Rene(c) Sami Jock Hunt Daniel, Mike, Jimmy
Luca Meas Andi Nacho
You can’t always get what you want.
There comes a time, in every Bears life, where he must do what he does not want to do, yet he must, for the good of the group. That’s play against a Turkish team. Sunshine greeted the Bears as they started warming up prior to their game with FC Ferard (Hallo). It was debut time for rising Portuguese star Daniel, Italian underwear model Luca and Jimmy; Lieutenant Jimmy spending most of the warm-up getting the ball kicked into his face, a good sign indeed. The Bears were on a high after their first game and were confident coming into the fixture. Fc Ferard (ein dürüm döner bitte) had finished last season in second place in the third league and had won their initial game 8-0. They had high aspirations of winning the title this year and they arrived to their home pitch looking ‘on-paper’ as the stronger team.
Football isn’t played on paper though, it’s played on grass and Ferard (mit Knoblauch sauce) were to find their confidence very short-lived. The Bears were missing their first choice goalkeeper, Stóckli and our normal stand-in goalie, attacker Armands, and our third choice goalkeeper Vice-Captain Renato Gustoso was also away, leaving the Bears Godfather Luca Karten to pull on some goalie gloves – capiche? Jock made a change from swashbuckling centre-forward to his first ever time playing as centre-back.
The game started at a high pace despite soaring temperatures. Andi normally our attacker having to play an unfamiliar, disciplined role in the centre of midfield, he was straight in the action next to Measor. With pacey wingers Ferard (ein bisschen scharf) looked to get the ball down and wide as quickly as possible, the Bears centre midfield not allowing them to come straight through. After ten minutes of resolute defending from the Bears, Hunt did exactly as he was instructed not to do and went running down the wing. Sven talking with Nacho and Hunt before the game made his instructions clear, ‘Dan you must not attack, this is only Nacho, he is better, faster and more handsome than you, leave all attacking to him. You just stay in defence and try not to cause too much trouble. Whatever happens Dan remember no attacking and no fun for you’. Hunt cut inside in the final third of the Ferard (ohne zwiebeln bitte) half and with his right foot crossed the ball over their centre-half and behind their full-back for Luca to burst through on his debut. Whether it was the sheer blinding whiteness of his ridiculously tight underpants or the sweetness of his right foot is unclear, but the goalkeeper could only watch as he buried his chance to score on his debut in front of the delighted crowds.
FC Ferard 0 – 1 SC Basel Nord
The game restarted with the Bears under immediate pressure. Jock was a man-mountain in defence, a one-man army with this undoubtedly being his best performance since Four Weddings and a Funeral. Alas the pressure proved to be too much after 35 minutes, Luca had already kept them at bay with a couple of fantastic reaction saves but a quick ball into their pacey striker saw him get a yard of space and smash it into the net.
FC Ferard 1 – 1 SC Basel Nord
Canadian foghorn Mike ‘Turbo’ Seaward entered the field just before half-time playing his first game ever as a striker. Known as Turbo because of his lightning fast speed of thought and electric pace he is dangerous, but with great power, comes great responsibility. A free-kick on the right hand side of the pitch saw Ferard (ohne Salat) operate arguably the world’s worst offside trap. Turbo was first to react. He anticipated the landing of the ball as their goalkeeper came charging out. There is an argument to be made here that Mike did absolutely nothing at this point however he explained it better in his usual quiet, reserved tones – ‘HEY MAN SHUT UP OF COURSE I MEANT IT, I’VE GIVEN HIM THE EYES MAN, YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT FOOTBALL, I’VE GIVEN HIM THE EYES, THROWN HIM A LITTLE LOLLIPOP AND THE GOALIES BOUGHT IT, THAT’S AN ASSIST MAN PUT THAT IN YOUR GODDAMN REPORT’. The goalie missed the ball after Mikes dummy but Nacho certainly didn’t. With a left-foot that could make a wolverine purr he slotted it home to send the Bears into half-time in the lead.
FC Ferard 1 – 2 SC Basel Nord
The gaffer had a simple message for the boys ‘keep doing what you’re doing’, the Bears had played a fantastic, disciplined game and were very well organised defensively against a strong, attacking team. There was more emphasis in the second half on trying to retain a bit more of the ball and hold onto possession but otherwise they just had to keep tight and keep working hard to win the game.
The Bears repelled everything that came at them, the whole team grafting hard with a special thank you needed to Sami from the veterans who had come to help the Bears with us being short of players. Playing in defence next to Hugh Grant, they dealt with everything thrown at them. The second half remained goalless until the 65th minute. An incredibly strong gust of wind or maybe it was the challenge from a vicious blade of grass, sent one of Ferards (zum hier essen?) players screaming to the floor. Apparently a Basel Nord midfielder had smiled at him and of course this results in a free-kick… you know where this is going don’t you? He crashes one around the side of the wall into the bottom corner.
FC Ferard 2 – 2 SC Basel Nord
An interesting point to note – every single person for FC Ferard (nein zum mitnehmen), including their fans, irrelevant of age or gender has exactly the same haircut. I don’t know if you know that? It’s got me thinking though, is it all the same hairdresser or do you learn from a young age how to do it yourself? ‘Aww look at little (insert generic Turkish name here) he’s only gone and learnt to ride his bike and just to think last week he cut his own hair for the first time, bless him’.
So, anyway, 78th minute they run, they are approached by one of the boys, they dive through the air, they scream in a perfectly choreographed union and bish-bash-bosh another free-kick and they’ve scored 3. Luca Karten look away now. Whether he was dreaming of the Danube, thinking of his next Mafia hit or just wondering where he had left his herbal medicines, the ball squirmed under Luca and they went into the lead.
FC Ferard 3 – 2 SC Basel Nord
The Bears showed their heart and tried to claw their way back, Nacho having a late chance which he pulled wide in the dying minutes. As Nacho is unable to miss normally, questions were asked if he had done this deliberately for a lifetime supply of Diavolo pizzas? I’ll just leave that one there.
The final whistle brought play to a close and Ferard (danke schon, tschuss) could count themselves very lucky. Short on players and with most players out of position the Bears had played fantastic. Jock especially impressing in defence, both Luca’s, one Italian maestro on his debut and Don Luca in goal as well as all the other lads who had put a long, hard shift in. Tactics had been spot-on and the Bears were leading until two late goals from set-pieces. Bearing in mind the opposition are currently unbeaten it was a good performance and showed the heart and fight we have come to expect from the Bears. Anyway – enough of this casual racism, the Bears came away without three points but with their heads high.
Keep the faith.