Occasionally two poor lowly teams play each other in what would normally be deemed a meaningless encounter but the sheer magnificence of the result brings a smile to fans the world over. Well done Doncaster Rovers.
Our second victory of the season meanwhile over the Black Cats was quite simply enormous. Sunderland are adrift and like a drowning man clutching at any last hope of survival they frantically tried to hang on as we swam away from them, without any particular style or stroke, for safety. That one win alone does not guarantee anything. We don’t get to stay in the Premiership because we beat the bottom team. Quite frankly everyone should beat Sunderland and they should be relegated with the lowest points total ever. I don’t have any major dislike of the Mackems, their fans are magnificent, well, most of them anyway. They are, by their own admission, a poor team, lacking passion, fight and any light at the end of the dark tunnel. Their season ticket holders deserve medals. Losing consecutively at home to Villa and Blues must be disheartening.
A lot has been made of the contribution of the three substitutes for the only goal of the game. None of Pennant, Pandiani or Gray have done anywhere near enough to justify a starting berth. Last season Pennant was not only linking up with Melchiot in a dream team partnership but seasoned hacks were considering whether his criminal record could be overlooked in order for him to be in the England squad. In World Cup year! Pandiani was the darling of Northern Spain and courted by major clubs all over Europe, but somehow we convinced El Rifle to come to St Andrews. Julian Gray played so well at Anfield that many Scousers must have wished he was playing for them that day. One year on …
Pennant has stopped doing what Pennant does. Taking players on, delivering deadly balls and causing havoc in opposition defences. Pandiani looks like a foreigner stranded in a strange country. Gray just looks disinterested. But fair play to Steve Bruce he had the strength of his convictions to drop them and make them see what we have to see. The only difference is that we have to pay for it!
Certainly the three linked up well for the goal and here’s hoping that they can all understand what is required of them and start performing as we have expected. The situation we are in demands that they roll up their pampered sleeves and earn their caviar.
Our win in the Carling/ Worthington/ Milk/ Orangeade/ Cup was welcome despite it dragging on for most of Tuesday night against the poorest side in The Coca Cola Premier/ Nationwide/ Division One/ Two. As fans we all love a good cup run and no doubt if we get to the final fifty thousand people will complain on Central/ ITV/ Carlton news that they have been fans since the 1950s/ 60s/ 70s but because of the saturation coverage on television haven’t been to a game since the 80s/ 90/ 00s but still deserve a ticket and that nasty Karren Brady should personally deliver one to their front door. The only long term hope is that the cup doesn’t detract from the league.
It was nice for Gray to notch again and Emile to get on the scoresheet and Nico to save a penalty but most of all it was great to beat Millwall. They sing that no one likes them and they are right. There are tribes in the deepest Amazon who have never seen a football let alone listened to SkyDaz who hate Millwall. It’s a given at birth.
So now we go into the ring with Millwall’s neighbours West Ham. Everyone loves the Happy Hammers with their blowing of bubbles, east end charm, jellied eels and devotion to total football. Don’t they?
Do not forget my fellow noses that those claret and blue southern softies have failed miserably to read the script so far. Them and the Wigan Piers have both made commendable efforts to avoid the instant drop. Damn unfair I say. A big hoorah for Sunderland who at least have the dignity to be rubbish and go straight back down. These Premier new boys need to learn their role in the grand scheme of things and get back down into the bottom three. None of that malarky in the top half of the league taking the places of us big clubs with a divine right to be there. We should shake our fists at them. In a non threatening way of course. Bloody upstarts.
Quite frankly Birmingham were going to survive this season thanks to the likes of Wigan and West Ham, but their opening good form has placed a large metal tool in the machinery. Sheringham has nudged a few in with his pension book, Harewood has proved to be London’s answer to Heskey, but with goals, and Yossie looks like the best thing to come out of Israel since ……
Let’s hope this time the weather holds off and the Monday night game goes ahead. I’m not sure what this country is deteriorating into but last week’s slight flurry of snow cause my forty five minute trip home to take four hours. How would we cope if we had some proper weather? Tut tut, well it’s time for me to get my thermals on and get into my sleeping bag under the quilt after putting the heating on full.
Keep right on men. And women.