Football is Life: Out of the Blue, an underdog can become a King.

“An earthworm does not have claws or teeth or strong muscles, or bones; yet, it can eat dirt and drink spring water. It has focus and purposefulness. Thus without deep steadfast purpose and clear perception, and determination, there will be no illustrious accomplishment.” 
….Hsun Tzu

I was one of the people who followed Jose Mourinho to Chelsea FC. Admittedly, I was never a fan of the team and but I love the gut of Roman despite his penchant for dangling sword of Damocles each time result doesn’t go his way. I wonder if that is how he runs his businesses. He is a man who prefer to measure performance by the results they deliver. And he is also arrogant, at least to us on the outside, yet can be patience. I love his ability to keep his game in his chest. I wonder if I am a good student, yet.

And so, I took interest in Chelsea hoping they will become European power soonest. I wanted my team to succeed.. I watched as brutal hands of fate denied them the opportunities to fulfill their ambition to win the coveted Champions League trophy. One with Man United in Moscow and next with Barcelona. Those are the days Chelsea was a force in EPL. I left the team after Mourinho was shown the exit door. I am not a fan of any team: Just a fan of Mourinho and a fan of football.

This season, the team is aging and far from being impressive. They are not even in top four and are sliding dangerously under a man who had just won treble with a less expensive team. It was like a nightmare. Some players have been penciled down for exit at the end of the season, while some are becoming used to being super-subs; others have simply been judged to have passed their prime. The situation in Chelsea is not what everyone is happy about and then, the Lord of the Bridge axed the young man at the helm, thus signaling the end of AVB as the coach of Chelsea FC. His assistant was appointed on interim basis. Not because he was trusted to deliver, but to salvage whatever is left of the team and guide them to at least fourth placed finish. The Lord of Bridge has even started looking out for his replacement.

Then something happened; the team condemned as aging and expired come alive again and started a resurgence that took the football world by surprise. It culminated in their defeat of what was regarded as the best team in the world and then qualified into CL final against all odds and expectation. Out of the blue, the underdogs found themselves in the final, and out of the blue, it defeated it more celebrated and favoured opponent to win the cup. This is the first CL victory for the club in its history and it came with players and coaching team everyone thought is mediocre and need complete overhauling!

How nice to learn from football. How nice to look at life and see ourselves as players. The game of life, like the game of football is not for the swiftest or the fastest. The people we call success, best, favoured today may actually not be found when the medal of honour is to be presented. What is more, there is tendency for those well deserving of honour to be cheated, edged out or neutralized by some bullies desperate for glory. Yet, it all takes hard work.

When God decided to give the children of Israel a new king they will be proud of, he asked Samuel to go to house of Jesse and anoint one of the brothers. When Samuel comes to Jesse’s house looking for the next king of Israel. King Saul had been rejected by God—though he still sat on the throne. God said in 1 Samuel 13 that He would remove the kingdom from Saul and give it to a “man after his own heart” (1 Samuel 13:13, 14). In chapter 16 Samuel went to Jesse’s house looking to anoint the new king.

Jesse brought out all his children one by one for Samuel to behold, thinking they will be favoured, but none was chosen despite their obvious potential strengths. David was Jesse’s son and the youngest of eight brothers. Samuel looked over the other brothers and knew that God had not chosen any of them. Samuel asked Jesse if there were any more sons to consider. In 1 Samuel 16:11 Samuel said he is but a sheep tender. Samuel asked him to bring him. When Samuel saw David, he was an unassuming young boy, but he saw something in him and then brought out his horn and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the spirit of the lord came upon David. David would later be destined to defeat the giant enemy terrorizing the Israelites. He eventually became a great king. Out of the blue, God uses unexpected people to achieve great vision and out of the blue, He brings out the best from those we thought are nothing, expired.

It is the way of God that things don’t always go according to men's expectation. Out of the blue, the man you thought is a confirmed failure may become the saddle upon which you shall ride to your own glory or he may be the one to outwit you in the race. Don’t ever underestimate anyone.. Men generally don’t see beyond their noses. They trust in their five senses and lost contact with the reality... They trust their intellect, and their wits. The reality is that strange things are still happening, positive and negative; visible and invisible. And the people who will contribute most into your success are more likely going to be strangers, who you have given no chance in the first place.

Out of the blue, a weak man may become strong, a weakling become leader, and a gentleman become terror... Things happens, but not by accident. The man who came out of the blue and become a hero didn’t get there by sleeping and daydreaming; he must have been secretly prepared for the task ahead but may not be aware of his own potential until someone enter the picture and then become a part of him, eventually turning him from a nobody to a champion. Hsun Tzu one noted “An earthworm does not have claws and teeth and strong muscles, and bones; yet, it can eat dirt and drink spring water. It has focus and purposefulness. Thus without deep steadfast purpose and clear perception, and determination, there will be no illustrious accomplishment.” I strongly suspects that these people or group coming out of the blue to steal success from jaw of defeat and become heroes from zero are not just there but luck alone. They must have equipped themselves with some other qualities that made them stand the ultimate test. David certainly didn’t kill Goliath with sling, out of the blue. He had been practicing while tending his sheep. Out of the blue...strange things are happening... I can see greatness in underdogs…. What do you see?

…Isqil Najim

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