Line-up: M. Puig, F. Bon, S. Lachia, M. Guarnaccia, T. Si M'hammed, S.
Friedrichs, A. McGirr, S. Takeda, H. Henriquez (D. Yugueros), D. Claudino, A.
RBBFC2 came out from an enviable strip of victories which brought
back, for once, the winning Top-of-the-League feeling of the previous season.
Will RBBFC2 be capable to continue that course? …aggressively dare to attack
the third or even the second position?
Indeed, weather was pretty nice, mood and line-up definitely one of
the best of the season but, underneath, all the unknown variables were there
to threat: playing far away; never played on that pitch before; a grass pitch
(is football still on grass though?); opponents were capable to beat
everybody in that pitch and so on…
Was RBBFC2 warned enough to all of that? Captain was aware about all
the dangers but his team was enough self-motivated and alerted to understand
that? Let’s discover that.
RBBFC2 key strikers unjustifiably absent were replaced with dignity supplying
skills & weight by the newly formed couple Antoine (Gary) / Dieghino. Same
weight and experience distinguishes the back line Sylvain / Fred / Massimo.
While mid saw appearing back-on-scene the Horacito-babe and his impossible
dribbles assisted by the pearl-hair Ali and never ending engine Stef. Sides
were dominated by Tarik speedy-Gonzales and quality Shin.
Captain speech warnings were anticipated by the usual song & dance
in the changing room aimed, specifically here, to celebrate smooth operator
entrance (stylish as usual – see video for reference). Somebody noticed
captain checking players’ studs and certain reported being spanked in the
toilet corner because of that!!!
Intensive and delicate as always captain reported his tactics being
the one to kill them since the beginning with a high pressing in the
opponents half; however he forgot to mention Charlie’s substitute for free
kicks which will result being a great forgetfulness later on !!!!
Warm up was challenging. Players wandered how was possible to allow to
play in a pitch downhill with that inclination! Even the wind (which became
stronger and stronger) could not take a different direction. Useless to talk
about the bumping ground which RBBFC2 players thought not existing anymore
extinct like dinosaurs.
Reality was in the air and it was proved by the fact that, at the flip
of the coin, opponents decided to attack downhill, in favour of the wind and
with the sun in their backs.
So we started playing 14 against 11 (yes, 11 + inclination + wind +
sun) and perhaps even 15 when the referee started whistling all the
hand-throws against RBBFC2. For some, with reason they said, in case of Tarik’s
throws (apologise friend) but not for sure for all the rest of the team.
In the first minutes opponents’ tactic was revealed.
Defending low (catenaccio style) with one striker only and long balls
over the head of the pushers so to take advantage of the physical conditions
of the environment.
The first attempt was almost a goal in which Fred got to the ball
faster than the striker after the very light football bumping took a very
long run. Ah yes, even the football was incredibly light!!! Fred tried to
play the ball back to Marc, but the tricky pitch left the ball clear for the
striker, who shot pass mark but Sylvain deflected it on the goal line.
The second attempt was the right one for New Arquois; almost a
photocopy of the first: striker down the line running together with Fred, he
crossed the football to the centre of the area through Smooth Operator’s legs
and midfielders coming down from the hill at highest pace found easily the cracking
shot. None of RBBFC2 followed in the centre unfortunately and Marc could do nothing
to stop the well placed ball in the bottom corner.
New Arquois 1 – RBBFC2 0
RBBFC2 was thunderstruck from that approach and wanted to put more
effort in the tactics agreed. However, despite the good ball possession
things did not go better.
Once again few minutes later (and several hand-throws conceived to the
opponents) another action similar to the first conducted New Arquois on the
way of the second goal. Again in the right side of the attack of New Arquois,
the striker managed to get passed the defenders and beat Marc on a one-on-one.
New Arquois 2 – RBBFC2 0
Mood was down and the visiting team could not believe that they were
already losing 2-0 in that way. The passes were made inaccurate by the pitch
and could not take leverage from the Brazilian skills like always.
The rest of the first half was dominating the ball possession and
covering in the way to impede further cracking counterattacks which worked
pretty well but resulted in almost no goal chances for RBBFC2.
