I hope you all had a happy Christmas. I certainly did, Crisscrossing London on several occasions seeing the V&A Museum, The Carol service at the Royal Albert Hall, a local ‘Battle*’ in Isleworth where we had Christmas Dinner, and a visit to Plough Lane where the current Wimbledon FC ply their trade. A time with my son and time with the daughter and her two lovely daughters. Very nice indeed.
My Yuletide joy was ended very sharply indeed at 20:01 on December 27th. A delivery of a sharp kick in the ‘Gladstone’s’ was delivered when World Cup star Krystian Bielik was maybe fouled but gave up the ball all too easily and two passes later Burnley opened our defense’s left-hand side,and we were a goal down. Merry Christmas.
Three loanees Bielik, Hannibal and Longelo all out of position and we are opened like a present with no wrapping.
The talk of fifth place seemed laughable then but with home games to come we could soon back in the race. Well, the six points that were ours for the taking were soon evaporating into the frosty Small Heath air. Three post-Christmas games yielded Zero points and one goal. Never in 60 years of Blues watching can I remember drawing a Blank like that. The Reading win should have been a warning when with a 3-0 lead we let in 2 sloppy goals. Requiring 2+ goals to get a draw every game is beyond us. As it is for most teams.
We are stuffed by injuries and the list grows ever longer. Sanderson followed by Roberts saw poor old George Friend make his first appearance against Boro’ for who knows how long. Were everyone fit he would be fifth choice for that position. Poor bloke got torn to shreds.
Hannibal was subbed by Leko. Napoleon Brandy for a can of coke? The boy had a go but when robbed in a tackle the final nail was hammered home. 3-1 Boro.
I often wonder why people, in football and in life, have this weird delusion that changing the last digit on the number denoting the year will some how change their fortune or even stand it on its head. In my long experience you must realize that if you were in the soft and smelly in the late weeks of December, January is likely to bring more of the same. If our ship wasn’t already steering towards an Atlantic iceberg, then the FA Cup visit to Forest Green Rovers is a collision waiting to happen.
No giving the kids a chance. No resting people’s legs. Best side available please. Losing here is unthinkable. A 4th round Cup tie in front of 40, 50, 60 odd thousand would keep us going for another year.
Now I’ve given you every reason to stay in bed till Easter, I’ll wish you all a Happy and prosperous New Year.
• Battle as in Battle Cruiser (BOOSER) or Rub-a-dub-dub.