Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Gelson Fernandes, history maker

I always knew he had it in him. I knew he was a man of history. From when I saw his début, when he shot around the pitch at Ashton Gate in that 2-1 Leage Cup win, I knew that he would be a participant in great things.

Not a great man: not Alexander the Great, or Don Bradman, but nevertheless a character on the fringes of history. Someone involved in great events, but fundamentally a disruptor, a destroyer of movements and things. Think John Wilkes Booth, Gavrilo Princip. Today Gelson Fernandes fired a close range shot into what might have been - and what could still be - one of the finest international football teams of our lives.

People thought this morning that Vincente del Bosque's Spain side could pass their way to a World Cup, to accompany their European Championship of 2008. They passed very well today, but could not break through Switzerland's two lines of four. And when Fernandes chased down a long ball in the second half, he bundled past Iker Casillas and Gerard Piqué and scored a definitive goal. The Swiss held out, and this evening Gelson Fernandes has fired what might be a fatal shot into this promise-crammed Spain team. We don't know yet if he is their assassin, or just an assailant. But his name is in the history books for ever.


pjdemers said...

Looks like I owe you an apology Jack. A few months back you predicted a battle between Spain and Switzerland and I just could not see anything but a win for Spain as I couldn't see the Swiss producing a goal against anyone, let alone Spain.

That said as far as I'm concerned I'm glad the first set of group games is over. Way too much cautious, gutless football from too many sides playing not to lose. Germany,Brazil and Chile are the only sides I've seen play with 100% commitment to attacking football and so far they have been rightfully rewarded.

Hopefully this tournament is not going to be about more Hitzfield, Otto Rehagel style football, (put 8 to 10 men behind the ball,and look to pinch a goal through a lucky bounce or set piece). I accept this mentality is part and parcel of football, just don't ask me to like it, let alone applaud it.

cherry said...

I lol'd

cherry said...

Oh I lol'd when Gelson scored.

City by the Bay said...

Was just talking to me brother" you'll never guess who scored for the Swiss?" His reply " I don't know, no hold on, not that fuc*ing eejit Fernandes?". The 2 of us laughed our heads off. Worst City player ever!!
Best City blog out there.
2 Irish City fans in San Francisco.
City by the Bay.

pjdemers said...

In response to your new piece on your World Cup Blog I Have to respectfully disagree with your singing praise for Hitzfeld's and Switzerland's soulless, spineless anti-football. I'd concede to your point if the Swiss had continually executed effective counter attacks when they won the ball, but they never produced a shot from open play in the first half and could barely get out of their own half in the second. There is nothing tactically bold or admirable about a team parking 8-9 players in & around the penalty box. Sure it creates tension and drama but very little else.

There was nothing I saw on 2nd viewing that impressed me about the Swiss (with the exception of GK Benaglio and amf Barnetta). In fact I'd argue that Spain actually lost the match. Despite the efforts Swiss Spain were still able to breach several times only to lose their nerve or over-elaborate.

Don't get me wrong JPB, I too admire tactical football, and if you want a better example tactical acumen and execution look no further than Biesla's Chile (you rightfully commended Germany), a team with few household stars who use planning & tactics to attack the opposition rather than simply stifle them.