Beating a guy and breaking out of the tackle, how do you do that?
Not burning a guy out wide when you’re running straight at him, pushing it ahead when he has to turn and you have the gazzz.
No, that’s the burn à la Theo or Ryan Giggs. If only Walcott had the intelligence to go with the gazz, Engerland might have something else along with Wayne, and have a real chance in the slums this summer. I wonder will Nelson make an appearance and put on a Bafana Bafana shirt.
I’m reliably told that Agbonlahor is the fastest thing on legs in the premiership but that’s different when you’re in front of goals all the time.
No, I’m talking about beating a guy, one on one; close in, tight when there’s no space or time and its instinct and genius. Oh God, your son has come back to earth and in his most beautiful incarnation yet, to play wherever the fuck he wants to in the Camp Nou. It’s like when you hear a fella explain something difficult and make it understandable to you , like that stars guy Brian Cox did on BBC2 recently (used to sing with De Ream back when we were kings), well Brian brought the Cosmos nearer and got me thinking I finally understood time travel and light speed.
Talent folks – you can’t book-learn or coach it.
Lionel Messi, son of God and example to all sports people around. Growth hormones do work, talent will win out in the end, Lionel – personification of genius – you and Brian make it look easy.
So how does he do it folks? How does he beat a guy, get beyond him with the ball at his toe leaving them all looking like me after the kids have wrecked my head and the blood pressure is sky rocketing and I’m an unhealthy scarlet? Deconstruct that someone please, break it down into its component parts and apply biological science and explain what the hell is going on there.
I’ve watched him, slow-motioned him, recorded him, frozen and played him back, over and over again and I can’t see it with my 20:20s. It appears as if he’s looking down, but he’s not. Looks as if his shoulder is moving which it’s not, as if his hip is going one way with him to follow, which he doesn’t.
You know when someone is falling (no, not in that “he had a fall” way, but gravitational falling, actual falling down), you watch them and you know when they’ve reached that tipping point, that point of no return. You know this because it has happened to you, with or without drink, when you stop trying not to and start protecting yourself from the impending sudden stop, hands flaying and legs akimbo, like a puppy trying to stop on a shiny linoleum floor. You know THAT falling thing?
Lionel doesn’t fall.
He should though, there is no earthly reason why he doesn’t and continues to stand up, defy belief, gravity and me. I like that in a football genius, the consistent denial of my limits.
And space, what’s this with the no-need-for-any? One of his goals against the Gooners came when closely surrounded by four flaffers, three of whom were trying to break his leg, the fourth had his arm around his neck, and from nowhere and like a bullet, the ball in the top corner of the net.
No major celebration, just “thanks lads, thanks Xavi for the exquisite pass five minutes ago, thanks Pedro for the run out wide, thanks lads”, his humility, in the face of choreographed dance moves and multiple baby cradlings is just that , humble.
So now Inter and the always entertaining José come to Barcelona, needing to do nothing other than stay ahead. What chance they’ll shrink into a defensive ball and sink? The pitch appears much wider and Barca will attack from the off, in angelic waves of highly talented smaller people pinging the ball all over the park and making Italians tetchy and temperamental and penalty prone.
Two goals for little Lionel folks.