SPORT - STOCKI SURMISING

MY FANTASY LEAGUE ANGST ON PREMIERSHIP EVE...

Fantasy

Premiership-eve. The day we have waited for since mid May. It is a big and stressful evening for millions of us. Teams need picked for the opening day of a new season of Fantasy League.

For weeks I have been working out how to maximise my £100 million budget. 

How many big players can we afford. What are the cheap players that are going to come through? Over the past few years the big scorers have become defenders when at the genesis of Fantasy League you always needed goal scorers. 

So where do I invest? Will new signings fit in quickly? What about players from promoted teams? 

Of course it is a marathon not a sprint and my Fantasy League Team will bear little resemblance even in October to the team I will begin with tomorrow evening. 

However, a good start is better than a bad one though it is amazing how quickly the team at the top of your particular League this Sunday night might drop away within a few weeks.

I am a believer in starting solid. I will choose players who have proved themselves in the past couple of years. I will have to risk with my cheaper purchases but as little as possible. 

Of course, there is some luck in this game. One of the biggest factors is choosing the right captain every week as their points double. It might be luck that my player scores a hat trick and yours doesn’t score at all. That might happen week after week!

BUT let me say that as I have followed this game for some 15 years and been involved in a Fitzroy League for 10 that the final standings will have little to do with luck.

As I look at our league I know that reigning champion Jonny Fitch, Jude Holohan and John McMullen, who blew us away last season, will be the big 3 to beat. Isaac Orr, who I baptised about 12 years ago will be setting his sights on the top 3 too. Like cream the same names always come to the top season after season and David Hall is lurking!

Last season was a good one for me and a good start was vital to that. The biggest questions are how many £11.5 players you want to try to sneak in. My questions are about whether Haaland will hit the Premiership running? Will Salah be as great as ever? Are De Bruyne and Son as good for a million pound less? Oh and there are other questions about Eriksen, Diaz, Grealish, Foden and Maddison?

Then it is what formation? Five defenders? Three Strikers? Who to make captain? 

I took a rush of blood last night and changed 5 or 6 players before thinking better of it. This is the night to double doubt. “Solid Steve". You said “Solid”. 

Cannot wait to see your team tomorrow night! 

Bring it on!


THE LIONESSES - EURO WINNERS AND CULTURE SHIFTERS

Chloe

I don't cry a lot but I cry a lot at sport.

I don't weep in defeat but in victory I can literally cry my lamps out. It is not necessarily a team I support. Actually it is more often an individual, very often times athletics.

It is a strange quirk, not my only one by any means (!!!), but I often wonder when I am crying for some Jamaican athlete who has just won a 100m Olympic final why my eyes flood. My parents were athletes and I grew up around sport - they also played rugby, soccer, hockey, table tennis and latterly golf. Something in my nurture causes joy to erupt from my inner being when I watch someone achieve that moment.

So, yesterday I was weeping freely when the Lionesses won the Euros. Every new interview. Chloe Kelly running off with the mic to sing Sweet Caroline mid interview!! Tears.

Now, there is the first thing about these Lionesses. I stopped trying to count the number of Irish friends who confessed to cheering them on.

Anybody But England is our usual posture not because we don't like the players but we are so fed up with the arrogance of the commentators. These women shifted the cultural boundaries of support and for 120 minutes wound the Union tighter than our politicians care to do.

Secondly, there. was the cheer joy. This entire tournament has been played in a spirit of utter joy. The Lionesses exuded it. This was something different from a men's tournament.

Women are different than men and they bring a different sensibility that together we need to share with equality. Football saw how it needed it. I would argue that the Church very much needs it and the world.

That joy was contagious. There were so many stories so forgive me if I use two Manchester City ones. Former City midfielder Jill Scott. 35 and currently unattached, was in the team that lost the 2009 final to Germany 6-2. Thirteen years later and she has redemption. Tears.

BUT... the most tears are for City striker Chloe Kelly. Injured in April she fought back to make the squad. This is the girl who used to get the bus from home to Wembley just to buy a programme and get the bus home again. Here she was... and she reacts quicker to poke in the goal that will be shown to and for generations to come. 

As if scoring the iconic goal was not enough, this morning's papers are littered with Chloe's celebration. Watch after she scores. She goes to lift her top. She waits. She is unsure if the goal will stand. Then, knowing she has possibly made history she takes her shirt off.

