Quite Surprising FC
Welcome back to the Quite Unique adventure where, this week, 4th take on 6th in the Premier League as surprisingly-not-top Man City take on very-surprisingly-SIXTH IN THE BLOODY LEAGUE Quite United FC.
And what’s more we’ve been on something of a tear of late. Only three defeats since the Liverpool game at the end December (two of those to Man Utd, for fuck’s sake) has me genuingely concerened that we might qualify for continental competition next year. Our squad is barely coping with two competitions worth of fixtures, I’ll need an entire subs bench of Stuart Dallases next year. Tomiyasu was out for more than a month leaving Conor Coady filling in a lot, and Dallas himself has already played in 6 different positions. Nearly every player has missed at least one game at some point, and the effort required from midfield has left us more or less rotating five players in the three central positions. In fact I think the West Brom game in February was only the second time this season we actually started our full ZM Eleven. Luckily, for the rest of this year at least, there’s only one instance of three games in a week to worry about. So I think we’ll manage our way to the end of the season just fine. Ideally tailing off enough to finish 8th.
12th January, v Man Utd (PL)
We were on an eight game unbeaten streak at this point, and I really thought during the game that it looked like we might keep it. But second half strikes from Martial and Mata put all notions of that out of my head. We looked great though, with Barella and Casemiro especially passing the absolute heck out of United.
7th February v Chelsea (PL)
I was very worried about this match going in, but we smashed it. A 60th minute penalty from Rodrigo de Paul, and a stunning performance from Reina and our defence, and we’re suddenly six games without defeat again!
10/13th February v Man Utd (FA Cup) & Chelsea (PL)
These were hard loses to take. We were undoubtedly better than United, but just can’t seem to work out a way to beat them. And the performane against Chelsea came from absolutely nowhere, we were properly awful. By far our worst game of the season. And they players are getting so fatigued that I was very worried about Arsenal
21st February v Arsenal (PL)
Yes! Yes! Yes! With the exception of concedeing two goals the team plays incredibly. More shots, more on target, better xG.. in every single way we’re better than The Gunners and the result is secured with an 81st minute tap in after an unreal run from the edge of our area by Antonio. Kalajdžić, who finishes, has only scored nine and set up five goals this season, and his overall rating is a very meh 6.94. But somehow he is always there when we score. Either two or three passes ahead of the assist, making a run to pull defenders away, and absolutely towering over everyone at set pieces. I love a tall striker who can make a nuisance of himself, and at 6’7 and with a jumping reach of 18 I never want another striker again.
Once More Into The Etihad
Going into the game against Man City I find myself in a weird place. They’re sitting fourth, but nine points behind Arsenal, and eleven behind Man Utd and Liverpool (and it looks like that will be the three way fight for the title). However they and Chelsea sit seven and six points above us, leaving me pretty certain that sixth is the absolute height of our ambition this season. And as I alluded to above I’m not really sure I want European football next season, so do I accept we’ll probably lose against City and be quietly glad of our continental dreams being dashed?
Bollocks. AND Rodrigo de Paul has got himself injured for a month. I WANT EUROPA LEAGUE FOOTBALL DAMMIT. See you at the end of the season.