Captain’s speech was reassuring. Let’s continue in this way, we put
them into the corner now, the goal will come soon.
I could see the bottom of the hill from our net and seemed pretty easy
to run in that way, I though. But bad luck was against us again. Basically
the first and only corner of the second half allowed New Arquois to score the
third goal. The centerback jumped high and headed the ball straight into the
net, over Shin who was defending the first post. Useless were Fred’s complaints
with ref. about back pushes because the ref. was distracted by his manual
explaining when hand-throws have to be re-done.
New Arquois 3 – RBBFC2 0
Ok, three nil down and the whole second half to play downhill to
recuperate: feasible, isn’t it?
Indeed RBBFC2 decided to stick the tents in opponents’ half putting
them in the corner for the whole half time but New Arquois knew all of that
and, even if in disorderly way, was capable to limit the number of attempts.
It was indeed difficult to pass the ball as well as dribbling in the
crowded small spaces forgetting sometimes to shot from the edge of box
instead of attempting to get the goalie line with the ball which resulted in
several masses that, unfortunately, did not bring any luck to us.
The only notable dribbles were those made the captain in several
circumstances. Some people says 200 hundreds successful; some other says 100
hundred…reality is that with a bit of luck, skills and savoir-faire captain
was able to reach half of the pitch without losing the ball despite
opponents’ bench kept on saying: "il ne peux pas, il ne peux pas”.
However, the greatest chance came with a long kick from the right
(guess Tarik or Sylvain) getting straight the left foot of Shin who found
himself all alone in front of the goalie. Good tremendous shot, very well kicked
that found an even better response from the goalie, who dived to his right
and put an amazing hand to deny the effort. Definitely not RBBFC2 day and not
even the chance to save the dignity if it was not for… well….
If it was not for the fact that when the going gets tough, the tough start
One of those endless free kicks too far away to be kicked directly
resulting in being kicked into the crowded box with no results now happened
to be a little bit closer. Perhaps 30 meters, others say 40 meters, who
knows…everybody impression was that the ball was again sent into the box but
that was not the case this time. ..or it was because nobody believed the
kicker being capable of such as venture and boldness? …or perhaps the
daredevil wanted to take advantage of the official kicker not being there?
The only thing we know is that the spider sitting in top right goalie
corner (yes, the corner between the post and bar) since the born of the
Smooth Operator was wiped out by an incredible straight, high quality kick.
Goalie has not even tried to save it understood how violent and precise the
Thanks to Smooth Operator’s white kangaroo leather boots RBBFC2 pride
is saved. No celebration for the striker in line with Balotelli’s style.
New Arquois 3 – RBBFC2 1
There was enough time to get back in business? Perhaps yes, only 5
minutes left but since PSG-Barca game everything is possible.
There was indeed another crowded mass in front of the goalie line with
no luck again who involved almost the whole team.
Finally another chance to score a very likely second goal with another
free kick. Smooth Operator felt the implicit confidence gave from the team to
his left foot and indeed he went kicking again. Based on recurrent captain’s
suggestions to have 2 men in front of the ball at free kicks, reckless Dani
Yugeros played his part, blinking eyes to Smooth Operator with a clear sign
of complicity so showing to be the "kicker” …and even rolling the ball (later
he affirmed he did not do so but it is not reported in the official
chronicles). Smooth Operator left this scene rolling concentrating on the
ball direction being sure to score the second goal so mark the match for
another day of glory for the team. ….however, all of sudden, the Yugeros
instead of faking the kick, he kicked the ball basically passing the ball to
the goalie. Astonished the Smooth Operator and the whole team could not
believe that. What happened? Why Yugeros decided to kick his first (and very
likely the last) free kick in his life on his own? Certain reported some
blinking from captain or even Ali (who has not scored yet on free kicks this
year despite several attempts – sorry mate) resulting in many beers offered
to Yugeros in the subsequent weeks.
No time to go further, ref whistled the end and all the dreams to come
back in business broke like a glass.
Pause next week will recharge the men so to be ready to defend the 4th position this year which would be the second best result of RBBFC2 ever.
Last note goes to the captain’s football bag which, apparently, got
attacked (again) by dogs!
MoM and reporter: Massi "Smooth Operator" Guarnaccia