Would You Mind If I Play? - Chapter 42 - Rhythm[Updated at: 2021-01-11 03:57:27]
Chapter 42: Rhythm
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
“Let’s play the game, Zhang Jun.” Liu Peng handed the ball over to Zhang Jun.
Zhang Jun finally cracked a smile.
After the ball was thrown out, Yang Pan received it. He turned and quickly passed the ball to Zhang Jun in the middle.
The crowd booed again. Everyone thought Zhang Jun would “pass” the ball again to Liu Peng or Yuan Gang.
Yuan Gang was forced up the field.
However unexpectedly, while Yuan Gang had not caught up to Zhang Jun, he suddenly accelerated! Zhang Jun dismissed the worried Yuan Gang.
All of a sudden, the booing sounds stopped as if their heads were chopped off.
Chen Huafeng shouted excitedly, “Xiao Zhang, make sure your eyes are open! The game has just begun!”
Zhang Jun took the lead as Liu Peng followed him. Zhang Jun’s right leg was like a bow as he hooked the ball up and passed it to Yang Pan. Yang Pan rushed towards the ball and sped up! He dismissed the front defenders who came up against him. Then he made a pass!
Zhang Jun was already in front of the goalpost with Liu Peng still following him. They both jumped at the same time. The 177-cm Zhang Jun was in front of 188-cm Liu Peng and the ball was blocked away from the penalty zone by Liu Peng.
Nonetheless, Shu Guang’s attack was not over yet.
Kaka unloaded the ball lightly. When everyone thought that he was going to pass again, he made an unexpected move. The ball then drew an arc in the air and flew towards the goal.
The goalkeeper paid no heed to the ball, which went out of the crossbar.
Su Fei noticed Zhang Jun’s changes and the feeling of guilt she felt earlier finally dissipated. She could not help cheering loudly.
Liang Ke was not as excited as Su Fei, but his face broke into a smile. He said to himself, “Zhang Jun is back…”
After the corner kick, Kaka rushed forward and aimed for the goal! The goalkeeper blocked the ball out, Liu Peng performed a big kick and Yuan Gang received the ball. He turned then turned and passed it to Zhang Yi. However, An Ke got the ball in time.
As Zhang Jun had “revived”, Shu Guang took advantage of the situation; they were optimistic. Shu Guang’s four main attackers still had to face Liu Peng. He was the huge mountain that no one could bypass. Even if they could get the ball from him, no matter what the case, the ball still had to go to the front and Liu Peng would always cut the ball off at the most critical time.
Kaka proceeded to pass the ball to Yang Pan. Facing Liu Peng, Yang Pan did not have any good ideas and passed the ball back to Kaka. Liu Peng was still on the right at this point. He would not have time to get to the left lane so, they now had a chance!
Kaka speedily passed the ball to the left where Ren Yu De was. Ren Yu De displayed a dazzling array of his skills, which led to the person defending against him, Li Ding, into confusion. He did not hesitate to enter the penalty area and attempt a shoot!
With a small curve, the ball bypassed the goalkeeper’s hand but, it was blocked by a someone’s foot on the goal line.
Liu Peng kicked the ball out with his big foot as he laughed and yelled at Ren Yu De, “Just because Zhang Jun is back, don’t think that you can get through my goal.”
What a confident laugh!
Yang Pan took the ball and aimed towards the goal. But once again, the ball was shoved out of the sideline. This time, it was Yuan Gang who shoved it out.
“Liu Peng has gone to guard the goal. That leaves me here to greet you.” Yuan Gang laughed at Yang Pan.
“Have you given up attacking?”
“I think the score of 1: 0 is already a satisfying ending.”
“Do you think you guys can still endure ?”
“Let’s test it out then.”
“This is…” Xiao Zhang was surprised as he watched the match.
“Everyone’s defending,” Chen Huafeng said. “Looks like Kai Ta is determined to defend their score. But, can they persist until the end? Facing Shu Guang’s desperate offense…”
Shu Guang was beginning to exert a large amount of strength to attack. The four of them kept opening fire while Liu Peng was the only one in charge of dealing with his opponent’s firepower. He had saved Kai Ta’s goal from danger many times. Anyone who saw this would think that Shu Guang had the full advantage, but was that really the case?
“A healthy and fit body, rich in experience, calm and collected when giving commands… No wonder they have such middle defenders with rare talents!”
Unfortunately, he was referring to Kai Ta, not Shu Guang. Liang Ke still had the heart to praise the middle defenders of the opposing team.
“Is he a monster?” Ren Yu De wiped his sweat away. “He even managed to even block the ball?”
Earlier, he made a shot with full force and even though the goalkeeper pounced on it, the ball still flew towards the goal. In the end, it was Liu Peng who shoved the ball out of the bottom line.
Zhang Jun patted him on the shoulder. “He’s not a god, he isn’t flawless. After the next breakthrough, pass the ball to me.”
