Season in Review, Pt. 3: Biggest surprise

Every year, we start the season fraught with uncertainty. Will x or y crucial player get injured? How will the new signings adapt to the side? Will someone step out of the shadows to blow us all away?

Each and every season has a great surprise, a player who just knocks us out, going above and beyond the call to not really be MVP or Most Improved, but still offer stunning performance that leaves everyone with their jaw dangling.

This year, it goes without saying that it’s Pedro!.

His exclamation point was, I believe, started by Isaiah ElShowDeJason! in honor of his ability to always make something happen, whenever he gets onto the pitch. And I, for one, did not see him coming.

In the year of the Triplete, he had 10 goals in 17 appearances for Barca B, but exactly 0 goals in 14 appearances in all competitions with the big boys. This year, he started the season with the A Team and never looked back, notching 23 goals in all competitions. More importantly, P! seems to have a knack for the Important Goal. UEFA Super Cup, World Club Championship, Champions League, the dude just scores big goals, from match-winners to tide turners.

But anybody who says that they saw it coming is either a liar, or should be buying lottery tickets like …. oh …. right NOW.

There was a piece in the Guardian, I believe (might have been ESPN Soccernet) that was trying to explain the mystery of P!. The writer noted that he wasn’t really that good a passer, and didn’t seem to move all that well off the ball, even though he moves constantly, like a bunny during an earthquake. I have noted his tactical lack of awareness, that so often finds him in the wrong place at the wrong times, chasing the match and the ball.

And yet, those same qualities make him very difficult to mark. He’s like one of those Wacky Wheel toys, that you set down and watch go crazy. Defenses probably just look, shake their heads and say “Where the hell is he going now?” And of course there was this, against Deportivo:

Pedro! has gone from nowhere to everywhere over the course of one glorious season with us. He’s even going to South Africa with the Spain World Cup squad. And he’ll probably get some minutes, and he’ll almost certainly score a goal, because that’s what he does. And it will be a big one.

‘Cause that’s just how he rolls.

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In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.

97 Comments

  1. Lev
    May 22, 2010

    Oh and Lou unfortunately I feel Mourinho is the perfect coach for EE.
    1. Their defense is very, very, very improvable.
    2. They have lost the league in the two games against us, basically.
    3. We hate him
    4. He will install confidence in the locker room, an unwavering belief that they are the best.
    5. We hate him
    6. Of all possible coaches, he is the one who would be least undermined by press / president / players because each and all know what a great coach he is (just admitting it makes me wanna puke)
    7. We hate him. Reason that we hate him is because he generally likes acting like a jerk when we play him and, to be honest, because he beats us half the time to.

    I think the only reason Mourinho would not end up in Madrid is Perez knows that if it doesn’t work he can’t turn Mourinho into a scapegoat as is his habit with all other coaches. Pellegrini’s treatment this year was deplorable.

  2. Lev
    May 22, 2010

    (meant to write: bc he beats us half the time TOO)

  3. Blow-Grenade
    May 23, 2010

    Pedro’s best goal, for me, was the one he scored at the Bernabeau. He was heckled, hacked and fouled all game. He manned up(took the beating all match), beat the offside trap(outfoxed the defenders), and scored a real strikers goal, with his left foot, his second best foot. A big bow.

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