We lost against Sheffield Wednesday… and now talking about staying at the Championship would be an audacity. Mathematics say we are not still a League One team, but it’s not a secret that’s our future. Even our coach talks about it openly and says we should give young players opportunities thinking of next year. That’s the club’s course of action: to trust in youngsters. Those ten matches left until end of season will surely be useful to accumulate minutes and experience.
It’s time to face the facts. It has been, it’s being, a very complicated season, the most difficult one in my entire professional career because I’ve never been in a simillar situation. Not even close. And weird, because I’ve been working even harder than ever due to the anger and the taken hits.
One day I said the most important thing for a pro player is to be able to look oneself at the mirror and I can do it with clear conscience. Very clear. Would you change something you did?, they ask. Ridiculous, since it’s easy to answer ‘yes’ if you are already in misery. But I say “no”. I am easily driven by sensations and that’s why I came to Blackpool and, as months went by, no matter the weekly blow, I still feel an absolute respect for this people and I feel myself as a part of the club.
I spent three weeks without playing, three weeks working as an animal to reduce the time they said. “Four weeks out”, they guessed, but I tried to arrive on time for Wigan. “Don’t force, take it easy”, said the doctor when I increased the amount of work. And I had to obey. If everything goes right I will be ready for Bornemouth, one of the two hardest matches left along with the Derby one.
Now that we have no pressure I trust in show a better face, get some satisfaction y cheer our supporters up… who are still there, by our side no matter what. We need a stroke of proud, allow nobody steps on us, just because I don’t want to live difficult situations on the pitch and, above all, our people don’t deserve it.
“¿Do you feel pressure because you didn’t score the last three matches?” That’s what they ask Romario once, when he played in Barcelona. “Pressure is what a building worker feels when he gets up at six to go work. I would be ungrateful with people if I’d say I feel pressure”, he said. I am not Romario, of course, either Blackpool is Barcelona, but those people, those fans, are the same. Anywhere.
We owe people our efforts and work at the pitch. We are the actor they come to see and doing our best is the minimum to fulfill. Proudly. From my point of view, at least.
“Orlandi’s Monday” has been delayed this week because this Sunday I took the liberty to skive off. My family and I drove to Brighton after the match against Wednesday. I hadn’t gone back there since I left the club and I was happy to see all my friends again. Norah could play with her friend Aimar (heir to the Calderon empire), see Adriana and Pol (Bruno Saltor the Great’s children) and Morena and Sofia, that crack named Leo Ulloa’s daughters. We gathered to remember better days, to tell how things are going, have a laugh… It was an excellent relaxing time, which I realised I needed when I came home.
I went to see the Brighton’s sport facilities… amazing what they have got there! Another world if you compare it with ours. Working at a place like that is fantastic and a great help for the players, who have got everything they need. I said hi to my friend Gibbo, the waiters and waitresses, the cooks, the kit men, the physiotherapists… A pleasure, as always.
Brighton and its football club will be always in my heart and I trust they can finish the season without the problems they suffered on the last days. A sad consolation prize if I think of Blackpool’s present, but I guess you can get it. I also wish Leicester to stay at Premier League because of Leo, who is fighting there as he always does.
The Champions League Round of 16 second leg games starts today and I won’t watch the Real Madrid – Schalke 04. It’s a good match, but Oporto – Basel is ahead of everything. The Portuguese are the favourite ones… but I wouldn´t be surprised if my dear friend Paulo Sosa causes a sensation, no matter how terrible tipster I am.
I think Paulo Sousa is an underestimated coach. He was my trainer at Swansea and I learnt a lot from him, as much about football as everything that surrounds it. He gave me very good advices and I remember him with special affection. They have it difficult… but hey, they beat Liverpool on the group phase. Basel have proved to be a team with the serious and working touch of their coach.
Well, my friends, we play against Bournemouth next Saturday and I hope you have better news from Blackpool next week. We are drowning ourselves but we will keep on swimming until the end. No doubt about it.
Translated by Jesús Abascal