It’s not everyday you see a player in your team with such flair and charisma, performing week in week out for your team. In fact sometimes I have admired many of these flair-tastic players since I got into football.
There are so many to choose from: Juninho (Middlesborough); Zola (Chelsea); Cantona (United); Ronaldinho (Barcelona); Henry (Arsenal) and even, dare I say it, Zaha (Palace). Yes even the scum get a mention – with a bad taste in my mouth too I might add – but no one can not write off Zaha at the moment, the guy is going places having signed for United!!! And these are just to name a few
All these clubs I have envied massively, being an Albion fan as there has not been that player that has come up to the exact same category of flair-tastic. Alright we have had the likes of Zamora, Bennett, Ward, Case etc all have been great players for the club but none will come anywhere near Vicente Rodriguez.
When he signed up for us, I was over the moon! I loved watching him for Valencia and always signed him up on my Football Manager games whenever possible! Not sure he is great you say?! He was so close to becoming a Galactico for 36 million euros for crying out loud! I remember him watching a Champions League game and a certain John Motson said: “Vicente, just dazzles the defence again, tremendous feet by the Spanish international.”
It was almost like a massive cock tease waiting for him to make a proper impact for the team. He had the cameo role here and there but it was evident as to why we got him on a free with his injury-proneness. Reading the Albion’s fanzine, TSLR, there was a great bit in there that summed it up: “Come on Gus, you’ve taken us on a romantic dinner, took us back to your place where rose petals were spread out on the bed with sexy music in the background. Just play Vicente now for god sake!”
But when he came, it was like the footballing gods looked down on the AMEX when he came on as a sub against Portsmouth. 2 wonderful goals, in front of the North Stand…you can tell he was over the moon taking off his shirt and showing his excitement as much as ours, he looked as if he has been playing every week with us, settled in so quickly when he graced the hallowed turf!
Gus’ reaction said it all too. Turns round to the West Stand looks up at Tony Bloom and shows the money gesture – he must be on a hell of a wage but my god it has been worth it. The physiotherapy, the coaching, the wages he’s collecting. It was all worth it.
And now, even stronger from last season, grabbed those vital 3 points against Hull. Play-offs are becoming a reality now. Vicente has returned from another injury set back and already has made a terrific contribution.
We have a strong squad, we have flair in our squad, we have Vicente to guide us to glory.