Friday, 5 August 2011

With apologies to Morrissey, who hardly deserves them, there´s panic on the streets of Beberibe, Peixinhos and Agua Fria. Or if not panic, then at least the mild concern that comes when four or five years of utter footballing misery and disappointment runs slap bang into consecutive draws with the not terribly mighty Guarani of Juazeiro Do Norte and Porto of Caruaru (or Belo Jardim if you prefer). Such panic is also a result of the diabolically truncated structure of Serie D which, if you´re not careful, can be over before you know it, leaving you facing another year in the abyss.

Casualties of such panic, and the somewhat short-termist thinking of the one or two bad games and you´re out strategy (closely related to the theory of three or four bad games and you´re out for managers), are the Oblomov-esque volante Helton (who is rumoured to have played at least 45 minutes for Santa at some stage this year, though no-one can remember when or where), skittish as a My Little Pony lateral Jonathan, and, sadly, potentially magnificent Eraserheaded midfielder Teti.

See A Darkness, for no good reason at all, was a fan of Teti, who showed on a couple of occasions that he had a surgeon's eye for a long, chipped pass, even if he took as long to play the long, chipped pass as a surgeon does scrubbing in and setting up for a triple bypass op. But in the end a sack-load of goals for someone or other in the 2011 Campeonato Santa Catarinense gave Marcio De Souza Jotha a reputation he couldn't quite live up to at Arruda, particularly in a miserable showing away to Alecrim a few weeks ago. If nothing else he now has another club on his impressive (quantity wise at least) CV, which currently stands at 19 teams in 13 years, including, bizarrely, four different spells at Cabofriense.

All of which leaves Santa perhaps missing a certain creative something in midfield. If Natan played more often everything would be just dandy, because Natan understands the metronomic tick-tocking that is good modern football passing, but it is becoming increasingly clear that Natan is made of whatever material is more fragile than fine bone china (though See A Darkness hopes very much that he is wrong about this).

In his absence Wesley has drive and vision, and smacks a mean freekick, but might not be the man to unlock massed Serie D defences, which frequently recall hordes of torch-bearing villagers massing around Dr. Frankenstein's (or was it Dracula's) castle.

Still, for once at least there can be few accusations that the diretoria are resting on their laurels. Five new faces have arrived in the last week or so. There is help for the defence in the shape of giant zagueiro Walter, ex-Nautico, and urgently needed, and slightly chippy looking, right back Eduardo Arroz, who should at least save Memo from his out-of-position flounderings, and thankfully ensure that Bruno Leite will never play another first team game for Santa.

More importantly, there are two allegedly creative midfielders in the shape of Leandrinho and Bismarck, the latter of whom caused much nashing of tricolor teeth last year when starring for Guarany De Sobral in The Game That Shall Not Be Mentioned. Finally, striker Ricardinho, a Santa youth team discovery back in the days when See A Darkness was just a glint in Your Life Is An Impossibility's eye, has come back to help a forward line that has scored fewer goals in Serie D than centre half Thiago Mathias.

The sad thing is that See A Darkness is writing all this in a LAN house around 2,000kms from Recife, not knowing when, if ever, he will next see O Mais Querido again. The traffic might flow more easily in Goiania, and the streets might be cleaner and the street dogs less carniverous, but there´s no Santa Cruz Futebol Club here, only poetry-free toilers such as Goias, Atlético Goianiense, and Vila Nova. All three might be in the top two divisions of the Brasileirão, but there´s no drama, no suffering, no massa tricolor, and without that, what's the point of anything?


  1. Congrats for this blog, James. Like many other Santa fans, I got to know it only a few days ago, because of your report on the adventure in João Pessoa (are you going to be there again, against Guarany-CE?)
    Glad to have you among us, helping to spread the news and history of this incredible club of the people. From now on, I'll try to keep on following your writings, so that I can improve my knowledge and my vocabulary about football.

  2. Psychic or what - we've got it going down in Blighty: sure you want to return to London for a bit?