Kaka’s team attacked and handed the ball over to Ren Yu De. Ren Yu De did his thing; overran Li Ding and made a breakthrough into the restricted area. The opponent’s defender quickly went to recover their defense while the goalkeeper hurriedly moved to block his corner shot. They were all afraid of Ren Yu De’s many attempts in his corner kicks to score a goal. But, Ren Yu De did not make the shot. Instead, he passed!
The ball flew mid-air and Zhang Jun ran towards the direction of the ball. Liu Peng also followed in quick succession. Zhang Jun leaped and seemed like he was about to make a shot for the goal. Liu Peng extended his long legs to steal his shot.
However, Zhang Jun who was up in the air did not make any attempts to score the goal. Instead, he used his right heel to kick and the ball flew behind him!
A certain figure dashed towards the ball―it was Kaka! This time, Kai Ta’s defensive team did not react to it and Kaka was left unnoticed!
Kaka comfortably moved his legs and took a massive shot!
The ball burst into an exploding speed and sped into the goal.
Liu Peng was in disbelief as he watched the ball flashed into the goal. Zhang Jun walked towards him and whispered in his ears, “You believed a little too much in me. You believed I was going to score a goal. An excellent front attacker wouldn’t rely on himself to score. He should be able to give chances to his teammates.”
Kaka hugged Zhang Jun as he chattered endlessly. He rained kisses on him too.
“Wow…” Quite a few in the crowd exclaimed their shock.
It was not easy getting out of Kaka’s hug. He even rubbed his face against Zhang Jun’s too. Zhang Jun imagined that he would not be able to walk alone in the streets anymore. Kaka’s female fans would definitely chop him to death. This guy here… This was not Brazil, people would surely misunderstand them.
In the seventeenth minute of the second half, Shu Guang’s team managed to equalize the score with the front players’ tacit cooperation.
Xiao Zhang was still in shock. “That ball just now… Where did Kaka come from? And from Zhang Jun’s angle, there was no way to see it coming at all!”
“This is tacit understanding; it’s in their heart and soul.” While Chen Huafeng appeared to be talking to Xiao Zhang, at the same time, he also seemed like he was talking to himself.
“No wonder Liang Ke didn’t want the four to play in the warm-up matches. In truth, he trusted his team and he trusted their tacit understanding. Having such a good team and a coach who trusts them deeply, Shu Guang’s future possibilities are endless!”
After the score was even, Kai Ta ran out of ideas to defend anymore. They would not win if they stuck to offense. The opponents had An Ke so, their chances of winning were slim.
Thus, the competition returned to how it was 17 minutes ago. Both teams were mutually exchanging places and the match was becoming intense. But An Ke and Shu Guang’s back defense line remained stable. As Liu Peng was someone who knew how to defend but not attack, they had to keep the score at 1: 1.
“Is the No. 5 from the opponent’s team that powerful? Even the person with the best skills such as Ren Yu De has no way to counter him.” Su Fei frowned.
“Su Fei, have you heard of the phrase, ‘no rhythm’?” Liang Ke replied.
“No rhythm?” Xiao Zhang was in doubt as he looked at Chen Huafeng. He did not understand what it had to with the question he just asked.
“Correct. Everyone’s familiar with the word ‘rhythm’ and it’s mostly used in music. But rhythm isn’t just for music, there are many other things that have their own frequency and rhythm. They’re either obvious or too weak to notice.
“There’s rhythm whenever someone’s walking. Many people can judge whether the person’s familiar or not from his or her walking―that’s the use of rhythm. It’s the same for soccer players. For example, if I can’t see the player’s appearance or number, how would I know if it’s Beckham or Giggs?
“We can find out based on their movements. But, it’s also because their own rhythm has been accommodated into their movements. Each person’s rhythm is different and it’s the same for their movements too. The young players who are playing on the field have their own rhythms too or else, how would Liu Peng steal his opponent’s attacks? This is because he’s able to see his opponent’s rhythm. As long as you clearly observe them, you can naturally grasp onto your opponent’s every movement. So if he steals the ball at the right moment, the ball will be his.”
“Wow, so powerful! Doesn’t that make him invincible?”
“That’s not true. There’s someone who can render Liu Peng useless when he faces him,” Chen Huafeng replied.
“Him?” Disbelief was written all over Xiao Zhang’s face.
“No rhythm, don’t you understand?” Chen Huafeng looked at him.
“Is it tho―”
“To those who can grasp another person’s rhythm, there’s nothing more troublesome than someone who has good skills but no rhythm. There is no fixed rhythm for Zhang Jun when he plays; the way he plays is very mysterious. Logically speaking, a person who doesn’t have rhythm can’t properly play soccer because he may not have the intelligence for soccer. However, Zhang Jun has a special talent―he can play soccer outstandingly without any rhythm. For others players, as long as Liu Peng sees them taking the lead and running with the ball, he’ll be able to catch their rhythm. But no matter how Zhang Jun moves, Liu Peng can’t predict what he’s going to do next. Just like what happened just now, Liu Peng thought Zhang Jun was going to take a shot instead, Zhang Jun passed the ball. Actually, in the soccer industry, they aren’t able to create many professional players without rhythm. There’s so little of them that there couldn’t be any less. Because, in the professional soccer training system, the ones who have no rhythm are usually eliminated whenever they recruit new people or discover new ones.”
