Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dio: Biorhythms, overconfidence, etc

It seems everyone is jocking United and Vidic at the moment. The praise is long overdue, really, for the defender who has been fully dominant over the past two years. And now, after 13 consecutive clean sheets, eight games unbeaten, and some astronomical sum of minutes without conceding, as the wheels on the bandwagon, overburdened, start to show signs of strain, I think it's time for the streak to end.

It's a strange phenomenon, in life and football, when confidence becomes expectation. I fall victim to it every time I put in a good outing, with thoughts and fixed fantasies about how awesome of a player I am, only to dip into a week or two of opposite form. As Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, "[I am] happy at not being over happy", "Of fortune's cap, you are not the very button?", "Aye, nor the soles of her shoes!".

Maintaining such a balanced perspective, unbloated by (self-)adulation and media attention, is the key to being consistent. United and Vidic have done their bit over the last two months, but as the slow-learners finally jump on board, applying more pressure and expectation, I expect a goal will trickle in the wrong end this week.

It'll probably be a bit fluky. Vidic hasn't been at his best the last few games, where he was utterly and completely dominant throughout the prior three-four months, even when United were conceding. Van der Sar is up against his old club in Fulham, so I think they might be able to nick one, probably Johnson outmaneuvering Ferdinand, or something from a set-piece. Maybe it'll be the weekend match against Blackburn, but I think finally letting one through will be a weight relieved for the Red Devils prior to their landmark encounter against Mourinho's Inter in Milan.

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