So this week’s match report will be conducted entirely in question and answer form. Mainly this is because, since I took the seven year old Boy with me, answering questions was all I did all day. His are in italics and are prefixed “Daddy”. They remain unanswered. If you can accurately answer all of his, either in the comments or the NSC thread I’ll start, you win a prize*. Mine are in bold and are answered by me. Get it? No?
<deletes blog and goes back to gardening>
The questions are roughly in chronological order from the time I left the house.
Daddy, how do they get that writing on the bottom bit of the train track and what does the ‘A’ mean?
Daddy, what’s a Fire Door?
Daddy, why isn’t Lua Lua playing?
Daddy, why do half of Reading’s team have black training tops and the other half have white?
(Note, while I couldn’t answer that I suspect the answer is ‘because when you have parachute payments you can’t spend the money quickly enough’)
Daddy, what happens if all the players get injured? Do the mascots get to play?
Now some from me…
Is Jesse Lingard any good?
I believe he’s too good. He’s certainly wasted standing out on the left wing. After perhaps only ten minutes he was already drifting inside looking for the ball and making runs that, while they made certain people in the West Upper drool, could not be picked out by his team mates. However, one such run on 16 minutes led to the opening goal as the much maligned Spanish Dave tried to pick him out and Chris Gunter scored one of the best comedy own goals yet seen at the Amex.
Is Royston Drenthe any good?
Reading’s answer to Kemy Agustien was an annoyance from start to substitution. In my humble opinion a former Real Madrid player tipped to be the next big thing in world football shouldn’t be a mere annoyance but at least he was playing, which is more that he’d done since Boxing Day. Dived more than Tom Daley and wasn’t going to be happy until he’d tried to effect at least two sendings off and a penalty. On the other hand he also scored and the goal showed his Real Madrid quality. He was barely moving yet managed to shape the ball on to his left, create about six inches of space and put the ball straight through it and in to the bottom corner. All in all I was mightily relieved when he went off.
Was Gordon Greer’s first yellow deserved?
Undoubtedly. In fact he was very lucky that La Fondre was near the touchline and we had a semblance of a covering defender. No complaints about the first.
Daddy, what is this burger made of? It tastes a bit funny.
(Again, while I couldn’t answer this I pulled a long face and answered ‘neigh lad, I don’t know’)
Daddy, why does the linesman keep getting the offside wrong? Does he hate Brighton?
Was Gordon Greer’s second yellow deserved?
Now. It’s confession time. The challenge was described by about twenty different people to me but I actually missed the contact because I was bringing said seven year old back up from having a poo. Again this doesn’t happen to Andy Naylor. Luckily there’s the Football League Show. I have replayed the challenge five times to make up for not seeing it live and if that’s a yellow I’m Kylie Minogue on Thursdays. Foul? Yes. A bit silly as he was on a caution? Yes. Actually a yellow? Never. It was obstruction. What I did see – and what annoyed the stripy hordes – was Reading, led by Adkins talking the ref in to giving it. So….
Is the referee’s decision final?
That’s what I was always told when playing junior football. “Get back, there’s no point in arguing” my coach used to say. Clearly he was a fuckwit. Or at least not an ex physiotherapist.
Was a draw a fair result?
I think so. Obviously Reading had the better of it after went down to 10 and McAnuff of all people should have won it for them. However both Buckley and March went desperately close for us and we showed real fight. We didn’t leave a bead of sweat out there in general. Ulloa looked frustrated and Spanish Dave bottled a few challenges (but then he’s there to create goals, not be Norman Hunter) but otherwise it was a top effort.
Could it have been predicted?
Will Brighton or Reading go up?
Oh no. Reading have now failed to beat a team with eight men and a team with ten men in successive weeks. The last time we scored two and won the game people were a bit worried about the plague. No damage was done to either team but that just shows how weak this league is again this season.
Daddy, why is Peter carrying two beers again?
He just does, son. He just does.
*Nigel Adkins’ new book How to be An Annoying Speccy C**t Called Nigel