Lisbon A Week Later and My Association with Wanderers
Okay, so I finally got to sit down and watch the Champions League finals from start to finish.
From a defensive standpoint, Atletico was so unlucky to lose that game. They made things tough for a Madrid side that only really started to dominate towards the end of the game.
Depth is certainly the issue Diego Simeone has to fix during the summer. Things may have been different if the club had been able to bring on someone of a higher caliber than Adrian to replace Diego Costa.
The game itself wasn’t overly exciting until Madrid’s late push but, as with the FA Cup finals, the result was basically inevitable once the favoured team scored the equalizer.
Taking a look a turn to look at players, Cristiano Ronaldo reminded me why I dislike him as a footballer with his celebration. It doesn’t matter what the reasoning may have been. He may have come off an injury but he did little in the game to call for that reaction. It definitely made me chuckle when Gareth Bale, despite some woeful misses, packed more of a punch through the match, and scored the eventual winner.
For anyone still not convinced by what was a pretty impressive debut season, Bale basically ended any further doubt that he’s worthy of wearing a Madrid shirt with his winner. Especially when you add that to his Copa Del Rey winner, sans Ronaldo, against Barcelona. I doubt many will ever be convinced about him being worth his €91m fee though.
Iker Casillas, my favourite goalkeeper despite his Real Madrid ties, is, as Michael Cox notes in the article posted above, certainly a cause for concern for Spain heading into the World Cup. It’s obvious his decrease in playing time, having to contend with Diego Lopez, has affected his confidence and decision-making.
In all its a, grudging, congrats from me to Madrid for “La Decima.”
And as a slight aside, let’s head in a different direction all together.
I just randomly thought of something a lot of football fans probably contend with as well. Maybe. Does anyone else have that one, or two, or three teams they have an interest in outside of their favourite? I do.
For me, one of those teams is Bolton Wanderers.
Their signing of Ricardo Gardner after his performances for Jamaica during the 1998 World Cup.
Well, him and Jay-Jay Okocha.
My interest in the club has been there since Gardner touched down on British shores in 1998 and donned a Bolton shirt. Gardner made over 400 appearances for the British side while playing a number of positions.
Gardner didn’t make that many appearances without reason, and he showed his talent on plenty of occasions. He did that while playing along the aforementioned Okocha, as well as Ivan Campo, Fernando Hierro, Gary Speed, Youri Djorkaeff and plenty others.
I’m by no means as invested in Bolton as I am with Arsenal, or even Barcelona, but I have kept an eye on the club throughout those years. Especially when they’ve been in the Premier League.
There are many other smaller teams I hope do well, except when they are playing Arsenal, but my association with Bolton has gone on the longest.
Here’s to hoping the Trotters make it back to the Premier League.