On Monday, our day off, despite being in the grips of the aforementioned cold Ali and I had to go to Gurgaon in an effort to sort out our internet, after doing so (or so we thought) we headed to McDonalds for lunch, after getting over the intense disappointment of the branch being out of Maharaja Mac I settled for a McSpicy chicken and became an unwitting participant in a game called watch the white guy eat, with about 5 or 6 people around the restaurant including a couple of employees stopping what they were doing and turning to stare as soon as I sat down, before hurriedly turning away when I looked up! Obviously news of my managerial prowess must have spread to the malls of Gurgaon! The rest of Monday was spent chilling out before heading to the Priya complex in the evening for a spot of Indian Pizza Hut.
On Tuesday after Ali went to Moti Bagh in the morning we were excused coaching duties as I didn’t feel up to it, instead we were taken to watch some of a football tournament run by some of the IYSA coaches about 3 minutes’ walk from our house at the Shri Ram school, one of the most prestigious in Delhi. We managed to watch two under 10/11 games, the first between the home side and the Modern School, who took on the role of stoke against Shri Ram’s Santos- due to their ‘Neymar and Ganso’ pairing in attack who pulled the strings in a comfortable 2-0 win, despite the efforts of the Modern School’s Rory Delap. We then watched a team coached by Tanveer, another of the IYSA coaches play, this game could be described as a throwback as both teams clearly adopted the Dutch ‘total football’ maxim of the Cruyff era- totally abandoning traditional, constricting ideas of positions and choosing instead to chase the ball wherever it was on the pitch. In the end, Tanveer’s team sneaked a deserved 1-0 victory. After the tournament we were taken to get passport pictures which we need to give to the police and our landlord, due to not shaving during my time in India if I do ever get in trouble the police are going to be looking for a man with a whispy, and disturbingly ginger, ‘tache. Our photoshoot was followed by a return home for a nap and the mask on TV- absolute classic.
On Wednesday we were still excused English teaching duties but I felt a lot better, well enough to do a turns session with the open group at Moti Bagh which was followed by another visit to the tournament, this time to watch Vasant Valley school against the inexplicably named Scottish High. Both these teams came into the game with a big reputation and it was immediately easy to see why, the standard of football was miles ahead of what we had seen in the same age group the day before Scottish High in particular played very good football, echoing Arsenal to the extent that they lost despite totally monopolising possession and had a talented playmaker who I’m sure will be off to a richer school in summer- not that I’m still bitter. After the game we were introduced to their coach who talked to us about the team, that they were told behaviour was key to good performance and how he was focusing on long term gain over short term results, which was all very impressive. After leaving the tournament having informed him we had no way of getting people scouted and an unsuccessful attempt to register with the Delhi police we were back to IYSA for the afternoon session in which I was again with the under-11s. After the always popular ‘Robin Hood’ warm up I focused on turns and was very impressed with the technical ability of a lot of the group, the session was finished with a race featuring all of the turns we had worked on with a medal on offer for the winner. Aditya, who had won his heat and the semi-final deservedly triumphed and was very proud of his prize, despite having no idea who Bacary Sagna (who was on the medal) is! Needless to say me and Ali informed him the he is an absolute hero.
As for today, we have had the day off due to Republic day in India and so far I have spent the vast majority of it catching up with this! Sorry about writing a book and the still picture-less nature of my blogs, I’ll add some when Ali uploads his pictures onto his laptop and I’m gonna charge my phone this week so I can take some of my own! Anyway, hope everything is going well to everyone back in England, Cheers for reading. Also, well done to Raiders for their 1-0 victory yesterday…come on the lads!
Anyway, im off to fight the dog outside to try and get an illness worthy of mention. Cheers!
P.S as I said in the first post of the trilogy of blog- the internet thing we bought is still, 3 days after we were assured it would be, not working. Back to mooching of IYSA internet!