Sunday, 16 March 2008

The Robbing

There couldn't have been a better return to action. A finely weighted pass to a fellow midfielder as the first touch and a few minutes later following up an attack a simple tap in to send the side 2-1 up.

I turned to celebrate as the opponents all shouted offside. I looked over to the linesman who didn't have his flag raised.

But they all started shouting at him (he was one of their team members) and started railing at the referee. He went over to the linesman who was looking a bit scared.

The referee signalled for offside even though it wasn't. What made it worse was that at half time he said to one of our team members that he hadn't actually seen anything wrong with the goal.

From a technical point of view it was simply that none of their defenders had followed me as I ran from an onside position to meet the cut back from the left.

It was a classic case of attacking the space in the anticipation of the ball being there. It was and the defence wasn't. We wuz robbed.

Particularly hard to take when the final result was 3-2 to the opposition. Oh well.

I said to the missus. Having a perfectly good goal ruled out and losing is tough. But at least I wasn't injured.

I'll have to project onto my sporting heroes now.

Roger Federer plays his second round match at the Indian Wells tournmaent in the United States in something of a crisis. We're three months into the season and he hasn't won a title.

Rafael Nadal could replace him as world number one by the end of the next tournament in Florida.

So maybe this is the year he loses the number one spot and triumphs at Roland Garros.

Would be interesting to know how he'd take that kind of loss/win scenario.

I've sent my accreditation form off to the French tennis federation and I should be there to watch the crunching forehands in late May and early June.

By which time this football season will be a memory.

During Saturday's match one defender asked me how old I was. I told him but didn't pursue the conversation as I thought it better to concentrate on my game rather than my ageing frame.

I don't know if I've actually got the French for: "I'd be feeling a lot younger and dynamic if the ref had given the goal."

I bumped into my mate Zigor on the way home last night and among other things recounted the tale of the disallowed goal. He asked why I didn't get angry too.

"The yoga means I remain quite zen," was my reply.

If I'd got angry too the ref might not have been swayed. And I would have had a goal and we might have won.

But if I hadn't been doing the yoga I wouldn't have had the flexibility to convert the chance that was presented as it had needed a certain amount of fluidity.

I'm locked in a zen vortex.

You don't want to rob yourself of that.