arrived to England. I think in England, there is not much patience for the newcomers. I felt that at Swansea and I can think of numerous other examples. That’s why I was happy for Bojan, who had Hughes support in Stoke City, to become an important player until he had a terrible injury.
The fans normally support you but the clubs and the coaches often haven’t got that patience. Maybe they should think twice before signing foreign players… That was my problem in Swansea. It took me a while to adapt and I always had to swim against the current to convince the fans. In Brighton I was lucky enough to have the unconditional support of Poyet and I showed everybody that I was capable of playing in England. Of course.
I hope to return next week with good news and I hope we are closer to our goal. It will be difficult but not impossible. Like I said before, this sport is unpredictable. It is a beautiful game and like the best player I have played with in England, Vicente Rodriguez used to say.
Translated by Alfons Vinent.