Strictly Negative

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So, walking away from the ground on Saturday, I’m sure I wasn’t on my own in tutting repeatedly, muttering under my breath and hoping my mood would be improved by Debbie McGee messing up her routine and ending up being abandoned in Blackpool by the ‘Strictly’ crew. Ok, so I know that Debbie has a bit of a following amongst the, erm, more elderly amongst our readers, but you get my gist. I wasn’t best pleased with what I’d just watched.

And that lasted until, at least, I’d got out of Asda with a couple of bottles of Leffe Ruby to my name and a solid decision that we were having a Chinese for tea. By that stage I wouldn’t even have begrudged the widow of millionaire Paul Daniels another week in the limelight so I wasn’t going to stay upset about the Latics result.

Still, a weekend of not-that-bothered-ness isn’t really going to make for good reading, and whilst I’m sure some of you would prefer my reflections on Gemma Atkinson’s American Smooth, I’m going to whip myself up (stop sniggering at the back) into a mild state of annoyance and bang on about the game for a bit…

We were sh*te, not just a bit sh*te, a lot sh*te.  I’m not going to go on about it, I’m not going to single people out for criticism, I’m not even going to try and explain why we were sh*te. We just were, and when it comes down to it, we’ve been sh*te for weeks, it’s just caught up with us and we lost a game.

Paul Cook says so himself (well he said ”I don’t think we’ve been playing particularly well for a period of time.”, but we all know what he meant), so why is he slagging fans off for having a go? Well mostly because some of you went too far, got too personal or something? What’s that? You were just being constructive? Trying to help out by pointing out where improvements could have been made on the pitch?

Oh right, he won’t be talking about you then, it must be someone else else he’s on about.

Of course he was deflecting, but playing games with fans’ emotions is a dangerous game. Remember that lad we had that used to get pelters every week? He just sucked it up and got on with the job, still it did him no good, eh?

Sorry, but I won’t get anywhere if I don’t push *our* agenda. Even if it means I miss a great pub along the lines of “if he wanted to deflect things from his team then he should have stood them behind Dan Burn for the night”. Except it wouldn’t have been funny because if it hadn’t have been for the ‘giraffe on ket’, putting his body on the line so often, we might have not had a draw to try and defend for the last twenty minutes.

And that’s the long and (slightly) short (for a keeper) of it. Yes, both Burn and Jones were at fault for that 92nd minute goal, but they’d been two of our better players in the mess that preceded it, along with Byrne (who was also nowhere to be seen).

The mess that means my true feelings towards Sammy Morsy are about to break to the surface too, but I said I wouldn’t single anyone out for criticism so instead I’ll turn a longing gaze toward Nick Powell the man who plays the third division like a Dad plays his son’s birthday party at the Soccerdome, and towards Lee Evans and Will Grigg who thankfully sat down near each other long enough for me to gaze at them without me getting dizzy.

I can’t escape the feeling that getting those three, and Burn, on the pitch and firing is the real key to how comfortable our success will be this season. And with everything that might happen over the coming months in the offices, comfort on the pitch is a big thing, for us this year, I reckon.

But it’s not all about us and there has to be a good word for Bradford, they’re definitely the best team I’ve seen at the DW. Pause.. go back… read it again… yes, I did mean it that way and I hope we don’t see any better. They were genuinely a good attacking side, and gave us an object lesson in how to play at the DW, by having a proper go and not trying to sit back and sneak a win.

I just hope that no one other than Paul Cook was paying attention to what turned out to be an enjoyable game despite the increasing inevitability of that late winner enveloping the West Stand like a Revel Horwood critique of Gavin Massey’s footwork.

And after all, whilst I’ve been tempted to cry ‘emperor’s new clothes’ over this exciting, attacking football that you all claim to have been watching all I was after was a decent game of football. League one is pretty bad, when it’s played by two teams that are set up, first and foremost, to be solid. But like I said on the last podcast, any football can be entertaining when it features one (preferably two) sides trying (or forced into) having a go.

When they do, anything can happen, we nearly hung in there, I suppose we even had the chances to win it, but that would have been crueller than Debbie McGee’s stare when she heard that the public didn’t like her that much after all, this Sunday night.

See you on the other side…


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