Well, at least it’s mostly white.
Morning all. It is, as always, a rainy day in Manchester and, as the Euros get going again with this evening’s quarter final, I find myself in an interesting position.
It’s work, you see. On Sunday, I start work at 10pm. This would mean that I would be able to watch the England game at home with Mrs X, but if there is any extra time, that’s me scuppered. So, do I call in sick thirty minutes before I’m supposed to start work or do I listen to it on the radio in the car, hoping that it’s still going by the time I get into work so that I can watch it (with the sound off, we’re all professionals)?
But if England win, that’s another issue. I’m working until 10pm on Thursday, meaning that if England get through to the semi finals, I’m going to miss the vast majority of it (although it will still be on TV at work with the sound off). So, do I pull a sicky on that day, even though it is blindingly obvious what I’m doing?
And speaking of decisions, I have to make a decision of whether or not to buy the new home shirt, unveiled last night on the club’s facebook page. Of the kit itself I can only join in the inevitable chorus of thanking God that it is mostly white, although the orange blob that advertises the club’s sponsor does slightly take away from that. After the abjectness of the shirts that Reebok have foisted on us in recent years, this goes back to being simple, which is what most people want. So, that’s the good point.
Obviously, there has to be a gripe. The first is the advertising, with the length of Eagles and Alonso’s arms making them look like they have just walked off the set of a new X-Files movie, whilst the recreation of the White Hot photo with Eagles and Alonso in place of SuperJohn, Andy Walker and David Lee may get some people’s backs up.
Then there is the price. Forty five of your British for the shirt of a Championship club is a large amount of wedge to shell out just for the privilege of being a walking billboard for a betting company. In these economic times there are other and better things to spend your money on (lighting, heat, food, that kind of thing) and someone needs to have a look at their pricing structure. Liking the shirt is one thing, buying it is another. I think I’ll wait for the inevitable sale and keep on wearing my black one for the time being. It will remind me of happier times. (Beating QPR away)
Elsewhere, the transfer/loan of Matt Mills keeps on rumbling closer and with his name continually being trailed across the Bolton News it pretty much looks like a done deal. As for the other name on the horizon, Keith Andrews, it would appear that he is also on his way, after deciding that he didn’t want to uproot his family and move to Scotland and Celtic.
Andrews is seen as a replacement for Nigel Reo-Coker, although not a direct one as Reo-Coker is a decidedly better player. The midfield needs an enforcer/holding type player and with NRC gone and Muamba not available, Andrews would fit the bill. His temperament is a bit suspect, as anyone who witnessed the final moments of Ireland’s Euro campaign will known, and at nearly thirty two is no spring chicken. However, he knows what to do in the Championship, having spent quite a lot of time in it. This is also his downside, showing the limitations of a footballer who had fallen to League Two with the MK Dons before moving with Paul Ince to Blackburn where he never really got to grips with the highest level. His release by West Brom at the end of the season should come as no surprise. But he should be able to do a job in the middle, so we will give this a rating of 7/10 on the plausibility scale.
Right, I’m off to find a sausage and egg muffin. Have yourselves a good one and we may reconvene over the weekend. Until then.
Follow your writer, Mr X, on Twitter @QuentinX