After undergoing surgery last Monday, I was told I would need to rest and recover with my foot elevated for two weeks until the cast has been removed.
The thought of sitting on my ass doing very little whilst being waited on hand and foot by my lovely wife didn’t seem the worst situation to find myself in. Until you’re a few days in and banging your head against brick wall.
After watching every episode of Bing and Peppa Pig (with my 15 month old daughter), as well as having Sky Sports News repeating itself every hour (when I get the remote back), it’s safe to say I’ve become slightly frustrated. All joking aside I’ve appreciated being able to spend so much time with my youngest daughter and my wife but not seeing any other faces for most of this week does make days seem like Groundhog Day.
A lot of my frustration comes from not being able to do anything for myself, nor my daughter. I’ve tried…and failed to do quite a few things. My wife would describe me as a bit of a “martyr”, it’s the way I am, I don’t like having to rely on people for anything but the reality is that I’ve had a serious operation and need to accept help wherever it comes from.
I got myself out of the house and got some fresh air for the first time since my operation last night. Albeit going in the car to visit some friends nearby, but being in different surroundings and around different faces definitely helped me mentally. I’m now over halfway through my sabbatical away from the training ground so freedom is in sight. I’ve definitely missed the lads too, like most teams we have a whatsapp group and I’ve missed out on the banter over the last week, so I’m looking forward to getting back amongst it.
The Week As I Saw It
Having been in all week, I’ve watched a lot of Sky Sports News as I touched on above, as well as some good tv so here are my weeks talking points-
Ballon d’Or Twerk
Monday saw the crowning of a new king of world football, with Luka Modric claiming the Ballon d’Or and breaking a decade of domination of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Though this news obviously took the majority of the headlines, the ceremony was somewhat over shadowed by host on the night DJ Martin Solveig.
After Ada Hegerberg received her award as the winner of the inaugural women’s Ballon d’Or, the host thought it was a good idea to ask if Ada could ‘twerk’.
Whilst I believe the politically correct world somewhat exaggerates a lot of things in the media these days, and Hegerberg herself has played down the incident, I can’t help but see this as an idiotic thing to say in context to the event.
It was a night where women’s football was being celebrated by having their own Ballon d’Or winner sharing the stage alongside the men’s winner. Instead, his comments are being spoken about more than Hegerberg’s achievement . Whilst some will argue that he also asked Killian Mbappé to dance to a Drake song, he totally misjudged his humour by asking Hegerberg if she can perform a dance which is seen to be quite sexual.
Every organisation is trying to be super modern nowadays, but maybe having a DJ host such a prim and proper event like that was clearly a big mistake and I imagine they’ll revert to type next year.
FA Cup Draw
Monday also saw the draw for the FA Cup third round proper. This is the most exciting draw of the competition, with all the Championship and Premier League teams entering the draw alongside lower EFL and some non-league teams. The footballing world looks forward to a David vs Goliath type draw, and it didn’t disappoint.
My team, Derby County were given a home draw against Premier League Southampton. This wouldn’t have excited many people, but the draw did throw up these games-
Everton vs Lincoln City
Tranmere/Southport vs Tottenham
Crystal Palace vs Grimsby Town
Wrexham/Newport vs Leicester City
Woking vs Watford
All highlight the magic of the FA Cup and why it is the best domestic cup competition in world football.
Solihull Moors/Blackpool vs Arsenal was the tie that stood out to me. Though there is still a replay to go, for personal reasons I’m routing for Solihull Moors to get the win and see Arsenal visit Damson Park.
Those that don’t already know, my former WBA teammate and best friend Darren Carter is ‘The Moors’ club captain.
When the draw came up it took me back to my first win in a Baggies shirt (against Arsenal) and a the match-winning wonder strike from ‘Carts’, which I’m hoping he’ll get the chance to replicate. The replay between the Moors and Blackpool comes on December 18th. Which ironically is the man himself, Darren Carter’s Birthday. So I’m hoping that’s a good omen.
I realise that I’m late to the party, but this week I watched drama/mystery ‘The Cry’ on BBC iPlayer.
I’m not someone to give spoilers but the story is based around a couple whose son goes missing when visiting family in Australia.
If you’ve seen (and liked) ‘Gone Girl’ or ‘A Simple Favour’ and you’re struggling for a new series to watch and need a stop gap while you decide, then this is ideal, with four hour-long episodes.
While I want this blog to remain fun and light hearted, I can’t shy away from the news that Raheem Sterling was allegedly racially abused during Man City’s 2-0 loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Having watched Ian Wright’s excellent documentary “Out Of Their Skin” just this week, the subject has been at the forefront of discussion on social media lately. So for this to happen now creates even more waves.
After watching the documentary I felt grateful to those black players for going through everything they did back then, to allow us BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) players today to step on the pitch today as equals…well to the vast majority of football fans anyway.
To say the dark days are back I think would be an exaggeration however, three incidents in a week show that the angry fan’s subconscious will still find those racist and hateful words or actions when pushed to the limit by an excelling player of colour.
Well done to Sterling for making a stand and speaking up. Also well done to those fans that have named and shamed the individuals that were involved in the incidents. It’s a tall order, but I believe fan power and speaking up when they hear and see these things will be the start of eradicating these idiots from our game and our stadiums.
Hope you enjoyed the read.