All is not well in the capital. A snap election in July has left the country without a working majority government; the centre-left PSOE are looking to separatist Basque and Catalan parties to form a coalition – but the traditional Spanish electorate do not like this. They take to the streets of Madrid in what can only be described as the oldest, lamest protest ever, Spanish flags and questionable feelings about the period 1936-1975 in hand. But there are some serious consequences…Line 2 up until Goya is a f***ing nightmare.
These are not the sort of logistical problems that the squad of FC Británico thought they would be facing en route to their first game of the season against league new-boys C. D. Sporting Valderbernado. Via last minute taxis, mopeds and bikes, the FCB boys make it to fortress La Elipa just in time for a telling off from Rami about the bottles or something like that. Oh, it’s good to be back.
Dressed, warmed-up, and still not completely sure what ‘purposeful possession’ actually means, it’s time for kick-off. This is it – after the hard-work of pre-season (excluding a certain player who we won’t identify, but whose name may rhyme with Balum Bant), it is time for the real thing. A strong start is needed and a strong start was delivered emphatically in this 6-0 win, seeing FCB pick up where they left off at the end of last season.
The first half is a cagey, sometimes chaotic affair. FCB’s hopes of a clean sheet are kept alive in the first five minutes thanks to a fantastic diving effort from keeper Marco following a speculative volley from a Vaderbernado central midfielder that is destined for the top-left corner. FCB spend a lot of time out of possession, but after initial wobbliness they begin to grow into the game, and the back five of Joe, Dorus, Gonzalo, Arren and Ed are effective in shutting out any clear and obvious chances for the opposition.
As ever, most attacking joy for the Brits comes down the left flank through Harry, and it is from here that the first goal is created in textbook style: a loose ball is picked up by Will in the middle of the park and played behind the opposition right back into Harry’s path. The former Spurs prodigy makes no mistake in squaring to Ish who coolly slots the ball past a scrambling Valderbernado keeper. Despite coming against the run of play, it’s an opening goal that displayed the ruthlessness of this FCB team when playing at their best.
The game settles but FCB still struggle to find fluidity in possession – often looking long into the channels rather than finding feet. Padriag runs tirelessly and Mats works in midfield to break down any potential opposition attacks. Despite this lack of fluidity – and in fortuitous fashion – a second goal comes when Will’s half-volley from outside the area slips through the increasingly nervous Valderbernado keeper’s hands and finds its way into the back of the net.
At half-time there is a clear directive: be more confident in possession and score the next goal in order to put the game to bed. Both these things happen. The possession through a change in formation, with Eric Murphy coming on to play alongside Mats and Will in the middle of the park; and the goals – three of them, in fact – from Harry.
The first comes two minutes into the second half. A curling, tempting corner from Ed evades everyone apart from H, who nods it in at the far post. 3-0 and Rami’s heart rate drops to just 200 beats per minute.
Harry’s second is the result of a gorgeous ball from a gorgeous man. Dorus intercepts a Valderbernado attacker and finds nothing but green (artificial and boiling hot) grass in front of him. He plays an arcing left-footed (our guess is this is his weak foot but there is literally no way of telling with Dorus) pass which Harry duly chases and, as ever, calmly nets to double his tally for the season and put FCB four up.
To complete his hattrick and sign-off a MOTM display, Harry lands on the end of a Will cross, delivered from the right following a one-two with newly brought on forward Paco.
EQ, Karlos and Macca have also been added at this point, and the fresh legs prove vital in drilling down a now forlorn looking visiting side. EQ’s slick passing would have been his enduring legacy from this match, but he tries a bicycle kick in the penalty area only to completely miss the ball and fall on his arse. Yikes!
However, he does play a vital role in the sixth and final goal, teaming up with fellow Mexicans Paco and Murphy. EQ slides the ball across for Paco to deftly slip in Murph who finishes emphatically, firing the ball into the bottom left-hand corner.
Thus ended a fantastic performance for the boys in black, who put on a top performance for the fans who came out to watch – including the Argayo waiter who genuinely seems like a really nice bloke and came and celebrated in the changing room afterwards. He did not get into the showers.
Beers followed, with the added bonus of babies Telmo and Mateo coming along to join so we can officially advertise ourselves as a ‘Family Club’. As starts to the season go, this was as positive as you would have hoped for, but let’s please not let the final result distract from the most important part of the day… ‘don’t f***ing forget the bottles and don’t touch the f***ing medical bag without authorisation.’ Cheers, Rami.
Man of the Match: Harry Newman
Goal of the Match: Harry Newman
Dick of the Day: Erik Quevedo
Quote of the Day: don’t f***ing forget the bottles and don’t touch the f***ing medical bag without authorisation