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.