Last night seemed a watershed of sorts, and it was difficult to pass it and remain in upbeat mood. Pete Sixsmith adds his own thoughts to Andy Nichol’s excellent analysis
Thank you, Setanta.
At the end of this feast of football, I breathed a sigh of relief. Not at the result, because that left me feeling deflated, but because I had avoided spending in excess of £50 to watch what can best be described as a load of old rubbish.
I watched it courtesy of my new friends at Setanta Sports. During the summer I replaced my wheezing ex Radio Rentals Philips with a brand spanking new Panasonic LCD with Setanta slot. This was my first excursion into TV football having failed to be seduced by the wretched Murdoch and Sky Sports.
The Setanta offer was a good one. A mere £9.99 a month to watch some Premier League games and a whole host of SPL and Blue Square Premier was a bargain so I grabbed it with both hands and up until Monday have enjoyed the new kid on the block.
On Sunday I watched an action packed Edinburgh derby and competitive Yorkshire derby between Farsley Celtic and York City.
On Monday I watched a game that was an ideal cure for insomnia.
Manchester City were not very good. Like West Ham they were there to be beaten. Like West Ham they produced a moment of quality that undid us.
In the whole 90 minutes, it was the only one. Vassell turned Nosworthy, put over a great cross and Ireland banged it in. He was unmarked. Harte had wandered across into the middle and Wallace had failed to pick up. You might get away with that at Barnsley but not in this league.
I fear we will be at Barnsley again next season.
Positives? well I can’t really think of one. “Tidy and competent” are not positives, they just emphasise the weaknesses. You want to be writing “pacy and exciting” but I don’t think we have a player in this team with any real pace.
Leadbitter, I thought, did well enough but he can’t win a game for you. Will it be any better if/when we get Edwards back? I would like to think so, but can we expect the whole season to turn around when a player with no Premier League experience is available? Is Yorke fit? What about Richardson? Has anyone seen Andy Cole? Who is Russell Anderson?
This team reminds me of Peter Reid’s squad that was relegated in 1997 – lots of polite comments from pundits about how we are nearly getting there and then a dismal, avoidable relegation. Eight points at this stage of the season is at least 10 short of where we needed to be.
It’s going to be a long hard winter and we need a win on Saturday to get us through it. Allardyce must have travelled home with a spring in his step.
We need to make sure he shuffles out of the Stadium on Saturday on his way to collect his P45