Saturday, April 09, 2011

Goodbye Ghost

It's getting that I am too scared to get out of bed in the morning, I have never known a time of such turmoil. People killing each other by the thousand left right and centre, uprisings being suppressed, successful uprisings turning out to have been unsuccessful, natural disasters and fuck knows what else. It might seem trite, but thank God for books, music and football.

I have had a bit of a bad run with books, and have read some proper shit, but I have discovered Mark Billingham. I'm a bit snobby about English thriller writers and don't rate many of 'em, Billingham is brilliant though, or the book I read is. Just bought another one, but saving it for later. Currently got the latest Gene Kerrigan on the go, very good, and has helped me get over the bad mood that the appalling James Sheehan put me in.

I've been listening a lot to Another Country on Radio Scotland, which is presented by the singer from Deacon Blue, but don't let that put you off, it's ace. Not as ace as McLeans Country on radio Ulster which is brilliant every week. Mcleans classic albums is also well worth a listen. It's already been a great year, with amazingly good stuff coming from the Low Anthem and Josh T Pearson, among others and The Felice Brothers have a new one out in May. It's looking like a classic year. Thank the good lord above for the mercy of Spotify.

McLean had The Believers on this week, the utterly brilliant Believers. It's on radioplayer for another week and is definitely worth a listen. Pleasingly Maclean has a little spat with the extremely cool Craig Aspen about his uncool taste in music. They played a new track. Utterly fucking lovely. The two complement each other so beautifully it almost makes you believe that there is actually a heaven, where  the match was surely made.

A good away point for Blues today at Blackburn. Difficult to make out what the consensus is, some seem angry about it, some seem delighted, and others seem utterly indifferent. I fit all of those camps. A point today was OK given the way other results went, but I was, again, a bit pissed off with our style of play. We will have to fuck up spectacularly, or the teams below will have to display title winning form if we are to go down, and I can't see it, so I'm quite sanguine about it all.

It's a truism that an away point is a good point, but that really only applies if you also win your home games, and we haven't done that very often, and we have lost to poor teams, so we need to be winning the odd away game to compensate, which we haven't really looked like doing. I think Eck plays the percentages, and will always take the safest option, and settle for slightly less than could be achieved with a riskier approach.

I have come to believe that Eck fears flair and panache. He gets good players in, like Chucho, Bentley and Hleb, not sure if he bought Zarate or not, but the song remains the same, he either won't play them at all, won't allow them a decent run in the side, or will only allow them cameos. I think an argument can be made that his cautious approach did for us the last time we went down, and if we go down again, it will be the caution that does for us this time.

Allowing for the fact that we were away, the context is that Blackburn are in free fall; there for the taking. We have drawn too many home games and we have lost too many games, so we have to make those points up. We have to view teams on appalling runs of form as opportunities to make up a bit of difference. We weren't as bad as we have been at times this season, in that we were not ultra cautious, but we didn't exactly go at them with pace, power and purpose either. Blackburn showed why they are currently just about the worst team in the division, but, picking the players we picked, we showed no commitment to just go out and moida da bums.

I know Bowyer scored and I know Gardner is the closest to a goal machine we have got, apart from Ridgemill, but our entire midfield today was defensive minded. Workhorses. People who will run through brick walls. But, as the old cliche goes, you need piano players, as well as piano shifters. If we are only going to pick piano shifters, there is no point in having a fucking piano!

All season, all last season, and the season before, we have struggled to create chances, yet Eck will not pick, not consistently pick anyway, players who might be capable of unlocking the door and surprising the opposition, or baffling the bastards with wit, or guile, or stealth. He will continue to pick the extremely limited Cameron Jerome, because of his whole hearted, but, let's face it, largely pointless running, yet players such as Chucho, Zarate and Bentley get very little time to make a difference. They are not afforded the same level of indulgence and patience. Frankly, it gets on my nerves.

Having had a moan, let's not forget that we have played nearly the whole season without McFadden and our defence has been seriously fucking disrupted. It's as though the George Graham version of Arsenal had lost Adams, Bould and Keown all at the same time, and while you wouldn't compare Faddy with the likes of Nani or Nasri, his loss to us is as hurtful as a loss of say, Bale is to Tottenham, as he is clearly the only bloke with more than basic football ability that Eck trusts.

Parnaby has been having a go at left back. he is derided by many, but I have always liked him, he has been unfortunate with injury and unfortunate in coming in at the same as the miracle of Stephen Carr occurred. I don't think he's ever let us down though, and he usually looks OK going forward. Not when he is on the left though. It absolutely baffles me that professional footballers, blokes who earn a good living, can't use both feet. Baffles and outrages. I have always been comfortable using both feet, my youngest is always practising with his left and when he joined his current team the coach couldn't work out which was his stronger foot. It's not innate, but all takes is a bit of practice. You would think that the motherfucking pros would find some time to have a go, if only for the sake of their own pride and dignity.
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