Moan moan moan

Please excuse the silence again. We’ve been struck down by pneumonia, resulting in not much activity at all.

Until I got the diagnosis I was still trying to keep on keeping on, thrashing around attempting to do my work while ignoring all the signs that things weren’t all that good. Then, when complete collapse happened (literally really), I went to the doctor’s, then to hospital for x-rays, and a few days later got some test results: pneumonia. Hade had the same symptoms but being pregnant hadn’t been sent for x-rays so was still undiagnosed, but at least now we knew and could stop trying to explain to ourselves why we hadn’t been able to shake this illness that had been dogging us for a month or so (gently at first, then like some terrible possession later on).

Anyway, with the diagnosis came a degree of peace. Right then, I have pneumonia. I can stop trying to do everything and just kick back and attempt to feel better. I wasn’t in work but in a strange way was pleased that people would now realise that I wasn’t just making a meal out of things (everyone else had had a cold and dealt with it so the fact that I was in and out of work (I’m okay now! Oh no! I’m not!) must have looked odd from that perspective). We’ve somehow got to the point where being ill is seen as a sign of weakness, and that even taking a day to rest rather than battling on feels somehow controversial, weak, guilty. It’s nonsense really. Ultimately it was quite pleasant to spend a few days just resting, knowing full well that it was the right and indeed only thing to do. I haven’t had a break like this for as long as I can remember. Perhaps I needed it.

So no football for me. I didn’t, couldn’t, go to the Villa game, and wasn’t going to Reading anyway. The idea of being outside in this cold weather is not a pleasant one. I don’t know what I’ll do for Everton on Saturday but it’s likely that it’ll be another no-go.

Which is a real shame. I’m desperately keen to see more of this Fulham team. The big question regards Bryan Ruiz, of course. As noted a few times, I don’t actually think he needs to improve particularly, his output so far being perfectly steady if not yet what it could be. Even when not setting the world on fire, Ruiz creates chances galore, so if he can do all the things that his sternest critics expect him to do, well we have a superstar then. That’s worth seeing.

I also want to see more of Berbatov, who it seems was unfairly labelled as a bit of a sloucher. It’s been revelatory to me to see just how much he does care, and he’s proving to be quite a leader on the field, both through deed and through less obvious means.

I want to pin down exactly what it is that makes Mahmadou Diarra so special. In my mind there’s a something there that allows Diarra to control the game while others merely react to it, but what is this? I need to better understand what it is that makes him so good.

What about our defence, and Mark Schwarzer? Are we seeing the beginning of the end, or have they just been undone by a bit of aerial kapowing and got the yips as a result? No doubt they’re under more pressure than they used to be in Roy’s days, but as long as the GF is exceeding the GA, all’s good, right? Just as well Philippe Senderos hasn’t been playing – it’d surely all be his fault.

And so on. It’s a curious team and an interesting one. We have some nice human interest stories and some nice challenges and conflicts to keep the narrative/drama going. Everton’ll be a test and a half, of course, but they’re usually quite good games between quite evenly matched sides, so I’m looking forward to that, too, albeit likely from the spare room sofa.

11 thoughts on “Moan moan moan

  1. Miserable is the right word. Get well soon to you both. And congrats on the impending addition to the family!

    As to the questions, here is my take: Ruiz just needs to be a little less profligate with the ball (and I think he’s getting there); Berbatov does an incredible amount and I couldn’t believe in the Guardian on Monday there was still something about him needing to run around more; Diarra provides a rare combination of supreme athleticity, silky ball-playing skills and footballing nouse (Roy Keane comes to mind); the defense looks exposed because (a) we defend so deep but not with such rigid banks of four and the fullbacks attack more, meaning that they have to deal with more crosses with less men in the box and (b) they’ve been unlucky.

  2. Wondered where you’d been. Hope you’re both back to full health very soon.
    So agree with your comments about Diarra. I love watching his silky skills and instinctive awareness on the pitch. Will watch him like a hawk on Saturday to see if i can unlock the mystery of his midfield control !

  3. There is no mystery about Diarra’s midfield control. It’s simply fantastic positioning with and without possession, body shape when receiving the ball paired with great strength, a fair amount of technical ability and the determination to fight to win.

    The guy’s just a winner. It’s what he’s done most of his career. The only question about him for me was whether he could stay fit.

    However, saying that I knew he would be good, but I have been surprised at how good he really still is.

    Dejagah is the one I need to see more of. He looked very promising against Villa when he came on.

  4. Nasty! Hope you’re both feeling better soon. Tough when you’ve got a young one to look after as well. Even a day at home never feels like you’re really taking it easy.

    I’m going on Saturday so could do the match report if you need me too.

  5. Do people take Berbatov’s pointing, shouting at teammates, frustration etc as a positive sign or a negative one? Good to see him trying to help and bring out the best in other people. But do you think he’s annoyed at the lack of quality compared to other teams he’s played with in the past?

    1. cuts both ways I suppose but at least demonstrates that he does care, rather than the rather lazy media assertion that he’s, well, lazy. You’d hope that it’ll raise the game of those around him but it doesn’t always work that way, does it? He’ll be frustrated but as long as results are okay and he’s scoring goals I’m sure he’s having more fun than he was at Utd.

  6. Yikes! My step-son seems to get it once a year. Not fun. Enjoy your recovery Rich, and I hope it’s a speedy one.

    So far I’ve only been able to watch once this season, that terrible, return to reality after an amazing start loss vs West Ham. Overall I really like what Jol has done in regards of transforming Fulham from a traditional club to a modern attacking machine. The trouble is we gamble too much on defense and, as has been alluded to above, probably need to replace Schwartzer.

    In either case, we’re playing exciting, fluid football. Considering our table position, there doesn’t appear to be any cause for concern.

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