The Story

Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.

7

When I returned home from travelling, I looked at Palace’s next five fixtures and thought to myself, if we can possible get seven points from those games, we’ve got a good chance of staying up. Four games have gone and we’ve got ourselves twelve. I’m still not celebrating until we’re mathematically safe. Forever the pessimist.

Big Game

Seeing as I’m a Palace fan in an all Chelsea family, it was nice being in the bar and the having the big game shown live. Last night could literally be our last night in Laos, but there was no way I was going to avoid being mister unsociable and not plop myself in front of the tv and get that much needed taste of home. I thought we actually did alright in the end despite the result, but my new Quebecois friend who joined me for the game disagreed. According to her, we should of played our cheerleaders instead…

Football

Struggling was the best word to describe our tuk-tuk ride back from the Flooded Forest yesterday. After a night on the razz and full day of exploring in the sun, I was finding it difficult to stay conscious, which if you’ve ever been in a tuk-tuk should adequately sum up my situation. We pulled up to our guesthouse and I could hear the sweet voice of my bed summoning me. We pay Pharrell and as we’re about to step inside, a bunch of locals in Cambodia football shirts appear. “Play football?” they ask. There’s only ever one answer to that question. I’m suddenly full of energy as I’m running up to my room to change into more suitable footwear. Heat and a hangover are never welcome when playing football but this was one of the most enjoyable games I’ve ever played. On a 3G surface that rivals anything back home, these guys know how to play for fun. Competive of course, but there was never any examples of it going too far. A problem that regularly plagues the game back home. As the klaxon goes and the game ends in a 7-7 draw, I’m covered in sweat and struggling to stand, but still can’t help to think this will go down as one of my favourite experiences from the trip.

On Fergy being a bit of a dick

Let’s be honest for a moment. Sir Alex Ferguson is, and always has been, a bit of a dick. There were plenty of examples of this dick being in his twenty six years as United manager, but during that time, the reputation of being a dick never fully came to fruition in the minds of football fans due to those twenty six years being mainly made up of record breaking success. It overshadowed the dickness. How can someone who season after season manages to continually achieve more than any other manager in the game’s history also be seen as a dick? It’s like finding a pretty girl who’s not also funny, intelligent, or wearing just the right amount of make up. It just doesn’t happen, it’s not in the rules…

But now that he’s retired, his achievement’s, and therefore people’s respect, can go no further. You can’t accumulate more respect in something you don’t do anymore. He no longer has the saving grace against his dick ways to protect him. So you’d think the best way to prevent people from finally uncovering your dick like nature would be to simply stop being a dick. As long as your dick being levels don’t rise above your respect earned levels, you’ll be fine.

Now people may argue that I’m no expert in the principles of how not to be dick, but I’m still going out on a limb to suggest releasing a book in which you insult, question and discredit some of the most high profile, and much loved players that have played in our league, including some that have played for your own very successful team, is not the best way to keep your approval rating out of the red. History isn’t as important in football as it used to be. Fans only really care about the result of their previous game. Of course no one will forget what Sir Alex did during his time in the game, but to choose this as your last hurrah when bowing out is, for lack of a better phrase, a dick move.

Four years ago I saw us seal our qualification for South Africa 2010 with a win against Croatia. Tonight I was there to see us do the same for next year’s tournament in Brazil with a win against Poland. As relieved as I am that we managed to make it through our group, I can’t shake off how recent that first game feels. I’m not going to lie, it’s a pretty awful feeling.

Four years ago I saw us seal our qualification for South Africa 2010 with a win against Croatia. Tonight I was there to see us do the same for next year’s tournament in Brazil with a win against Poland. As relieved as I am that we managed to make it through our group, I can’t shake off how recent that first game feels. I’m not going to lie, it’s a pretty awful feeling.

Hopefully continuing my 100% record of seeing us successfully conclude a World Cup qualification at home.

Hopefully continuing my 100% record of seeing us successfully conclude a World Cup qualification at home.

The only time I ever really feel patriotic is when walking this walk on an important match day.

The only time I ever really feel patriotic is when walking this walk on an important match day.