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.