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Hey guys. Sorry for the brevity of this post, but even though my city was only peripherally affected by the hurricane, I personally have been suffering from pressure headaches all week. This is all I managed to write before my brain turned off again.
Anyhoo. I enjoyed the game and thought our boys played very well. I was particularly happy to see that Bartra and Sergi Roberto played a full 90 minutes and were outstanding. Villa was as good as I have seen him in ages, and was clearly not happy to come off after 70 minutes (but it was for his own good and he knew it). Alaves was…well, not very good really, but the stadium was full and the fans certainly had fun and can go home and brag about that time they saw Iniesta score a fantastic goal and made it look so easy. Good times.
Hallelujah, He’s a Bum Award: It is a truth universally acknowledged that the more Cesc Fabregas resembles a hobo in appearance, the better he plays. Right now he looks like the guy who has been sleeping in the parkette next to my house for the last 5 years, and has been in the best form we’ve seen since this time last year (Cesc, not the homeless guy). He has 5 goals from his last 6 games, plus a handful of assists, but more importantly, he has been playing with intelligence and freedom and making his teammates’ games better as well!
Brother Can You Spare a Dime? Award: Pinto, who was the special target of generosity from the friendly Basque crowd, who donated their small change to supplement his meagre salary. Unfortunately one of the coins connected with his head, which must have stung a bit. Some kind soul also shared his bocadillo, but sadly Cuenca was not available to be given it.
How To Make Friends And Influence People Award: What is it about Dani Alves? Something about his personality and playing style incites crowds to fury and causes opposing players to do things like deliberately kick him in the goolies (yeah, it looked pretty deliberate to me in the slo-mo replay). Is it his swag? His smirk? The fact that he just dun curr what you think? Or is it a deliberate strategy on Dani’s part to distract and infuriate his opponents to lead them into making mistakes?
MOTMOTMOI Award: This might be a controversial one, but I’m going to give it to Dani Alves, if for no other reason than his urgent desire to get the ref to allow him back into the game while still clutching his dented bollocks. Oh, and he also had an excellent game. He looked like a man with something to prove, and he certainly did. His high cross for Cesc’s goal was absolutely perfect!
That’s Zamora! Award: Including yesterday’s game, Pinto has a 100% clean sheet record this season! Maybe this is the perfect Valdes replacement you all have been looking for?
Carpe Diem Award: Many of us (especially me) have been pretty harsh on Jonathan Dos Santos for stubbornly digging in his heels and refusing to go out on loan to get playing experience. I haven’t changed my mind on that, but I’m happy to give JDS credit for training hard and making the most of the two opportunities he has been given to play. He has only had about 30 minutes total on the pitch, but was very good both times. Well done, Jona.
My Left Foot Award: Unless you live under a rock, you will know that Lionel Messi has won the European Golden Shoe (or Boot, if you prefer) for the 2011/12 season. Congratulations, Leo! I couldn’t help but notice that both of his trophies represent left boots-which is fitting, since Leo scores most of his goals with his left foot. You would think at some point they could make him a right boot, mind you, so he can have a proper pair!