Many pointed to the USA's Brandi Chastain who took her shirt off after a winning penalty in the 1999 World Cup Final. I would suggest that the photo above hints at that Aguerooo moment from City's 94th winning goal to seal the Premiership in 2012. As a City player Chloe would have been overdosed on this image all year. That windmill effect. She was looking for iconic and she got it!

The shirt off and running around Wembley in her sports bra has already had Gary Lineker in bother. It needs to be seen for how it was. As someone else has written, it is an image of a woman's body freed from sexual exploitation highlighting that a woman's body should be respected at the peak of sporting achievement.

Make no mistake, these Lionesses are culture shifters. I have been enjoying the WSL for a few years. The skill and technique, check the utter quality of Ella Toone's opening goal, can be more enjoyable without the bullying in the men's game. How many young girls will take up the sport now? 

I am thinking of my Primary School friend Caroline McClure, first picked every lunch time. The Carolines of 2022 might have a professional future in the sport. I am thinking of my wee friend Hannah, 21 with all the ability, balance and strength. Get down for a trial at Reading young woman. These Lionesses might have opened a door in your world too.

So Lionesses, thank you. Continue to enjoy. Drink it in. And just to warn... after a couple of World Cup wins we might go back to default. It was a big ask cheering for England! 


RORY! RORY! RORY! - I SURMISE!

Rory Travellers

Rory! Rory! Rory!

I say those words most weekends that Rory is playing. After a long iron to 2 feet from the pin... and after another collapse, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory!

I am a huge Rory McIlroy fan and maybe as a result his biggest critic.

Last night in the second round of the 2020 Travellers Championship, Rory played a caricature of his game. Starting the day at 8 under par he played quite beautifully to be 13 under on the 12th tee. Xander Schauffele was the only player able to stay with him.

And then… Rory went into Rory mode. Rory played the next 4 holes in 6 over par that included a quadruple and double bogey. 

I have been watching golf for 50 years and I have never known anyone like Rory. To be playing like he the best natural golfer in the world, that he without question is, and then play worse than I would expect to play myself. Nicklaus didn’t do it. Tiger didn’t do it. Only Rory.

I use the names of Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods intentionally. After Rory won his first second Major in 2012 he made it clear that he was no longer playing for money but for records. He had his sights on Nicklaus’s 18 Major wins and when he picked up two more in 2014 it looked like that was very much on. 

No Majors since. Oh many will remind me he has been world number 1, Player of The Year a few times and he has just won his 21st USPGA tournament. BUT… that is not what Rory was playing for.

As the commentators floundered in disbelief - “bewildering” “unfathomable” - at his collapse on those holes yesterday my mind went back to that 2011 Masters when he blew a 4 shot third round lead with a mental collapse on the back 9. That evening my alarm bells rang loud. Rory was the most naturally talented golfer on the planet BUT did he have the head.

The head is so important. In sport confidence pulses from it. Resilience too. When a tee shot goes astray can you refocus? Too often Rory highlights his biggest weakness. He has head melts. It actually costs him almost every week. Some weeks I watch and feel deeply sorry for him travelling home knowing that he blew yet another win. Sometimes before he even begins. Remember the opening hole at Portrush?!

So… why? Well I have two surmises.

Firstly, I wonder about his leaving school too early. Rory didn’t need to stay at school. He was so unbelievably talented that he knew he’d never need A levels. He would manage financially.

It was a short sighted and flawed error. The mental side of sport is so much a part of it. Watch the footballers Guardiola and Klopp sign and you will see that as well as talented they are very strong mentally.

Golfers spend time in the gym to be as strong and fit as they can be. The mental muscle needs developed too. Most of Rory’s competitors did not leave school early. They went to Universities across America and developed their minds as well as their physiques. I surmise that Rory has suffered for not going own that route. 

Then secondly, there is his only child syndrome and his choice of caddie. Only children don’t like being told. I am one. I know. We had no brothers or sisters to call us out and put us right. We have a tendency to avoid those who will.

Harry Diamond is a good lad, a good golfer and I have no doubt a very good friend. Yet, as we watched Matthew Fitzpatrick winning the US Open with Billy Foster on his bag I couldn’t help wonder how many Majors would Rory have won if he’d had the courage to employ an experienced caddie. Someone who'd been there, talking sense to him, giving him a strong talking to when needed?

Now, Rory is only 33. He still has an opportunity to make a dent in that target of 18 Majors. I so really really hope he does. Whatever he does do this mental frailty in his make up has cost Rory many many Majors and other tournaments. It's a shame. 

