OMG: Pulisic Assists vs. Grimsby Town

It’s been a tiring week. I feel weird blogging on here, almost like it’s my real voice, and my fake voice is over at whereswetzler.com, my other blog. Oh God. Not good. But anyway, press on. Press on.

Let’s start off today’s blog with what you came here for, Pulisic’s assist today against English giants Grimsby Town:

The thing that’s tough for Pulisic, and Pulisic fans right now, is every single time he plays every single touch is scrutinized. If he doesn’t score he’s garbage. Assists are OK, but if he doesn’t score he’s garbage. People are wondering why Willian is playing instead of Pulisic right now. Well, Willian has a LOT more experience. Plus his hair is really cool. Does Willian produce? Absolutely not. You’re not going to get goals from Willian, even though that’s kind of what he’s on the pitch for. Basically, if people aren’t scoring goals, put ’em on the bench.

A week ago I would’ve said Pulisic had a great chance of starting against Brighton this Saturday. Now I’d say the chances are….not good. Heck, chances aren’t good he’ll even get in the game. ‘Cuz, like, Willian. And Pedro.

Pulisic will be fine. He just turned 21 years old. He’s got so much time. And we have to allow the possibility that he might not even really come into his own at Chelsea. I mean, look what happened to Mohamed Salah at Chelsea. Look what happened to Kevin de Bruyne. And where are these guys now? Kevin de Bruyne did this the other day:

This is disgusting. I almost lost my lunch after watching this. Have you ever seen a ball whipped in so perfectly?

Anyway, that’s enough about Pulisic for today. There’s nothing to say. He’ll be fine. We’ll all be fine.

Pulisic Goes Full 0 Against Wolves

Christian Pulisic played a grand total of zero minutes last Saturday, the first time he’s been benched for an entire game this season. Frank Lampard obviously found Willian to be the better option, presumably because of his experience and/or kick-ass hair. Pulisic has stiff competition in the winger spot from the the likes of: Mason Mount, Willian, and probably some other players I don’t want to mention because I’m not completely sure if they’re wingers or just regular midfielders. In fact, I’m not even sure a winger is a midfielder. In fact, I’m not even completely sure where I am right now.

Let alone what this blog post is about.

Embed from Getty Images

Chelsea play Spanish titans Valencia tomorrow at home in their first game of the Champions League. Valencia is known, among other things, for producing excellent oranges and for being home to a dialect of Catalan called “Valenciano.” Oranges should not affect tomorrow’s match, as they would undoubtedly be confiscated by customs agents at Heathrow (see: Luton [see: Standsted]).

In other news, I’m coming down from the coffee I had this morning, which means my perspective on the world is changing. Instead of feeling like I’m at a cutting edge technology center surrounded by cutting-edge minds, I actually feel like I’m at a public library in Seattle surrounded by body odor. It is unclear where the body odor is emanating from, which means I will exit the premises soon.

Will Pulisc start (or even play) against Valencia tomorrow? I don’t want to speculate. I was sure he’d start against Wolves, I was sure he’d score, and look where that got me. Instead I’ll leave you with a quote from everyone’s favorite mystic, Rumi:

We carry inside us the wonders we seek outside us.

What does that mean? It means I currently carry an energy bar inside me, since that is what I seek, which is strange because the very reason I seek it is because I don’t have it.

Seek, and ye shall have already found?

Go Blues.

-M

 

Cha Boi Back in England

They call him Christian Pulisic. Some pronounce this Christian PuLIsic. Others say Christian PUlisic. And others, usually the English, also often the Germans, and definitely the Slavs, say PuLIsiCH. What would the correct pronunciation be? I’m not going to tell you. Your vocal cords are not capable of it. You must be divine or a parakeet in order to pronounce it right.

So, following the USMNT’s sub-par (shouldn’t it be “above-par,” though? Like, sub-par, in golf, is good. When I golfed I never shot below par. And I was even on the golf team until my overweight geography teacher wouldn’t let me play in a tournament because I didn’t tuck in my shirt), Pulisic has shipped back off to England, where he’s now ostensibly preparing for Chelsea FC’s Saturday match against the Wolverhampton Wanderers, AKA Wolves. In case you’re wondering, Wolverhampton is a city just outside of Birmingham that was once described by the future Queen Victoria as “a large and dirty town.” As far as I can tell, there are no actual wolves in Wolverhampton. The city, undoubtedly, would be a lot cooler if there were.

Pulisic. Christian Pulisic.

That is supposedly what this blog is about.

Please let me gather myself.

I’m at a Seattle Public Library writing this post and, as usual, slightly uncomfortable. Yesterday I used the computers in the Central Library and the guy across from me (and also across from the guy next to me [pertinent detail]) at one point got up and said, “I’m changing computers; I don’t like sitting across from douchebags (semi-colon yours).” At which point the dude sitting next to me and I looked each other, both, obviously, trying to figure out who the douchebag was. Or at least that’s what I thought. The older gentleman to my left, bless his heart, after looking at me, said, a bit bewildered, as if sensing he should maybe be hurt, “What’s a douchebag?”

At which point I signed out of the computer and left the premises.

God, I’m sorry, I’m supposed to be talking about Christian Pulisic. Sorry. It’s just the computer I’m on has restricted access and won’t let me use Twitter. Give me a sec.

Christian did not play that well in this game. ESPN gave him like a 7 on the player rankings, but ESPN is also not where you should be getting your player rankings. You should be getting them at your and your sister-in-law’s favorite blog, Straight Outta Hershey. Where we (I), have decided to give Pulisic a rating of…6. Yes. I know. One point less. But that one point says a helluvuvuva lot. However, that rating is Pulisic COMPARED TO EVERYONE ELSE ON THE TEAM. If it were in relation to how good he’s capable of playing, I’d give him about a two. And I know that sounds harsh. And that’s because it is.