“So, even the professional soccer players…” Xiao Zhang suddenly remembered the bet he made with Chen Huafeng before the match. He was full of regret now. The person in front of him already knew the outcome of the match, yet he still foolishly made a bet with him!”
Chen Huafeng did not notice Xiao Zhang’s change of expression. He was still talking to himself. “Even professional players are unable to do the same. Zhang Jun, everyone’s really excited to see how you’ll fare in the future…”
Yang Pan took the ball and got rid of Yuan Gang. Shu Guang’s cheerleaders were beginning to shout, “Long shot! Long shot! Long shot!”
Xiao Zhang could not help but scream as well, “Score a goal! Use your long shot!” This resulted in him being knocked on the head by Chen Huafeng.
“A reporter must be objective and fair. How else will you write a good analysis in your articles?” Chen Huafeng displayed his place as a senior again.
At last, Yang Pan did not shoot the goal. Rather, he passed the ball to someone who had a higher chance of scoring a goal, and that was Zhang Jun.
After Zhang Jun received the ball, he started to take the lead. The big mountain, Liu Peng was in front of him. Zhang Jun slowly took control of the ball, and Liu Peng trailed after him.
Zhang Jun did not move and this made Liu Peng afraid to extend his legs. He really could not see what Zhang Jun was going to do next, so he stayed put.
Seeing that they had to retreat from the restricted area, Liu Peng decided to take a risk. He tried to stop him, but Zhang Jun made the first move. He made a turn with his left foot then went back to his original position. It followed then by another turn with his right foot.
As soon as he dropped his right foot, the ball suddenly moved to his left and he charged forward!
Liu Peng was an excellent middle defender; he quickly took one step and followed Zhang Jun.
“It isn’t easy keeping up with Zhang Jun’s speed!” Liang Ke praised.
Zhang Jun raised his left foot, attempting to score a goal!
“This has to be a fake move! You think you can trick me… You’re not going to score!” Liu Peng stopped his movement and waited, ready to steal the ball.
This time, it was not a fake move. Zhang Jun was near the penalty spot and he dashed to score a goal! He was pretty sly; the ball went into the goalpost as soon as the goalkeeper could not defend!
Goal! 2: 1! Shu Guang was now in the lead!
“That was too good! Goal!” Chen Huafeng screamed and jumped. “What a beautiful goal! Clean and tidy!”
Xiao Zhang who was next to him was not that excited. He muttered, “Only the strong can decide, the weak could only follow.”
Zhang Jun was not very excited after he scored a goal. He only waved his fist gently. After he defrauded his best friend to score a goal, he did not want to celebrate it. He was afraid of hurting his best friend’s feelings. Although it was only a game, he still thought about his friend’s feelings despite the goal.
On the other hand, Su Fei was overwhelmed with joy. She leaped out of her chair and screamed, expressing the joy that was in her heart. It was what she had hoped to see from Zhang Jun. Once he stepped onto the field, no one could stop him.
Yang Pan gestured towards Yuan Gang and mocked him. However, Yuan Gang ignored him, his face was expressionless.
Twenty minutes remained and the score was 2: 1. Shu Guang was now in the lead.
P.S.: I’ve recently read a lot of book reviews from my friends and they all say that these two chapters are very depressing. Many feel that Zhang Jun, the main protagonist of the story is weak and doesn’t stand out very much. I would like to explain this. In my opinion, it’s not that Zhang Jun doesn’t have character or that his character stands out a lot. He’s only mediocre. During the match with Kai Ta, he expressed that friendship is extremely valued, but it also attracted a few resentments. Honestly speaking, when I wrote these two chapters, I never expected such a huge reaction. Hehe, they were all against how weak Zhang Jun was. That’s not true at all. Actually, I think that Zhang Jun’s behavior defined his heavy emotions and of course, there were some exaggerations. But, art comes from life and it’s higher than that, hehe! Exaggerations can amplify his contradictions.
The main protagonist isn’t perfect. From the many reviews, you can see that not many like him. Some felt like he didn’t have character while others felt like he wasn’t as outstanding as Yang Pan and the rest on the field. Some even felt like he was too weak. They aren’t completely wrong, but why can’t they see his character development from another perspective? Hehe! Zhang Jun’s character and his struggles to reach his goal will gradually build up during these times.
He still has college and the professional league is still waiting for him. There will be more severe challenges waiting for him too. This period of growth in high school will give him a lot of help. He’s starting to grow now (Hehe, a few main characters from the Japanese comics are the same too). That’s why, he has a lot of deficiencies and he behaves unsatisfactorily in some situations. He will also be confused, jealous and make mistakes. There will be some scenes where people will find unacceptable but this is a true portrayal of his growth.
So, I hope that you and I will witness his growth and play the role of his mentor for his growth. Wouldn’t that be a better approach? Who’s perfect from the beginning? Don’t people always grow step by step? Therefore, I sincerely hope that everyone can put forward good opinions and suggestions for his growth. When we see him all grown up, we will all be very happy too!