I knew the Stoke match wouldn’t end well for us when I attempted to leap out of bed to get the dogs up at stupid o’clock on Saturday morning. My brain (no comments please) emerged but my body stayed in its pit. Manflu. Of the very most serious nature.
Mrs P suffers on and off from rheumatoid arthritis and this requires me to have that wretched government-advocated flu jab every October. And to rub salt in the wound I have to pay for said injection. Seven whole quid at ASDA in this case. Within three or four days it always brings me down to the point of immobility for 48 hours but this time the effects coincided with matchday.
As I had planned to meet MFW reader, commentator and occasional blogger Don Harold and his friends at the Bell before the game I struggled to the bus stop with good intent in mind. No chance – I had to crawl back home while I could.
I can’t be precise, but I believe it was only the sixth home League match I have missed in 30 years.
So it was the delights of Radio Norfolk for me and I must admit I really enjoyed Chris Goreham’s commentary although as the final whistle sounded, off went the broadcasting source. Canary Call and I do not rub along too well together in all fairness.
I’d far rather leave with the experience of hearing On the Ball City and Yellas, Yellas, Yellas ringing round the ground at the end of a game we’ve lost than listen to a load of moaners on the radio, more than a few of whom I doubt would know their way to NR1 1JE.
I’ve since spoken to a couple of mates (who had no sympathy for my predicament whatsoever) who described Saturday as a “heroic and unlucky defeat” and a team “unsurprisingly running out of gas”.
So perhaps the International break arrives at a good time. But even in my currently befuddled state I would imagine Timmu Pukki (who is sure to be on Finland duty) needs a bloody good rest. As do Jamal and Max.
Todd Cantwell? I heard great reports about him yet again and one of my mates – who vaguely know him and his family – reckons he’s one to rest on the principle that the more minutes he gets the better he will become.
All these comments about spoiled little footballers who can’t play three games in a week grate on me. The game has evolved so much over the last, say, 20 years and the pressure on the guys on the pitch leaves them so much more susceptible to pulls, strains and rips and I wish some folks would understand that.
Football in 2018 is not a world in which George Best, Tony Currie or Rodney Marsh would survive, let alone thrive, as great as they were back in the day. Sir Stanley or George Eastham? No, it’s first and foremost about athleticism these days. Skill is the icing on the bake-off product.
Anyway as we “welcome” the next two weeks, I at least am pretty happy. Okay we sit eighth in one of the most compressed Championship tables in recent times but almost exactly a quarter of the way through the season I am quite content.
And Onel Hernandez is back, Grant Hanley isn’t that far away and when the medicos sort out Kenny McLean’s ankle ligament problems he will be back too. Ankles are bloody difficult to sort as I know from personal experience.
On the pitch? My glass is slightly over half full – well done Daniel Farke and colleagues.
Now if only I could get over the Man flu and sign the appropriate contract maybe I could dep for Jamal. In my dreams, anyway.