Mickey Blue Eyes
We couldn't wait for the season to start. And once it began we could hardly wait for the first game to finish. That's how bad it was at Blackburn last Saturday. Bad in the sense that we could hardly muster an effort on goal and lost deservedly, though funny enough we played it in the same triangles in the same fixture last season - after which, naturally, nobody complained because we won. In fact the same knob heads who whined about this defeat are more or less the ones in your local who last season purred, "Pure class," after we tip-tapped it around the Rovers midfield. Nobody complained about the team choice beforehand either, but did afterwards. Hindsight, thy name is neurotic-hysterical footy fan.
Rovers did what all Sam Allardyce teams do: they made life difficult in midfield and sprung the occasional attack themselves. However, nobody with his head screwed on is going to deny they deserved this win. In the end they just wanted it more than we did. Moreover, we were playing with a right midfield that went AWOL for the entire game. At centre mid Pedersen continued his nasty little vendetta against Mikky and this time won it by a distance. Somehow, Our Boys seemed content to peak at mere competence and allowed themselves to get crowded out before they could build anything. A late desperate flurry was nothing more than a series of up and unders that never really looked likely. In fact the game looked strangely lost from the moment Tim Howard did a comic juggling act that involved him tucking the ball under his left armpit and then squeezing it backward till it dropped at the feet of someone from the Balkans or somewhere and that was that. All he had to do was adopt standard procedure and clutch it to his chest. When he raced out and caught it I said with exquisite timing, "Good anticipation, Tim, well done." Then the earth moved. Or something. Christ, footy can be cruel.
Not much more to report, really, other than this was a rare game in which I went corporate thanks to Chris and co. The food was good, the company excellent, the wine first rate, the footy chat humorous and Rovers' hospitality best of the lot thanks to Sue and Dave waiting on. Only the result gave me a bit of indigestion. Afterwards, we ended up in Macca's local in Wicker Man territory and then everything merged into a sort of footy haze. It was a long evening after such an unexpectedly woeful display. In time honoured tradition all of us sought an excuse for the inexplicable. None was forthcoming, not even from John Barleycorn. So, one way or another, we all went home. After all, to coin a phrase, tomorrow is another day.