I can only begin by endorsing editor Gary’s article of yesterday. I had no idea of the tragic events at the KingPower or indeed the situation surrounding Glenn Hoddle until early yesterday morning.
I am sure all readers and writers at MFW join the rest of the football world in sending Leicester City FC our sincere condolences and to offer every best wish to Glenn Hoddle and his family for what we can only hope against hope will be a full and complete recovery.
Glenn is exactly one month older than myself and I worked in Harlow (where he hails from) and had the privilege to speak with him a few times there when he was becoming established at Tottenham and in his pomp. A nicer bloke you could not meet. Get well Glenn, you can do it. Please.<
As Gary said it’s hard to focus under these circumstances but I’ll move on and give it a go.
First off, Brentford were nobody’s fools. They pressed hard but we did not wilt. This Norwich side of Daniel Farke’s assembly work for each other and shirk from nothing. With some kind of irony, the ball played through from Timm Klose for Emi Buendia to faultlessly volley home was reminiscent of Glenn Hoddle himself. What a finish from the young Argentinian – it gets better every time I see it. No first touch – in the net.
And then next up has to be “penaltygate”. What pleased me immensely was that the cross came in from Jamal Lewis on the left and who then got flattened by Ollie Watkins in the box? Max Aarons. So their striker defending in his own box concedes a pen to a combination of our full-backs – combined age of under 40. Loving it.
Onto the “oh dear” moment. The virtually identical repeat of the West Brom hash-up from the otherwise admirable Jordan Rhodes. Being in the Barclay we could see the lack of confidence in his run-up and older heads were shaking before it hit Brentford keeper Daniel Bentley’s gloves.
I don’t like robbing other people’s words as a rule but on this occasion I’ll paraphrase Archant’s Paddy Davitt: “when it comes to penalties it’s time to get a new cab off the rank”. I’ll second, third and fourth that.
This sparked a half-time depart in the Barclay Bar, with comments ranging from “never let the striker take a penalty” to “if he can’t take a penalty he ain’t no striker”. Half-time flew by and it was hard to stop chuckling at times.
I’ll progress to the vital and points-confirming scene three. A fine double save from Tim Krul and there’s Neal Maupay seeming to slip on wet Norfolk turf to smack the bar in possibly the Bees’ only really dangerous chance of the game.
We deserved the result. There were some lovely flicks, nutmegs and that Todd Cantwell backheel in there too and we were very resilient throughout. Game management? Pretty good Daniel I would say.<
My top men of the match would be Buendia and Christoph Stiepermann – with honourable mentions for the other nine, especially Klose for that sublime long ball and bailing out Stiepermann on his first-half mistake. A great all-round performance although there would have been no late-game squeaky bum at all without penaltygate.
Great atmosphere – the Barclay and Snakepit have got the “barking-snaking up the league” call and respond back. And to hear the Monkees’ Daydream Believer re-sung with Paul Lambert for George Burley the only lyrical change really made me laugh.
And as some wit has posted online, we have got as many points in one week as the Binners have all season.
Let’s all enjoy it but please spare a thought for others just now – as I know we all will.