I’m not attempting to defend Friday night’s performance simply because I don’t feel that I can. Limpid, placid, ineffective and seemingly willingly outplayed are descriptions that immediately come to mind.
James and Gary covered the match itself in gruesome detail yesterday. You know, another one with just one Norwich shot on target.
Dean Smith said afterwards: “I didn’t feel we played well enough with the ball.” Great insight there, Dean. You’re pretty much in Mike Bassett territory there if I might say so.
Max Aarons proffered: “We came here with a game plan and we haven’t done it well enough tonight.”
I feel sorry for the lad being wheeled out to comment but the phrase “no $hit, Sherlock” has rarely been more appropriate.
My post-match inbox quote of the day goes once again to MFW regular Bernie Owen: “Well we got what we deserved out of that game. The midfield with the two Scots just doesn’t work. In the last 52 PL games, when City have gone behind our record is one draw and 51 defeats.“
At least Leeds got a thumping.
That’s enough of that as there other things going on in the world right now as we all so very well know and football has reacted to them in it’s own way as we would kind of expect.
The Champions League final has been switched from St Petersburg to Paris and UEFA are threatening to reject £35 million a year from Russian gas moguls Gazprom, a company I have a little insight on.
But before I offer said insight here is a quote from Russian Football Union president and coincidentally the head honcho of Gazprom, one Alexander Dyukov: “We adhere to the principles of ‘sport is out of politics’ and thus cannot support this decision.”
Good on you Alexander me ole tovarich, if a full-scale invasion of Ukraine is classified as “politics”.
A German company I worked with for 20 years once agreed a joint venture with Gazprom. As head of UK staff communications at the time it was quite literally the only occasion I was ever told I must publicise the joint press release verbatim in the company newspaper.
This proved to be the only time my editorial freedom was temporarily removed but I thought nothing of it as I assumed it must have been commercially sensitive, which had happened many times before and I understood the sensitivities.
But this time around I wasn’t invited to ask any questions. Far from it in fact and this was fully 25 years ago.
Moving on, Manchester United have rejected sponsorship from Aeroflot and Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea is caught between the Lorelei and the Urals as he prepares to face Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley this afternoon. What can the poor $od say?
Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic are all refusing to play on Russian soil. Under the current circumstances I can see why.
Of course, Western Europe is doing its bit by suspending Russia from the Eurovision Song Contest.
Here is my current recommendation for this year’s UK entry and the lyrics stand strong to this day.
They were written by my favourite bass player of all time over 50 years ago. I don’t care that he supports Villa, I think he’s that good that I named my dog after him. Geezer, not Butler, and certainly not Terence!
“Politicians hide themselves away
They only started the war
Why should they go out to fight?
They leave that role to the poor, yeah“