High lite

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The suggestion that “it’s only Sunderland” just goes to show how differently some of our fans are viewing this season. OK, it wasn’t like the big boys were in town, but come the end of the season; it will be this game, and those like it that will provide a real measure of our success. The game itself also showed that you just can’t take your eyes off football for one second.

That it would be fairly drab, we’d get our first goal and first points were all fairly predictable aspects of the Sunderland game; but that we would get the quickest ever Premiership penalty is the sort of thing that can never really be guessed at. It’s the sort of thing that has no bearing on the game at large, but is equally the sort of thing that fans hate to miss.

I’ll not go over old ground, I’ve already told you I was missing the game and why. My ‘previous engagement’ meant that I’d heard quite a bit about the game before I got to see any of it (the 8:05 repeat of Match of the Day, if you’re interested). The general view was that the game was bad, we were worse and on the whole we were lucky to get anything out of the game.

The highlights showed none of this, in fact pretty much all they showed was that there was a match that the BBC weren’t really interested in; there was a penalty and a few other chances. I used to think that you’d pick quite a bit up from highlights packages, or at least that was the point of them, but in these days of saturation levels of televised football, it would seem that MOTD feels the need to show every game, but doesn’t have the time to do them justice. Sky’s effort at this type of programme, Goals on Sunday, gives itself more time, but covers the entire league. It also spends too much time on back slapping, “isn’t it great when you’re in the ‘club’?” chat.

I’ve not yet had the ‘pleasure’ of watching one of Sky’s Football First ‘Super Cuts’. At 50 minutes a piece you’d hope they’ll do a better job than anything else on offer. The first test of that will come on the 10th, a game that until a couple of weeks back would have been ‘only West Brom’ but since the defection of Mr. Ellington has taken on some extra significance.

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