Man flu. Possibly one of the most divisive words in domestic relationships throughout the world. Does it exist? Most of our male readers will surely confirm that it does, while I would guess several female MFW followers would disparage the concept in an instant.
Mrs P suffers from random attacks of rheumatoid arthritis so, in fairness to her, I must have the wretched flu jab every October. Seven quid at Tesco or ASDA and no real personal hardship, although I do feel a bit low for around 36 hours afterwards.
But we had four players on the Ashton Gate pitch with some form or another of the current influenza virus on Saturday – and under any circumstances that is “above and beyond the call of duty”.
In all honesty, I’ve only ever experienced genuine flu (we’re not talking colds here) once in my life. I was in my 20s, strong and otherwise healthy but I quite literally couldn’t get out of bed for a couple of days. Being a weekend I couldn’t even pull a sicky at work in some form of compensation – I was fine by the Sunday night.
Daniel Farke’s post-match comment that he didn’t want to make any excuses in advance by declaring the illness in the camp I will take with a pinch of pig$hit.
He didn’t want Lee Johnson and the Bristol City squad to find out about it and sniff blood. And that is far nearer the mark. Well played Daniel – and if the local media knew (which is quite possible), well done to them for keeping the lid on it.
Thank the Good Lord we don’t have a midweek fixture. Respite is required.
Christoph Zimmermann, Emi Buendia and Todd Cantwell were the confirmed victims of the malaise. I don’t believe the fourth has been declared but whoever it might have been, he did equally as well just to get on the pitch in the first place.
I know results elsewhere can influence opinions and comments. Dirty Leeds and Paul Lambert’s 1p5wich Town (™ ?) both had 1-0s in their favour (one deserved, the other less so) but I do not get the concept of complaining about a 2-2 at Bristol City with a squad already denied the services of Timm Klose and a less-than-fully-fit Moritz Leitner long before kick-off.
But still some folks moan. If the comments aren’t about Tim Krul they are about us looking tired. With four players in the starting side suffering or recovering from flu – come on people, how can you complain about a hard-earned point against, let’s face it, a very well-organised and effective Bristol City side?
Sure both Robins’ goals were avoidable. Lewis and Tettey were more like Laurel and Hardy for the first and as for the second what I’ve seen is inconclusive but it looked like a slight deflection off Zimmermann was just enough to keep a rising drive under, rather than over, the bar. Krul was understandably off balance – and also unsighted – for their first and stood no chance for the second.
Let’s return to Mr Tettey.
I’m not one for jealous, pernicious comments from oppo managers (Hi Chris, hello Colin), but I will say Bristol City manager Johnson had a very real right to complain afterwards about our Alex (not you, Alex B!).
A yellow card, more than a few further naughties and several talkings-to. Followed by a shirt tug almost identical to that which got Bolton’s Sammy Ameobi an early bath (or more probably a luxury shower) at Carrow Road the previous weekend. Tettey is a lucky, lucky man and I personally reckon Farke should have hooked him a few minutes sooner.
Enter the one and only Onel. What the Bristol striker was doing at left back I do not know but Hernandez dumped him on his butt, crossed to perfection and our 18-year-old right back – sorry, left wing-back, sorry he can play anywhere – Max Aarons put it away with a header that was by no means easy. He surely must have done geometry at high school to finish like that.
After that it was all Norwich, still chasing for that win. But unlike some, I’m not moaning that 1p5wich won and Dirty Leeds top the table. Blackburn won’t be easy either so I’d take a draw now. Bradley bl00dy Dack worries me.
We’ll be in the top two on Christmas Day – followed by possibly the tastiest festive fixtures possible, as in Forest and Frank Lampard’s Derby County ™. I can’t wait – both visiting sides play open and sometimes expansive football and they will be cracking games I am sure.
And as for man flu, let’s hope it leaves our squad (and all of us males) alone for the rest of the season – and beyond.
And I guess I should be the first to wish a very Merry Christmas to all our readers and writers – it’s only a week away