That was an impressive way to end the phoney war, as our very own Connor Southwell described it yesterday. Sure, les Violets should have been put to the sword more clinically than they were but it’s no bad thing to go into a Premier League season with a win under our collective belt.
So, what clues does that give us to our starting line-up at Anfield on Friday night?
Sticking my neck out I will make a prediction that it will be:
Krul, Aarons, Godfrey, Hanley, Lewis, McLean, Trybull, Buendia, Cantwell, Stiepermann, Pukki.
So that would leave Hernandez, Drmic, Farhmann, Byram, Klose, Leitner and Vrancic on the bench.
Just my assessment and of course it might not be right. I very rarely bet for a reason, as in I often get predictions wrong.
I did my old-school reporting bit and asked a few of my mates what they expect from us this season.
Positive responses all round to be honest, and in no particular order:
A guy I know who works in our local Lidl predicts we’ll get a 0-0 (what!) at Anfield and go from strength to strength to finish around 14th.
Cutty reckons (like myself) that we’ve only got to be better than three other sides and he’s confident we will achieve that. He predicts a finish of 12th.
His son Tony said we must stick to our guns and that we can go to the likes of West Ham and win. He agreed with his Pa on 12th.
Scott was just a tad pessimistic in comparison. He didn’t approve of the transfer policy and added that if we went gung-ho we would be found out, with a warning that heads could drop if we had a bad start. However he still suggested 16th.
Me? I’ve always said 14th and I’m sticking to that. We’ll see.
I also spoke to a lovely French couple who had made a long weekend of it by staying at the Maid’s Head on both Friday and Saturday nights.
Serge reckoned the sight of Max Gradel – complete with Leeds reference – would put the wotsits up us but said he had seen a bit of Norwich last season on the telly and he liked the way we (try) to play. He told me Toulouse had hung on in Ligue 1 for many years and how happy he was with that. They are not a rich club either.
His thoughts about PSG aligned with mine about Man Citeh.
Serge’s wife or partner Marielle (I think that was her name) said that if I wanted to see a real cathedral I should go to Rheims. We smilingly agreed that the one in Palma de Mallorca was more spectacular than either. I think that’s what we said anyway.
We also had a laugh about the Toulouse manager’s name: Alain Casanova. I can’t remember who was the first of us to point out the original owner of that soubriquet was actually Italian.
Serge said he hoped we all pronounced Daniel Farke’s surname correctly. It’s funny that wherever you go in Europe you pick up the Sweary Marys. I assured him we all pronounce it as Farker and never try to alter it in an obscene fashion. Which is true.
So it’s four days to go.
I’m praying to the football gods that any variation of all our predictions cometh true.
Something tells me that our result against Newcastle at the Carra will kind of set the tone for our season.
And after all, we’ve got nothing Toulouse.