Friday, August 22, 2014

Back So Soon

We just can't seem to do anything right.

It’s been almost a month since I’ve posted anything, so I figured I’d come back.  Our season has been a proverbial roller coaster and the past five weeks have been no different.  Losing streaks become winning streaks become losing streaks.  Players are returning from injury, only for another player to get hurt or suspended.  We haven’t started the same 11 players in back to back games in months, if at all. Not a great situation.

Despite all that, and all the doom and gloom of our supporters, we’re not terribly far off reaching our goals.  We wanted to be top 3 to be entered in European competition, and because of the Finnish Cup situations we could finish even in 4th place and still qualify for the Europa league.  All that aside, 3rd place is still technically possible.  Pretty much all of our last 9 games are winnable, and if we were to win 7 of the last 9 (like we did last year) then we’d end up with the same number of points as last season.  This might sound crazy, but these are games we still have to play: Inter (who have nothing to play for) at home, TPS at home, Honka away, HJK home after they will have won the league and played a Europa League group game, Jaro home.  To win all of those games is too much to ask, but we will feel that we are favorites in all of the games I just listed.  My point is that we are poised to get on a roll similar to how we did last year.  Last year after 24 games we had 32 or 33 points - this year we have 29.  So for all the doomsday fans remember...we’ve been here before.  And to be honest, we’ll probably win the Fair Play spot into Europa League regardless of where we finish in the table.  We may not win a lot, but we tackle very politely!

As for the Europa League, I’ll do a very brief post mortem.  We blew our lead from Valkeakoski and ended up losing in Sweden 2-0.  I had our best chance but hit the post.  I probably could have done better, but then again I made the chance from absolutely nothing so I’m not sure anyone can complain about it too much.  Honestly the biggest disappointment was to miss out on the bonus money and trip to Italy that would have come along with beating The Bromma Boys and presumably also beating Crusaders.  Hell who knows one or two of us might have even earned themselves a big time transfer with a good performance against Torino.  Losing in Sweden cost me and everyone else on the team at least 2,000 euros and cost the club upwards of 100,000 euros after all the expenses and taxes associated with the competition and prize money.  Sorry Eero.

The past month has been pretty fun for me.  I’ve actually gotten out and enjoyed Vaasa’s beach(es).  I’m not a big beach person, but it’s nice to go hangout somewhere when the weather is so nice.  More importantly, I’ve been visited by my dad in the last three weeks so the time has flown by.  Despite the dismal state of the team at the moment, I’ve been enjoying life off the field.  It’s the absolute opposite of how I felt for the majority of my first year in Europe.

Normally in my posts I talk a little bit about our games, but honestly we’ve lost five in a row and I just don’t feel like getting into all of that.  What I do feel like talking about is the two more goals I’ve scored since my last post!  Bring in the dancing bears!

To go along with the two I already had:

That’s all I have to say about the last seven weeks of soccer.

As for my life personally, I’m starting to come around on Vaasa.  Last year at this time I had already begun a countdown of days until I was leaving.  I even packed all my things around the end of September and just wore VPS clothes for the final month I was in town.  This year you’ll all be happy to know that I haven’t packed anything (except for my shorts because apparently autumn arrives in August.  That’s assonance, asshole.  Look it up :).
 I could even see myself signing a longer contract here assuming the terms were right.  I’m not getting into what “right terms” means, but simply stating that I can happily see myself in Vaasa in 2015 and beyond.  The only requirement is that I no longer live next to the biggest de facto playground in Vaasa.

So pretty much that’s it.  Everyone can relax.  We’ve had two great trainings so far this week that are specifically preparing us for the match on Monday.  We’ll beat TPS to eliminate any relegation fears then we’ll beat Honka to be back in outside medals chase.  Then I’m going to London for a week and coming back to what will probably be winter weather in Vaasa.

The meme (I’ll do a few since I’ve been away so long):

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