In almost 40 years as a professional journalist, I have never been vain enough – or had reason – to quote myself. But following that superb second half from City at Hillsborough I am going to make an exception for the first time in a long career.
One of our regular readers and commenters, John, suggested after the Brentford match that we do not score enough goals when we are dominating the opposition, and I replied:
‘Somebody will be battered before season’s end I am sure. Hopefully Lambert’s Ipswich.’
Well, I was right of course but I was equally wrong in that I didn’t have to wait until February to prove my point.
Okay, I have never seen a side quite as fragile as Wednesday became as their confidence level shrank from 2.5 to zero. But that’s not the point. We were utterly clinical – even Mario Vrancic atoned for another dreadful penalty balls-up with a sublime assist for Timmu Pukki. Max Aarons likewise – what a player that youngster is. He will only get better and I sincerely hope we hold on to him as long as we practically can.
He’s even eclipsing Jamal Lewis just now, and that’s no mean feat in itself.
The phrase “mind the gap” must be haunting the Binners just now. 20 points is some gap.
We’ve all been inundated with stats after this particular game, but I’m not prepared to go there – I’ll leave that to folks like our very own Dave Bowers who understand them much better than my tiny mind is capable of.
But what I do know is this.
In his truly excellent book Inside Out – a personal history of Pink Floyd drummer and racing car fanatic Nick Mason reveals that on the final couple of Pink Floyd tours they had a “shadow band” featuring the likes of Snowy White on guitar and their own drum technician Clive Brooks (ex-Groundhogs) on a second kit behind the principal artists in order to fill out the sound.
And our bench on Saturday was reminiscent of just that.
This “homegrown” rule will bite us on the butt if we’re not careful. Absolutely no disrespect to the youngsters but we were effectively down to five subs on Saturday. All the Germans, etc, etc.
We have a few injuries to resolve but that’s down to Farke and his back-up team. I’ve always been one for giving youth a chance, but I don’t get along with the concept of “shadows” on our bench. I don’t like this homegrown rule – probably simply because it doesn’t suit us just now. I wonder what Arsenal would think of it.
But it seems to verge on the obscene to complain about anything just now. Let’s enjoy and look at the Championship table from the top to the bottom while we can smile, smile, smile.
Memo to Daniel Farke: there’s a guy called Ryan Manning at Rotherham who can take penalties. Sign him please.