(insert Twitter embed of Christian smiling)

As I said in a previous post, it didn’t matter much how CP played against Mexico last Friday. What matters is how he plays against Wolverhampton on Saturday, and against Ajax and Liverpool coming up, should he play much in those matches. I think he will start against Wolves. But I think that’s about his last chance. If he doesn’t show some quality, he’s going to get axed from the starting lineup real soon.

In other news, Christian Pulisic is still just 20 years old, and is still the greatest soccer player in US soccer history. So let’s just take a breath for a moment. Maybe stop, just for a second, heaping all kinds of pressure on him. Instead let’s turn our attention to a quote from Seneca the Younger that’s fitting for this upcoming game:

“Throw me to the wolves and I will return leading the pack.”

 

USMNT vs. Mexico Preview: His Name is Mr. Pulisic

When I was just a young lad of 23, I studied abroad in Mexico City. Two things stand out at me from that trip: One, I dated a girl named Natalia whose primary form of communicating was to roll her eyes at me. And two, I drank enough alcohol to kill a yak. Now, anyone who knows me now knows I don’t drink anymore. This trip to Mexico was probably the beginning of the end for me, at least as far as my drinking career goes. Who knows how many brain cells I killed. Did I have a great time? Obviously. Do I regret it? Probably not. But sometimes I can’t help but wonder…

Now, you’re probably asking yourself: Why do they call it “unlimited data” when it’s not really unlimited? And that’s a great question. And the answer is they’re all a bunch of cheats and liars. I have Verizon. I’m not thrilled about it. I get unlimited talk and text for just 33 bucks a month because I’m a frugal bastard. But I hear about people paying $80 bucks a month or more for cell service, and it boggles my mind. What are you guys doing? Do you really need to stream Designated Survivor when you’re riding the bus?

You’re probably also asking yourself what, if any, significance the game against Mexico could have for Christian Pulisic’s career. The answer: not much. At this point the only thing that really matters is how Christian plays for his club team, Chelsea. He can score 16 goals tomorrow dislocate half the jaws of the fans watching him do stepovers and it will mean nothing if he doesn’t start performing for Chelsea. Which means two things need happen (maybe three [maybe eight]).

  1. He needs to stop being so damn nervous. It’s evident that when CP’s been on the field for Chelsea he’s nervous. He’s tentative. Combine that with the fact that he’s not hustling as much as he normally does and you have a recipe for him being out of the starting lineup soon.
  2. He needs to hustle more. He needs to watch Mason Mount and do exactly what he does.
  3. He needs to give the ball away less.
  4. AKA 8. He needs to put the ball in the net. Not tomorrow, but maybe tomorrow. And also against Wolves next week. And Ajax. And Liverpool.

The good thing? Frank Lampard seems to have confidence in Pulisic despite his recent performances, which have lacked luster. If this confidence continues it may seep into Cha Boi’s brain and he may start to play better.

But anyway, back to the preview.

Pulisic > Lozano.

Thanks for reading!

-MW

The Hate You Give

Twitter isn’t exactly a bastion of wisdom. You don’t go to Twitter looking for the long play, for the big picture, for a wider perspective. You go to Twitter for knee-jerk, reactionary comments usually designed to incite.

Which is why it doesn’t really bother me that everyone on Twitter right now is hating on Christian Pulisic.

For example, a thoughtful tweet from user Jamie @jmemc55. Notice the period after “Nicolas Pepe or not” that should be a comma. Notice the lack of period at the end of the tweet. This tweet was probably written while Jamie was sitting on the toilet in his mum’s house in South Essex, or wherever it is Jamie lives. It was undoubtedly something Jamie did not ponder too much before writing. It was merely a thought in his head, albeit a thought he felt strongly enough to tweet.

Which, I guess, is the beauty of twitter in many ways. It is a good way to gauge what the general populace is thinking. Is it a good way, in this case, to gauge whether Christian Pulisic is in fact “shit.” Of course not. But from it you can glean that Pulisic hasn’t played great so far this Chelsea season. And from it you can glean that if he continues to play how he’s been playing, his future at Chelsea isn’t that bright.

But obviously that won’t happen, since Cha Boi is a football leviathan who eats defenders like they were schools of krill.

Or who will do this, if just given some time.

Or who might not do this EVER at Chelsea, but who will one day do it for a big team, in a big league.

Now, one person who did criticize Christian Pulisic recently, but in a thoughtful, articulate way, was George Benson (see video above). Benson has a YouTube channel dedicated to Chelsea called “Football with George.” He makes videos every couple of every couple of days, and they’re always well thought-out (at least the ones I’ve seen), and they’re always, at least for a self-proclaimed Chelsea fan, fairly objective. It’s also good to hear what non-Americans think about Cha Boi, since if you talk to me or most other Americans we’ll simply tell you that Pulisic is a Christ figure and destined to one day usurp Messi as football’s midfield Messiah. Granted, I like to think I’m fairly objective. I realize Pulisic has not played well this season. Watching him play against Sheffield United actually hurt me in a visceral way (it was like getting punched in the stomach by a weirdly strong 8-year-old). But I also realize, and I think George Benson probably realizes this, and most thoughtful football pundits, that Pulisic has only played 3.5 games. He’s only 20 years old. Twenty. Years. Old. And he just got uprooted into the biggest soccer league on the planet.

So yeah, there’s some hate out there. In fact, that seems to be pretty much the only thing that exists on Twitter. Unless, of course, you follow Straight Outta Hershey, in which case you’ll find nothing but love.