Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dylans Hard Rain



I seem to be in a minority of one as far as it goes with the Blues; everybody else is delighted with out our defensive tenacity and never say die attitude. They don't mind us sticking 11 men behind the ball, kicking the thing straight back to the opposition and inviting them to find a way around us. The consensus is that it is back to the glory year under Bruce, when we first got promoted. Halycon days. They say, some of them, we aren't a team of billionaires, what do you expect? We don't have a team of Messi's and we must do whatever we can to get every point we can.

They are reasonable points, but I have issues with them. Fans who were calling Mcleish a thick Scottish eejit a few weeks ago have warmed to him, because we have had a couple of half decent results. Some warmed to him when it became evident that he was favouring a passing game, others when it became evident that for all the rhetoric, in the end, points win prizes and if that meant hoofing it, so be it. Now everyone loves him because we snuffed Fulham out in a most prosaic style. The previously naive Eck outhought the old boy Hodgson. He's not naive, he is a tactical genius.

The problem I have with the notion that we must play an ultra defensive game and not even attempt another attack if we go ahead is that it is illogical. If we have been playing a neat passing game, limiting the oppositions chances, and creating one or two of our own........ as we have done regularly, we have proved that we can stand tall, pass the ball and progress to the other end of the pitch, where the chances of the opposition scoring are extremely slim. By what logic do we become incapable of doing that? Sitting back and passing the ball back to the opposition is inviting disaster. It worked against a weak Fulham, it won't work too many other times. If the bloody opposition don't have the ball, they can't score with it, so why give it back to them? Make the buggers work for it.

The other argument, that it is a return to the dogged style that proved so successful with Bruce is just nonsense. In that first season that Bruce got us up, we were pretty woeful until January. The legendary doggedness was getting us nowhere, other than back to where he had come from. It was the January signings that turned that season around and the biggest influence was Dugarry. The qualities that the French chap brought were not primarily defensive. His first thought was to attack, his instinct was to keep the ball and put the opposition on the back foot and keep them thinking. It was not our defensive qualities that took us to unimagined heights that year, it was a maverick Frenchman whose idiosyncratic insistence on taking the game to the opposition led to us scoring plenty of goals and thereby winning plenty of points.

What I am trying to say, in short, is that I am right and every fucker else is wrong!

The banks have won. Again. I want to be a banker, where do I sign up?

We live halfway up a mountain. More acurately we live on a huge estate halfway up a mountain, surrounded by other, huger estates, but there is plenty of green around, there are not many houses higher than us and we can see straight across the Bristol Channel to England on a clear day, so it can be a pleasant vista. This morning driving down, was amazing. The sky was a deep bluey grey, massive hailstones were assailing us mercilessly, and the most vivid, huge and perfect rainbow was straddling the mountain, while further down, a huge and brilliantly white sun broke lustily through the gloom. It was all a bit strange and a bit wonderful. Made for dodgy driving conditions though, I don't know how I got to Abertillery in one piece.

A person at work spoke her mind in front of middle managers. That person is no longer in work and others have been advised to keep their traps shut. I offer no comment.

Not so long ago, in the course of my daily grind, I would come across families who I thought were cheating the system. We all did, but we would hesitate before airing our views as it would be frowned upon, it would be considered that we lacked empathy. We would be advised not to make value judgements, we would be invited to engage in a little self reflection. How things have changed; now, it is assumed that every family who is supporting a disabled person is on the fiddle.

Now, when new charges come in and people like me, dinosaurs like me, point out that many people will not be able to pay and others will refuse to pay, a chorus will come back........"The trouble with people in this area is that they all want something for nothing............they are all getting benefits, so why shouldn't they pay............they should stop using their benefits for wide screen tellies and fancy holidays"

All fair points, but it is a little unfair to brand an entire demographic as scroungers and cheats, moreover, this mantra has been repeated over and over again: when we stopped providing domestic support, when we started charging for personal care and for respite and for day services and when we stopped providing transport. How far do these people think that disability benefits go? I preferred the old days. I am proud to be a dinosaur. I might get a badge made up.

The little video at the top is Ryan Bingham. Recommended.
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