I still think he can win the Travellers this weekend BUT I’m buckling in for the ride!


SURMISING THAT GUNDOGAN MOMENT... THE HURT AND EUPHORIA!

Gundoganwinner - cropped

“Are you watching that again?” Janice asks at tea time when I am watching Ilkay Gundogan’s winner against Aston Villa that won the Premiership for Manchester City.

“Again… and again.. and again.. and again…” I reply.

As a minister I take Monday’s off and today was dedicated to coming to term with yesterday’s final day of the football season and all its drama. I watched Match of The Day, then the aftermath of the Sky Sports live coverage. I watched various videos on the City website. At tea I am watching that goal… again… and again… I am watching City’s victory parade as I type!

Looking back it was almost predictable. As I sat down with my mate Boyd, with Monty and Philip on our WhatsApp Match Day Support Group, we were nervous. We all remembered QPR from 10 years ago. Lightning surely wouldn’t strike twice. We couldn’t save ourselves in injury time again. 

If we went one down… we did… if we we went two down… we did. We were there again. It was almost unbelievable but we had almost felt we would. Against a team whose season was over and should have been on the beach we find ourselves huffing and puffing with no real threat and we’ve conceded almost two similar goals to that game ten years ago.

As we said… it couldn’t happen again. Our heads were down. Our hearts were sore. It is hardest to take losing the title when you throw it away in the final game. 

We were starting to ask the what ifs? We were starting to question Pep’s team selection in big games. We were starting to complain about having no out and out striker. We were starting to say how Liverpool can get themselves out of these games but we struggle…

And then Sterling gets the ball. What’s he doing… that shimmy to the byline… that cross… GUNDOGAN… goal!

Wait a minute… well a couple of minutes and Zinchenko cuts inside like a tricky winger… precise pass… Rodri with pace and perfect placement… goal! 

What is happening? Can it happen again. It is the hope that kills you… loose ball… watch Kevin De Bruyne beat three defenders to the ball… pass… GUNDOGAN again… GOAL! Boyd and I are on our feet screaming with every sound that our bodies can release. 

What just happened. It will go down in Premier history as the magic mad five minutes but… stop… stop Stockman… surmise…

Stop questioning Pep’s big game implosions. Pep fixed it. Today he changed it at half time. Zinchenko on the left and Sterling on the right. Instead of cutting in where Villa had more than matched us, take them wide. Then Gundogan. He has been our most natural midfield striker. He seems to know just where to be and when to arrive. Today he knew that to perfection. Pep got it right.

Stop questioning the character. Not only were we two down this weekend. We were two down last weekend at West Ham. Two games in a row we needed to show courage and resilience and belief.

Start remembering this decade. 4 titles in 5 seasons. 6 in 10. As a City fan I couldn’t have dreamt this 15 years ago. Oh and I know that is the cue for people to talk about money from the Middle East. It sits very uneasy, I will admit. I wish it didn’t have to be like that. 

I wish it could be 1975 but it isn’t. And you can’t buy it. United have spent a lot of money and got worse. We bought Rodney Marsh in 1972 and it cost us the title!

I feel for my Liverpool supporting mates. They’ve topped 90 points twice recently and we’ve sneaked it. Maybe all teams that get 90 points should be given the title! They are also on for a possible treble though I’d say don’t assume anything at any time against Real Madrid!

In the 44 years between our 1968 and 2012 titles I thought winning once would be enough. Winning regularly could get boring and less emotional. I’ve had to rethink that surmise too. When you win it with all the drama, nerves, pain and utter euphoria of yesterday it is not at all boring. 

So let us see how Haaland makes us better next season? Whether Grealish can come into his own? How good Foden can become? And… if we can hold Liverpool off one more time! See you in August. All to to play for… and in the meantime… CHAMPIONESE! 

Now... Match of the Day...one more time.


JOSH ADAMS - OUTSTANDING MOMENT OF SPORTSMANSHIP

Josh Adams

As if the result wasn’t enough. Italy beating Six Nations Champions Wales 22-21…

It was the unbelievable manner of the win. Leading for almost an hour it looked like Italy had ran out of steam. Wales began to dominate and as the time reached 78 minutes there was really only one team who would score any more points - Wales.

And then… then Ange Capuozzo picks it up well inside his own half and starts running. It seems that he has taken a wrong option and was running right into an army of Welsh defenders BUT a brilliant side step and he is away. A pass to Edoardo Padovani and he runs in under the posts.

