Thursday, August 20, 2009

Autumn Leaves

Reasons to be cheerful:

1:3 points

2:home made bread

3:an 8 year old and his card tricks.

Blues won their first home game of the season last night with a last minute injury time goal from a penalty, which is always a sweet way to win. Reactions among Blues fans seems to be mixed, with most of 'em edging on the side of euphoria. If we fail to beat Stoke on Saturday the euphoria will quickly turn into despair; that's the nature of the modern football fan.

I thought the performance was encouraging, but uninspiring. I have supported Eck all through the relegation year and through most of last year, and I am not going to start knocking him now, not now he is trying to put all his fine words into action,but some fans are hailing us as the new Brazil which I think is a bit over the top.

It's interesting to note that most of the papers describe both sides last night as pretty poor, and it is actually hard to argue with that. From a Blues fans perspective it is good to see them play through the midfield and knock the ball around, but we shouldn't forget that Portsmouth didn't really come to play and were happy to allow us all the possession we wanted. The difficulty arose in the last third, where we simply couldn't break them down or create clear cut chances. Again.

Some blame the strikers for this and I have some sympathy with that view. The two who played last night didn't seem to cause the Pompey defence much trouble, although things improved when Phillips came on. We still seem to have a problem with the midfield supporting the attack, not just in getting forward when we mount an attack, but in surprising the opposition with one of the middle two in the midfield breaking forward. It's all very well playing pretty passes, but we need an element of surprise as well, and we don't seem capable of it at the moment. Still, it's a work in progress and so far, it's looking good.

Not many turned up to watch it, and as I mentioned the other day, season ticket holders seem happy, but the pay on the day prices are harsh. I will not be ghettoised in the family stand, so to buy any other seat last night would have cost me, with tickets for the kids, about 70 odd quid;I would also have had to book time off work to get there and pay for petrol, parking, food, drinks etc etc etc. I would have had no change from 150 quid and I am not prepared to pay it.

Some will argue that if you are a proper fan you will find a way and you will accept a shit seat in a shit stand (still expensive, just not as expensive), cut down on the fripperies such as food and drink and just get yourself down there. I would counter argue that supporting the Blues is an ascetic enough experience without turning the whole day into a joyless exercise. Blues won't reduce the prices because they won't want to upset the season ticket holders, which is fair enough, but they will only get young and old people with a decent disposable income down there, because for most families, certainly those who like to do other things as well as go down the Blues, it doesn't represent good value.

The final test has started and as I type 4 overs have gone and England have not lost a wicket. Despite the rain that is pissing down and the wind that is howling just outside, it's a good time of the year, with the football having started and the cricket still on and the, best not mention the weather actually. But then you think back, well I think back, and think, well, I went to a festival at the end of May and Glastonbury has come and gone and so has the tennis and it's the last test match and the football has started and all this signifies the end of summer and it has just passed me by. And Cook has just got himself out.

Hopefully, it will be a glorious Autumn; I can't let a glorious autumn pas me by.
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