Tuesday, February 28, 2012


You can imagine Chris Powell’s teamtalks before the Bury, MK Dons and Rochdale games:

”Now listen lads. It’s freezing cold out there and we’ll be lucky if there’s 10,000 fans in reality. There’s no point making a special effort to impress this lot because they will clearly come out to watch us regardless. It’s the 17,000 extra ones against Stevenage that we have to be conserving energy for. I’m happy to take a point.”

The first half-hour was fairly lacklustre against Stevenage, but in the second two thirds of the game we finally showed the kind of high-tempo passing football that can put even one of the better sides in the division firmly in their place.

I had taken my 5-year old son to his first game and completely forgot about Rule No.1 of taking young kids: don’t get to the ground earlier than 2.55pm (we walked in nearly an hour before kick-off).

Luckily I had remembered Rule No.2, namely: Bring copious amounts of snacks and if possible, an IPad.

Incidentally Rule No.3 is:Don’t forget Rules Nos. 1 and 2.

It’s fair to say he isn’t hooked despite the good weather, atmosphere and performance.

Indeed his remark after the game that his favourite player was Laurence Bloom was positively surreal.

I very much enjoyed the view and atmosphere from the North-East quadrant – highly recommended for anyone with kids. Not a single audible swear word in the vicinity, although the low sun between the West Stand and the block of flats was annoying.

As for the match, I will keep it brief because the vast majority of my readers will have been there too.

BWP could easily have had five goals, and thus despite being happy that he fortuitously did get on the scoresheet, a few more would have really put him firmly back on track.

The back four were awesome as usual – with Wiggins flying up the left flank with such purpose, you wonder again what Powell was thinking against Rochdale.

Kermogant is a special footballer, and the better passing on show demonstrated that he is more than capable on the floor when given an opportunity (creating at least two of BWP’s golden chances).

Stevenage were disappointing and seemed to have one eye on their Cup replay. Ex-Addick Lawrie Wilson buzzed around with dangerous intent in his free role, but otherwise they were very flat.

The Valley looks terrific when it’s full and it was a nice reminder of the Premiership days when every game felt like that.

Of the current squad, I think that Hamer, Solly, Wiggins, Morrison, Taylor, Stephens, Jackson (maybe), BWP and Kermogant are good enough for a club likely seeking to 'do a Norwich', so plenty of summer activity can be expected again.
STOP PRESS: BWP finds his shooting boots.


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