Italy are within a point with a conversion under the post. Paolo Garbisi duly obliges and it has to be said that whatever happens in the rest of the evening, perhaps an Irish Triple Crown, and then maybe a close call between Ireland and France to win the Championship, this moment will probably be the definitive historic moment of the 2022 Six nations. 

Italy without a win in 36 games win. In such drama. With such genius.

As if all that is not enough commentator Jonathan Davies had given Welsh winger Josh Adams the Man of the Match award for what seemed to be his own moment of genius and try that seemed to win the match for Wales.

Just a second too late to give it to the iconic player of the match, perhaps Championship Ange Capuozzo.

Well on a day when genius had one over drama that had one over historic result… there is more…

After the final whistle when Italians are weeping tears of utter joy and Welsh players are hanging their heads in utter dejection, a beautiful moment of sportsmanship. 

Having been presented with his Man Of The Match medal Josh Adams immediately seeks out  Italian hero Ange Capuozzo and hands it to him. That is utter class and is to be celebrated. 


FOOTBALL SCHIZOPHRENIA - REAL LIFE AND OR JUST FANTASY

FL team

"Is this the real life/Or is this just fantasy" - Queen

 

“I suppose you’ll be happy if Brighton score twice in the second half and beat Liverpool?” says my father-in-law at lunch.

Bryan was 86 this week and like many of his age new tricks don’t come easily. I don’t think he can fathom at all my football fandom schizophrenia when I answer that 

I would like that Bryan because it would give City that extra wee gap at the top of the league but on the other hand I wouldn’t because I would like clean sheets for Van Dijk and Trent Alexander for my Fantasy League. A goal from Salah would help too!

Isn’t that what Fantasy League does for you in these last 10 games of the Premiership season. It is a sporting schizophrenia. In the real world you want this. In Fantasy League you want this.

Can I suggest that it is more difficult as a Manchester City fan. Pep’s squad rotation in the latter stages of the Champions League play havoc with your Fantasy League head and eventually after De Bruyne is rested for more games than you can afford you have to look elsewhere for Fantasy League consistency. As it stands I only have one City player in my Fantasy League team.

Jurgen plays a more consistent game although that is starting to change. Jota and Diaz seem interchangeable just now so Jota had to go. Salah though is in every team sheet. He is also the highest scoring player in Fantasy League and you never have to ask questions about who to captain as he rarely lets you down. He’s scored while I have been typing!

In the old days I would never have had a United player in my Fantasy team. I didn’t want to want Rooney to score a hat-trick to win my Fantasy League head to head. Now that I would sign them there is nobody worth signing!

As it was with United it should now be with City’s main rivals Liverpool but I take my Fantasy League more seriously now and need their points! I probably also like Liverpool more than I ever would United.

It all leaves me with a football schizophrenia. Football is a love that is deeply embedded at an early age. I do not remember a time that I didn’t have a ball at my feet and wasn’t watching football and working out the best players. 

Subbuteo was my first Fantasy League as my mate Frank Kelly and I choose our favourite players across clubs and indeed countries. Frank’s Peter Lorimer to my Colin Bell.   

As a result football results can effect my mood. City win I am a happy boy for days. They lose. Oh my. Don’t look at me. Janice suffers that mood! It is almost the same with Fantasy League. My captain scores, adds an assist and I have a clean sheet or two. Good times. On a week that no one making an impression… Unhappy.

So the next couple of months will know tensions inside of me, between my City fandom and Fantasy League interest. You might understand. Empathise. If you don’t, don’t laugh at me. Pray for Janice!


MY TRIBUTE TO SERGIO AGUERO

Sergio

So, Sergio Aguero has had to retire for health reasons. A sad day.

I was on holiday in Spain in 2011 when I read about City signing an Athletico Madrid player called Aguero. In the restaurant where we had our meal that evening the waiter was English. He’d been living in Spain for a number of years. He was a United fan! Near the end of the meal I asked him about this new signing, Aguero? He looked serious for a moment and said that he was gutted that he had gone to City. He’s fantastic, he added.

Not much more than a month later and I knew what he was talking about. Coming on for his debut as a 59th minute substitute Aguero scored a tap in and a 25 yarder and in between assisted another goal for David Silva. I like him already!

I had of course no idea how much I would like him! Without doubt over the next few years Aguero was a reason that City won trophies. He had this ability to kick a football at any height and from any angle. His balance. His agility. His eye for the ball and the goal. He scored every kind of goal, as that debut suggested he would. 260 goals in 390 games for City. Amazing. 

