Some very good movies have come along over the years with the word “Bad” featuring loudly and proudly in the title, such as “Bad Day at Black Rock in 1950, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly in 1967, and, crossing the theoretical millennium bridge, The Bad News Bears in 2005.
And yesterday MFW Editor Gary decided to perpetuate the legendary line with a small leap from the baseball of the Bears to the football of the EFL Championship, and what a blockbuster it was.
Horror Show at Home Park is already minting it at the box offices of the nation for all the wrong ruddy reasons, especially if you are a City fan.
Not inexplicably, it is going down exceptionally well in the dockland fleapits of Plymouth.
It tells the tale of a football club at one end of the country called Norwich City, who made a gruelling trip to a club called Plymouth Argyle, some 250 miles away on the UK’s West Coast, on Saturday and returned East on the end of a 6-2 bruising from a team who only four days ago had its own fans terming it embarrassing following a run of recent poor results.
After he had seen the real match but before he was aware of Horror Show at Home Park, Norwich City Head Coach David Wagner was very expansive towards the media:
Wagner: We really lost our heads which is what annoys me. That’s what happened today.
“A horrible afternoon. A horrible result, conceding six goals which is very, very painful. Unfortunately, we were not able to give the great away support anything, which I’m very sorry for,” Wagner admitted.
“The story of the game is quite easy, we gave four counter goals away, further counter chances. It’s very unusual for us that we were so vulnerable on the counter-attack. The first goal was offside, the player wasn’t offside that blocked Ben Gibson and this is why the other player was able to score.
“The second one we have not done our job in the set-piece where we had to have two players in the wall and only had one. Then we conceded four counter goals. The goals we conceded were just not good enough. This is why it really hurts and it’s something we have to correct quickly.”
The head coach also outlined areas where he felt the performance lacked, leading to the heavy defeat:
“It’s my job to lift the dressing room, but the players are smart and intelligent enough. If you make mistakes like we have done, played in areas where we should not play centrally, where we overload and picked up a pass where the player was not free, then they hurt us on the transition where the rest of our defence was not in shape.
“We really lost our head which is what really annoys me. You can get a referee decision, you can concede a goal, you can make a mistake, but you can’t lose your head. That’s what happened today.”
Naturally, Argyle Manager Steve Schumacher, who remains exceptionally popular at Home Park as I was at great pains to point out on the MFW match preview on Friday for some strange reason, was full of praise for his green-and-white-clad West Country team:
“The players responded brilliantly and showed what they were all about today. I think their effort and their commitment to stick to the plan and put bodies on the line for the shirt was there for all to see. When you do that, you get your rewards.
“The thing that pleases me the most is that we spoke about Bristol City on Thursday, and then we quickly went on to what we were going to try and do against Norwich. We changed shape today; we went to a back three system that we were comfortable with last season, because the way that Norwich play, that was going to give us the best chance to intercept the ball in the middle of the pitch.***
“We spoke about the game plan, we explained it, and then we tried to practice it yesterday in training. It worked to a tee, so that’s the most pleasing part, as well as the response, as well as the reaction.”
That’s the worst I’ve been involved in since I’ve been here, to be honest
I doubt Kenny McLean was pressed into media duties because he watches more films than the rest of the squad, far more likely that he received that dubious honour because he is standing in for injured club captain Grant Hanley during his injury in all manner of ceremonial situations involving flags and stuff right now, so why not this one as well? 🙂
“It’s a tough one to sum up. Just so disappointing, embarrassing. That’s the worst I’ve been involved in since I’ve been here, to be honest,”
“Out of nowhere, we played into Plymouth’s hands, unforced errors, mistakes. Everything that could have went wrong, went wrong. We couldn’t recover from it, went under, lost our heads. The two goals before half-time finished the game. We just didn’t recover from it.”
“There was words at half-time, there was words that will stay in the changing room. Obviously, there was plenty of frustration in there and we wanted a reaction. But it doesn’t matter, reaction or not, that first half was just not good enough.
“Six goals was, I’ll use it again, embarrassing. We’ve come here with high hopes, with ambition. That’s a lesson we need to learn from quickly. That takes a bit of getting over, it’s one we won’t forget in a hurry.
“We deserve to be feeling like this after the way we just played, it’ll linger for some time. The only way we can put it right is wins but right now I’m not even thinking about that. We’ve embarrassed everybody.”
He also issued an apology to Norwich City supporters, in particular the rather splendid total of 1,622 who made the long trip to Plymouth for the game.
Never one to make MFW readers tremble with a flutter of worry, the pattern of last season is starting to rear its ugly bonce.
You know, terrific start, a little bit of stagnation, and then a couple of defeats against *better * clubs.
*** And I think everybody got to know how well that worked out for Plymouth, so listen up Championship Clubs everywhere: If you want to beat Norwich, play three at the back. Sing it loudly so everybody can hear.
If you want to beat Norwich, play three at the back…
***As the Autumn Equinox slowly but relentlessly approaches so does the time for The Season of the Witch.
Witches had cats as companion creatures who earned their food and lodging from occasionally helping out with the magic rather than the washing up.
Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett had one such animal [in this case an expensive Siamese example of the genre that apparently got its paws on a little bit of weed dust after Syd had indulged in a bit of over-enthusiastic grinding one night – no schoolboy remarks, please].
Time to find out if Messrs Delf, Owen, and Alex B like the earlier band too, I suppose. And any other Floyd fans out there on MFW, of course: