Sunday, September 11, 2011
You win some, you lose some.
The football matters of course, not just the result, but the way you play and the manner in which a win is achieved.
Sometimes though you'll have to concede and put to one side your high standards, going home happy knowing you've got a result despite having an off day.
Yesterday for me was a little like that for me. We came away with three points, we're back in the top two, Chris Solly once again showed why Charlton got the better end of the deal over Arsenal, yet it was as football matches go, so very poor.
I had a little stroke of luck getting out of work a half hour earlier than i envisaged. I was expecting to pull in to SE7 at around three and sprint down to the ground, praying that Bradley Wright-Phillips would wait a little longer than Monday before getting off the mark.
As it turned out i was in the Rose of Denmark enjoying a pint of London Pride by a quarter past two.
By now we've all seen Exeter's goal a couple of times and read countless reports. From the north upper i really didn't think the ball had gone completely over the line. Whether it had or not, Exeter's 'scorer' Nardiello should have had more sense than to shout off at the linesman. In this day and age of political correctness, swearing in front of fourteen thousand people is going to get you in trouble.
Doing it to an officials face and you're asking for it. It's at least a caution all day long.
So off he went and we had that old situation of playing against ten men. I don't know how other sides get on in this position but we always struggle. Yesterday was no exception, it was hard to tell where the man advantage was on the park. I even counted the white shirts at one point to check Paul Tisdale hadn't sneaked another one on while we weren't looking.
The ever improving Chris Solly had an effort at the other end hitting the underside of the bar which crashed down somewhere near the line. My eyes these days just about see the goal itself in front of the Jimmy Seed, the whereabouts of the ball are totally out of my parameters.
You win some you lose some. We had done both (or neither depending on your view).
I very nearly missed the first definite goal. Not being overly impressed with what i was watching, the thought of avoiding the queues at the little boys room was looking more and more attractive.
Then of course Wright-Phillips broke through and struck with accuracy after link up play with his strike partner Paul Hayes. We went into the break with an undeserved lead against a relatively poor team.
Another problem at not really being able to see the other end that clearly is determining the stroke the evicted Exeter fan was doing. Carried out by a team of stewards, the lad was horizontal! With arms and legs going, it could have been the breast stroke or the front crawl. He was closely followed by a friend who was at least upright yet it didn't look like his feet touched the ground as he pedalled thin air. I said to Dean sat next to me that all six hundred could be leaving one by one at this rate.
The second half continued in much the same vain. We still struggled to show our numerical dominance and i fear many Addicks were worrying a repeat of Monday could have been on the cards. Fortunately Dale Stephens wasn't going to repeat his glaring miss and slotted home to secure the points ten minutes from time.
Chris Powell has stuck with pretty much the same side so far. Being top two and unbeaten we can understand why. I do worry a little that players may feel their place is secure and performances just go off the boil a little.
No disrespect to Stephens and Danny Hollands but a month ago they were running games from the middle of the park. This to me did seem to be missing a little yesterday.
Wiggins is still struggling to find his feet and his distribution is poor.
Hayes and Jackson both performed below what we know they are capable of and Waggy never really threatened to trouble their full back.
Players are going to have off days, it just seems they happen at The Valley. I do wonder if there is a pressure on them playing at home that they need to overcome. You'd be happy at snatching points on the road without the stylish passing football being on show.
At The Valley we expect a classier more dominant performance.
It was however a fantastic day as football always is. It's the first time I've seen them in the flesh since the opening day and had been looking forward to it for what felt like ages. The adrenaline kicks in on the train whilst listening to London Calling on the iPod, the first beer slips down a treat and the match day experience is second to none.
The football matters of course, but it's a day out with mates you just cannot put a price on.
A few drinks in Bartram's meeting a couple of Twitter followers for the first time followed by a couple at London Bridge with good buddies made a day of it.
And then i got home to catch the end of last night of the proms before Match of the Day. A chance to get get all patriotic after a day out at our national game.
Good old Blighty!
To top the weekend off we have celebrated Heidi's parents silver wedding anniversary today. They treated friends and family to an 'all you can eat' Chinese buffet at a local restaurant. Needless to say i stuffed myself silly and washed it down with a couple more beers.
All in all a great weekend. You win some, you lose some. This weekend i won.