Yet of course 259 of those goals pale into insignificance when we remember that one of his goals is the most iconic goal in City’s history and maybe Premier League history. 

I of course missed it as it happened. I stopped watching after 87 minutes and took myself off to the garden where I stood heartbroken waiting for the inevitable. One up any half time, only City could contrive to lose the title on the last day of the season, against ten man team struggling to survive relegation. 

From the garden, I heard a cheer and felt sure it was the United fans down the road. As I slouched my shoulders to go back inside and face the misery my mate Monty is at the back door with a smile as wide as the height of him. What had I missed? Dzeko’s equaliser in jury time and and then 20 seconds into the 94th minute - AGUEROOOOOO! City had won the League for the first time in 44 years!

Having missed it live I watched it back every single day for a week and wept every single time. The build up, Balotelli’s outstretched leg, his only assist of the season, Aguero’s touch and shot and then that running away with his shirt swinging like a windmill! Wonderful. 

And if you watched as the news trickled through to Manchester United who thought they’d won it. Seeing the smirk wipe off Sir Alex’s little face as he comes to terms with the impossible and his chewing of gum slowing down to an almost choke. Wonderful.

It is ten years since that first title. 93.20 is on City shirts this season as a reminder and celebration. The Aguero moment!

Last season I could see that Sergio was struggling. Not only did he seem to be getting a lot of injuries but he was finding it hard to get his fitness back after each one. I suggested to my City supporting friends that it was over. Aguero didn’t have the physique to be a Ronaldo. 

It is a shame that he retired in Barcelona. The injuries that I had feared meant that he only scored one goal in just four games for Barcelona. It would have been a much more meaningful send off if had happened at the Etihad. That is where his life’s work was played out. That is where is legacy is.

It is a sad day but a good decision to put health over football. Hopefully very soon he can step out into that pitch in Manchester where he created his legend and get the ovation that his career deserves. I wonder what that United supporting Spanish waiter is thinking a decade on. 


EMMA RADUCANU - STOCKI SURMISES

Skynews-emma-raducanu-wins-us-open_5509678

Emma Raducanu? What? How? Extraordinary.

I think on this side of the US Open it might be easy to downplay what 18 year old Emma Raducanu just did. Tim Henman kept saying, “it’s a joke”. He didn’t mean funny haha. He meant weird and bizarre and unbelievable. 

Tim knows. Years and years of trying and he never won that elusive Major. Andy Murray knows because of how long it took him to break Britains 70 plus years without a Men’s Wimbledon title. British tennis fans know because it was 44 years since Virginia Wade won Britain’s last women’s Major.

Yet, here is Emma. Doing her A levels in June. Getting to the second week of Wimbledon where she wasn’t beaten on the court but by something physical and had to retire. 

Here’s her second Major. She had to qualify. So, in three weeks she played ten matches. Won them all and didn’t lose a set. Not one set. 

We do remember she is only 18. Yet, from nowhere this young girl arrives in the international tennis world as a complete package. She has all the shots, a tactical mind, a mature choice of shots and a composure of cool. She’s an athlete too.

So without all the years of work she just goes right to the top of her sport. In a few weeks. It is indeed a joke. A ridiculous idea. Almost unbelievable if we hadn’t watched it with our own eyes and her name hadn’t been inscribed onto the trophy.

It was quite the final. If Raducanu is a teenage wonder, she isn’t the only one. Her opponent Leylah Fernandes is a Philippine fighter out of Canada who has heralded her arrival on the same world scene. Tennis could do with these teenagers becoming the Federer and Djokovic of their era. More finals like last night’s would not go amiss!

Both players showed a maturity beyond their years. Yet, at the crucial and controversial moment Raducanu had a little more. An unfortunate cut with blood running down her leg at 30-40 as she served for history might have been seen as a blessing in disguise as a time out gave her a chance to compose herself. As she said though she had to get back up and serve a break point down. Fernandez unfortunately let her disappointment cause her to lose composure. Mental win for Raducanu… and the match… and championship.

It was a Fairytale in New York, She was so astounding at Wimbledon that I wondered against my own rationale that she might actually win it. In New York she has. What happens now is going to be interesting. 

If she keeps her head and doesn’t get injured the tennis world and every possible record is at her feet. It is hard though to keep her intensity for 10 years never mind 15. She’s also a millionaire overnight and her talent and title and smile are a sponsor’s dream. She’s is going to have to deal with the money and fame - fast. Let us hope that she can.

