Saturday, December 30, 2006

Justice Done at The Valley

I didn't see the game today. The Queen Mary British Pub here in Florida perhaps wisely concluded it wasn't worth their while opening at 7.30am for one person, and I couldn't face listening on the radio choosing to have a game of tennis instead. If finding out via mobile phone that Fulham had equalised on Wednesday was painful, then the same method of communication was nothing but joyful this morning.

We had to win today and as I write, the other results are not going too badly either. Our best hope might be for an almighty six or seven-way scramble for safety in which case perversely perhaps we should crave West Ham and Watford wins today (but a draw would be just fine too). At least the gap between us and safety is today just that ie. a gap, and not a chasm.

There were few surprises in Pardew's second team selection and it's clear he fancies Rommedahl even if most fans remain unconvinced. However he is one of the few players in our squad who can win matches for us (or get players sent off) and if Pards can somehow inspire him to fulfil his obvious potential then it might just be his finest achievement (after survival of course). Hreidarsson meanwhile was at fault for the penalty and surely his days as a first-team regular must be numbered, and if Pressley isn't the answer anymore then hopefully someone else will be. Credit ought to go to Bryan Hughes of course - he is hardly universally popular either but he is surprisingly good in the air and does have a knack for scoring goals, even if his all-round contribution is unsatisfactory.

I had a good feeling about today because a black cat quite literally ran across my path on Thursday. This win, combined with earlier news of my mother-in-law's food poisoning (as Basil Fawlty might say, "Nothing trivial I hope.") should ensure my holiday improves along with the weather here in Florida. Both the Arsenal and Forest games are on live here in the US and I look forward to monitoring our obvious progress again with my own eyes.


At 2:09 AM, Anonymous Large Wooden Addick said...

I find myself in a strange place. As a fan I obviously want wins, points and premiership survival. However, the mathmatical marathon we've left ourselves this season has already resigned me to relegation. It is emminently wierd to watch my team win tackles, lose possession, score goals, conceed goals, be the subject of un-holy and unfathomable refereeing decisions and sit in my seat and remain largely dispassionate. If we're going down, I want down before the eides of march. I want as much time as possible to plan player transfers, budgets, sponserships, targets etc etc. Going down on the last game or 2 of the season is emotionaly crippling and generaly a menace. Eeking out our survival for a few more weeks/ months could in reality do us more harm than good. In so many ways I would have been content with defeat.

However. Isn't it strange what 3 points can do. Having been at the game, I would just like to comment on the 3 players you touched upon monsieur NYA. Hughes is generaly a tit. What he seems to lack more than anything else is passing ability and being a midfielder, this tends to get noticed. He does have the knack of scoring the odd goal though, which I have to admit is somewhat redeeming. His performance today echoed that of Ambrose's against fulham - generaly quite useless but popped up with a goal when no-one else could. Message to rest of squad - score us a goal and all is forgiven.

We all know that Senior Rommerdahl is another perenial under-achiever but he remains an outlet. Yes, we know theres not much of an end product but in the same vein as J.T, he causes opposition problems. Whilst I'll dispute him being labelled a 'match winner', he is someone who the oposing dressing room will talk about dealing with, he is a danger and an example of how we've (cafc) nearly got it right.

Herman's a different kettle of chips altogther. His game has slid but he'll almost certainly make less mistakes than Fortune. He's no longer as dependable and mobile as he used to be, but I wouldn't want to fight him. Like Kishishev, his ability is subsidised with attitude, and that is something we've sorley missed. On that note, even matt holland deserves a pat on the back. O'l captain clean shorts is even getting stuck in these days and is perhaps testament to Pardews skills.

Lastly, in my opinion, the penalty was a little soft but fair. There was a general feeling at the ground today that the ref and/or barry had dick turpined us. Hermans fouled him in the box, barry's actualy got over this, then got an attack of jelly knee and gone down. Refs blown for the foul, not the dive and as such, we realy don't have much to gripe about.

So anyway, after months and months of watching football disguised as dog toffee, it seems we've got a bit of attitude about us once more. The same old limitations are still evident but the players are showing signs of aptitude, I mean attitude and this has tempered my desire for it to all be over. Can getting relegated in march be a good thing? Or can Parew actualy inspire the unthinkable. I do find myself in a strange place.

At 11:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Live the dream!that match was yesterday worth the price of the season ticket-if it didn't inspire you did you have your eyes shut and fingers in your ears?
I did! But I had to peep over the chair to see what was happening!
There is hope- even if its just a glimmer of hope of getting something at the Emirates.
Hughes is lightweight midfielder who trys to get the ball down and pass- Kish is all heart and better at disrupting the play (generally ours)-anyone know a good surgeon to graft the 2 together?
Charltons Danger Man-no longer D Bent but an one of Traore/El KacK/ and Herminator- Chr**t knows how we survived some of those defensive scares- but we did!
Whilst D Bent scores we have hope!
Best atmosphere at the Valley since the playoff semis vs Ipswich


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