Sometimes, having a Twitter account is a bad thing. Posting to something that restricts you to 140 characters in the heat of the moment can be a bad idea. Luckily I have this blog here where I can try to explain myself a bit further. Last night, on about 80 minutes Teixeira made a lunge for the ball that he couldn’t possibly hope to win without fouling, and in doing do picked up an injury that looked very nasty indeed. Andy D’Urso booked him anyway as he lay in agony, prone on the turf. My comment on the incident was not meant as a slight on Tex but rather the way he has been used and developed by the club. Let’s make that clear.
Players can be loaned out for a couple of reasons. The first is to get some dead wood off the wage bill, which is how we ended up with Leon Best. The second is to give a young player experience and return them to their parent club better and stronger, which is how we ended up with Tex. There are many games this season where he has pretty much has to be the single creative force in the team, the only one with a bit of spark. This can often lead to him over complicating a move, holding on to the ball for one dribble too many or shooting too late. When he does, to his credit, he always tries to win it back. He can be a little lightweight in the tackle going forward and, at times, the winning back attempt can be ill advised. So it was last night that he got injured. The tweet was not meant in any way to slight the player himself but rather to question what he will have learned by having to carry the side all season. Lovely facilities we may have but at Liverpool he will not be asked to be the only creative force. We will be sending him back in a cast I would think, a result not of his inability but rather his over excitement. We may well have Category A facilities but if I was Liverpool I’d be furious. Meanwhile, those same facilities are being wasted on another loan player who so despises the side he’s ended up with that he trudges off at snails’ pace when substituted with the game still needing to be won.
The Category A status will, of course, start to come in to its own in future years. This is a long term investment and, by all accounts, we already have a very promising group of youngsters. Southampton have had on field success and financial success using this model and there is no doubt in my mind that a man as shrewd as Tony Bloom will get this just as fantastically right over time. If only the present wasn’t so depressing. This is, collectively, the worst group of first team players we’ve had since Mickey Adams Part Two, an era that had also had too many loan players in common. It is producing a truly woeful spectacle that is being played out in front of an ever shrinking audience.
So what was last night good for? Just the pub really. Writing this is becoming like Groundhog Day. A couple of friends mentioned they were looking forward to what I’d come up with, which was nice, but I was thinking “I haven’t got a clue”. Nothing original anyway. Back in the pub after the game, Boy-less as I was, we did indeed have a fine old time and many agreed they wished they’d been there all evening. When that group includes a well known friend of the club, another who gave up more during the Gory Years than most and a third who used to tramp all over the country with me in the 90s you know something is wrong. These ARE the die hards. The latter of the three had left twenty minutes early to go back to the boozer. Can you honestly blame him?
Can anyone remember a more wretched, poor quality game than this at this level? We had all of the ball but did not manage to produce a single shot on target. The closest we came being a mis-hit Bruno cross that brushed the woodwork. Huddersfield had none of the ball at all and yet Stockdale was still our man of the match, because, on their very rare forays forward they at least managed to target their chances. The one exception being a woeful period of play late in the second half where they left our defence for dead before missing a series of opportunities my eight year old could have put away.
Visiting aliens, coming across the game would not have come to the conclusion that this was an end of season game between 17th and 19th in the league. They would have come to the conclusion that the people involved, all of them, were crazy and irredeemably backwards before heading off to find a rock concert and some hot chicks.
The bad news is that we are still not safe. Should Millwall win their game in hand there will only be a four point gap between them and us. We still have to play Watford and Middlesboro, neither of who will be as woeful as Huddersfield were last night. True, Rotherham have to play Fulham and may yet be penalised for fielding an ineligible player against us. True, next up are Wigan and we may scrape a result there. But we are not out of the woods, thanks to our inability to break down a barely average side that parked the bus.
No wonder our one bright, creative spark got frustrated.