I don’t think Keane and Quinny yet realise how deep the scars of our last two Prem seasons run. To be the worst top flight team ever – and then spectacularly beat yourself really leaves you a mental wreck. And so last night I looked around the away end and saw the expression on people’s faces I had seen two seasons ago. Not anger – we went through the angry phase in our last Prem season very quickly – but hilarity. We just couldn’t believe how comically unable we were to put the ball in the back of the net.
I assume this is something like our team we will put forward against Spurs. I hope they had some scouts watching as they will have told the Spuds that they didn’t need to send up a defence.
We had Fulop starting in goal. Talk in the pub before the match was that we had got some reserve goaly from Man U on the way. I bloody hope so. Keane might have confidence in Fulop – I don’t. McShane started and to me he was one of the few plus points of the night – strong and commanding and able to put in an excellent tackle. Along with Halford (also playing) I am really happy with him as a buy. Nuggsy was still playing in central defence. I love Nuggsy dearly – but do we think he can convert his miracle Championship centre half performance into a Premiership one. Not a prospect for the nervous. Etuhu started in central midfield and the safc.com reporter reckoned he was the outstanding player. I reckon he looked like early vintage Nuggsy meself like. Got involved a lot and did some canny things but permanently looks a micro-second away from a howler. Richardson also played and looked decent enough – subject to one howler to which I’ll come. Edwards also played and I thought he looked, perhaps understandably, rusty.
But it was up front that had the Jack Nicholson from One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest laughter coming from the away end. We couldn’t get the ball in the net in the first half (the furthest away from us – although we were in a side section). Little did we know what was to come. In the second half we had Chopra miss a virtual open goal, Richardsn (with a walk on part for Wallace) miss as easy a one – and then Stern John have a one on one against the second choice goaly for a conference (at best) quality side which he sent way over the bar. In the Prem we’ll be lucky to get one of those chances per match. If we don’t put them away we are going to be in trouble.
Apparently (again per safc.com) Keano was happy. He must have had a bloody good night afterwards. He really is coolness personified. I am please about that because if he had one percent of the anxiety we have up in the stand we would be doomed. Perhaps we are. Oh god, I am bricking it.
Well that is all there is time for from your reporter in the field – literally – I am in a tent on a campsite west of Dublin with a laptop and a Vodafone 3G USB modem. The wonders of technology eh! When you are finished whinging to the people in the tent about how dreadful it all is, you can whinge to the world at large. Off to pack up tent, head down for Cork (recharging laptop batter as we go).
Chin up as Jose would say.
John aka Herts