Wait until next year

Putting off what could be done tomorrow, today

Tag: penalty

Pleasant Valley Monday (well, apart from the result, anyway)

We went along to the League One play-off semi-final between Charlton Athletic and Swindon Town on Monday. We’ve been popping down to see Charlton more and more, as our most local side, and generally it’s been worth it, particularly this season. It’s a pretty good, family orientated atmosphere, the football is of an OK standard and we can be home, or more likely in our local pub, in no time at all after the game. Read the rest of this entry »

Carlos Tevez – Anatomy of a goal (Manchester City 2 Manchester United 1)

Generally football is a fluid game, continually in motion. It does not pause for any length of time. It is also a team activity. There are, of course, moments of individual skill, but rarely do we see a one against one situation, like we might see between a batsman and bowler in cricket.

But here is the waiting. That rare, dramatic waiting. Here is that one-on-one.

A penalty has been given. Manchester City can equalise. Carlos Tevez stands passively. And waits.

His former Manchester United team-mates argue with the referee, but as always with these matters, the decision stands. Tevez’s soon-to-be-opponent, Edwin van der Sar, slowly takes a drink and deliberately wipes his gloves, anything to stall proceedings. Anything to knock Tevez’s concentration, or nerve. The referee waves a yellow card in the goalkeeper’s direction.

The referee signals – let battle commence. City’s new hero against his old colleagues. The spurned sportsman with a chance to show United what they are missing. To bring one side of the city joy, the other agony.

Van der Sar stands tall. A lot less of the target is visible. He stretches his arms out, much more a crucifix pose than an open welcome to shoot.

Tevez stands passively. He then hears the referee’s whistle.

A hop, skip, shuffle to the side. Wayne Rooney, his old striking partner, speaks, another attempt at distraction. Tevez refuses to listen. He begins his run-up, an arch towards the ball. Not too fast, but steady, determined.

And then.


Straight down the middle. Straight past van der Sar. Never stood a chance. Never any doubt. Emphatic.

Tevez reels away. His clenched fists reveal only controlled emotion – not release, not relief. Not yet.

One apiece. Manchester City are back in the game.