Finally, her teacher. You know they old story. “Emma you need to knuckle down and get grades. Tennis is not a secure career.” With no British Women’s Majors finalist in 44 years who’d blame the teacher. Well Madam… or sir… she just earned twice as much money in three glorious record breaking tennis weeks than you will make in your entire life. At least you have a story to share at parties!


TRIBUTE TO BRIAN KIDD - A CITY & UNITED HERO

KIDDO

It is a sad day for Manchester City fans. It should however be a day of celebration and thanks yous.

Brian Kidd has stepped down from the coaching staff after 12 years at City. They have been, of course, the most glorious 12 years in City history. 

It is much bigger than that for me personally. As a kid (see what I did!) I was a Manchester United fan. The first match I remember watching all 120 minutes of was the 1968 European Cup Final. Manchester United beat Benfica 4-1. My hero George Best scored one… Bobby Charlton scored two… and on his 19th birthday, Brian Kidd scored the other.

That night he helped fulfil Sir Matt Busby dream for a European Cup.

53 years later he was on the coaching staff, this time for the sky blue side of his home city, this time on his 72nd birthday to help City fulfil the same dream. Sadly City let him down. What bookends those would have been.

In between Brian Kidd has led an amazing career criss crossing the city. He played for United 67-74, then, after two years at Arsenal, starred in a very good City team 77-79, scoring 44 goals in 98 games!

Later he went red again and was Sir Alex’s right hand man 91-98 before arriving back at the sky blue side in 2009.

Something makes him unique and I believe gives him a most special part in the history of Manchester City’s two football teams.

He was there beside Ferguson in 1993 when United won the league title for the first time in 26 years. Iconic pictures of both of them on the pitch. He was also there 19 years later beside Roberto Mancini when City won the title for the first time in 44 years. Iconic pictures of him and Mancini after the Aguero moment!

I’ll miss him. He was that link between my childhood and now, between my old heroes and now. He’s been the one permanent since I started watching football. Some memories. Some career. Some man. Brian Kidd, a Manchester hero.


SURMISING CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN'S COLLAPSE

Denmark fans

I have never been so glad that I fell asleep during a football match. I woke up to texts and social media messages. Was I watching? We cannot believe what we are seeing. I quickly found out that footballer Christian Eriksen had almost died on the pitch, having been taken seriously ill during the European Championship match while he was playing for Denmark against Finland. 

I missed the near tragedy and the trauma that millions had to go through live on their TV screens. I was delighted and relieved to know that he was awake. My heart also went out… to millions.

When people are struck with illness as Christian Eriksen it is usually private and quiet. Has it ever been so public? 

It did not surprise me that it was Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel who got his team to make a circle of protection and privacy around his team mate. 

For me, Schmeichel is a hero. It is not the first time he has raced to a tragedy. He was first on the scene when the Leicester City Chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha's helicopter crashed on take off  just a few years ago. He is then seen consoling Christian’s wife Sabrina during last night’s tragedy. What a human?

Yet, nothing could cover up the trauma going on in that football pitch.  I pray for those players. The team mates who stood surrounding their friend as the paramedics fought for his life. I cannot imagine what emotions they were suffering. 

Or Christian’s wife in the crowd. Or the Finish team. Or the match officials and managers and crowd in the stadium and watching on TV. I pray for everyone who went through the trauma.

For sure the match should not have restarted. There was no way that Eriksen’s team mates could have been in any state to give their best. They should have given a nil-nil and moved on. However, that is now gone.

I continue to pray for Christian himself and his family. Please God may he be back to health and strength very soon. I pray too for everyone still struggling with the events they were caught up in.

I also found it fascinating how when thrown into such events, people start talking about sending “best wishes” “positive thoughts” “all my best thoughts”. They seem to have reached out in their desperation for something beyond themselves.

It sounds like prayer to me. Atheists might suggest that this is why people created God in the first place. A crutch? Somewhere to go for help when they had nothing left in themselves. 

I surmise that it might be the other way around. Maybe there is a spiritual soul within us that is aware of something, someone, somewhere. Maybe it is our natural instinctive reaction to pray because it is part of our human DNA.

Whatever… as Sam Smith sang a year or two go:

 

Maybe I'll pray, pray
Maybe I'll pray
I have never believed in you, no
But I'm gonna pray

 

 Join me with whatever you define your good wishes. Get well soon Christian Eriksen.