Who would have thought that at the start of the season? 6 points out of 3 games?
I’ll tell you who, NOBODY apart from maybe the bloke who won that £122 million on the Euromilions the other week.
When the fixtures came out, we got dealt Livarpool away as our opening fixture in another continuation of the summer’s Universe of Alternate Roald Dahl, typified by “Tales of the Completely Expected aka Stories of The Blatantly Obvious”. It was hardly surprising at all that we would find ourselves at the end of 90 minutes plus the necessary injury time required to achieve the “correct” result, 12 inches or at least a misplaced foot (or arm), away from a deserved draw from that game. Enough has been said already about those penalty decisions. In reality, it doesn’t matter what we think, once that final whistle is blown, that’s it, game over …….. unless of course you are Scum, it’s the 100th minute of the game and you were promised 3 points. Harsh? Never.
Our next game against the might of that dedicated follower of fashion, Scott Parker (and his jardigan) and the Capital’s second favourite club, Fulham was another 7 goal thriller in the end. But them, T’Blades and Livarpool for our first 3 games, for me spelled potentially the worse start to the season we could have. It could only have been made even worse if we had got Everton away as well. Our top flight bogey team. Some wise person will dig out the stats but it’s something daft like 11 wins in 52 visits to Goodison in the last century. It’s never been a good hunting ground for us. We last won in 1990, I think.
Why Worry? And I don’t mean the opening track of the Dire Straits album Brothers In Arms. Why? Because barring injuries, Fulham and T’Blades had that lethal combination of players who always score against us. Mitrovic, that McBurnie bloke and Billy ‘Blades 4eva’ Sharp. Whilst Bielsa knows his craft, this isn’t something that Marcelo could beat with just good football. This is jinx, bad hoodoo, bad vibes, witchy craft stuff. You may laugh at my superstition, but how many of you had a panic when you saw Wilder bring on McBurnie and Sharp? Admit it, ALL of you. I saw that subs board go up, saw them lining up on the touchline, and it was squeaky bum time. As for the Fulham game, admittedly we scored some damn fine goals against Livarpool the week before, but when Koch took the hit for another dodgy penalty, the only thing going through my mind was Groundhog Day.
But it’s all behind us now. 6 points out of 3 games. Brilliant. An average of two points per game will see us in Europe. Dare to dream? Yeah, we dare. It’s like standing up and flicking the V’s at the Premier League. Something you see in the movies, triumph over adversity, but we have to be careful. Bielsa needs to tread carefully.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, the old cliche (as opposed to Klich), EVERY game will be a Cup Final in this league. Especially this season, the first season back in 16 years. There’s the usual “Dirty Leeds” nods to battles of old at ER and the odd away (Stamford Bridge – Ken, and I don’t mean the one near York in 1066), but this season there is the Bielsa factor. Since we got promoted, every pundit has said that Bielsa is THE coach of all coaches. The “One”. Mourhino was the “Special” One, Guardiola the “Focused” One, Klopp the “Chosen” One who finally got Liverpool the title after 30 years, Frank the “Fat Cry Baby” One and finally Ole, the 100th minute winner One. For you older readers, I know that at Newcastle at some point, Kevin Keegan, Kenny Dalglish and Alan Shearer were called The One or at least The Messiah, but I can’t seriously think about Steve Bruce without seeing Robin Williams as Mrs Doubtfire, so I’m not going to digress further.
As I said, every pundit has talked up Bielsa as the man that everyone has learnt from. But frankly, up until he joined us in 2018BB (Before Bielsa), I can’t remember them ever saying anything of the like. Can you? When they were talking about Guardiola, they just went on about how well he did at Barca. Pochettino, rarely was he ever mentioned in dispatches saying that Marcelo had taught him everything he knew. I know I am a sceptic and I always see the worse in people, they don’t call me The Anti Altruist for nothing.
SkyTVisf**kings**t / BT / BBC pundits are deliberately placing Bielsa on a massive pedestal, in the hope that if he falls, the crash will be calamitous. They are setting him up to the scale of Christ The Redeemer proportions, desperate for a Pompeii like catastrophe. They want a Leaning Tower of Pisa style toppling, but given that the Leaning Tower has been leaning for the last 840 years and has STILL not fallen over, Lineker is in for a long long wait. I would say that his hair will turn white, but it has already.
The rest of it?
Well, the transfer window is still open as I type. I said after the Liverpool game that Koch just needs time to bed in. There was never any way that he could do a Ben White and just slot straight into the team. Ben White was the Player Of The Season for me last year. Absolutely outstanding. We need to get him back when Brighton give into us after Christmas, and just hope to God that he hasn’t lost any of his fitness in between times. The fact that the season ended and then there was such a short period in between to get everyone training together after all that booze eventually got out of their systems after we got promoted, doesn’t help. They haven’t played properly as a team sufficiently. Then again, 6 points out of 3.
Goals? Patrick is on fire. 3 in 3 games. I can’t help thinking that the good start to this season and pretty good end to last, has been helped by the lack of whingeing from the stands. Like Chris Wood proved in his last full season with us, he can score goals. He just needed the crowd to get off his back. I’ll repeat what I said in a previous blog. If he was tattoed within an inch of his skin, had a ponytail and was knocking off Scarlett Johansen, Margot Robbie and that one off Game Of Thrones all at the same time, you still wouldn’t like him, because he’s a bit posh. Numpties.
thanks to below for the picture of what I will be eating tomorrow before the Citeh game