Date: 3rd February 2011 at 10:10am
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There was a lot of anticipation before last night. Would he? Wouldn’t he? Would the new lad appear or would he be left for a future appearance? Would the result be the right one or would we all be left with a sense of anti-climax.

It didn’t start well, as if it was waiting for something to happen. All the usual suspects were there, as well as a couple who you were sure you’ve seen elsewhere but couldn’t be sure where. What was that guy’s name? Lee? Are you sure.

So, it trundled along as if it had somewhere to go but would be taking its time about getting there. People were found wanting, some disappeared altogether. There was an exceptional performance by a supporting character which kept us on our toes, but in the end we had decided that we were going to settle for the usual, hackneyed ending.

And then it came. A genuine sense of handing over the baton to the new guy. Sure, there was a last minute moment of misunderstanding that allowed him to pick it up and run with it, but you’ve got to admit, when he saw his opportunity he took it with aplomb.

And so he went, off into the night, to find out exactly how the vicar of the church at Badger’s Drift had ended up swinging from his own bell rope. And we said goodbye to John Nettles. Midsomer will never be the same again.

Now, you may be thinking that I didn’t watch the game. Oh, how wrong you are my friend. I have two eyes and can keep up with the fineries of a cosy, middle class, murder-mystery with one whilst watching a football match, with the sound muted so those Spanish commentators don’t cause consternation, with the other.

Of the game, there is little to tell. Hearts were in mouths early on when Jarvis ran through the defence and went one on one with Jussi. Fortunately, he pulled it wide. Now, I say he ran through the defence, but that is being kind to a defence that weren’t there. Don’t be fooled by the zero, ladies and gentlemen. It was lucky we were playing Wolves.

But, then, I suppose we were unlucky to only get the one and for that we have to thank Wayne Hennessey. On two occassions in the first half he saved well, first from Elmander who produced the kind of snap shot that he was firing in earlier in the season rather than the lame efforts that we have, again, become used to. Then Matty Taylor was played through by Lee and, whilst the Bolton player should have done better, Hennessey came out and smothered well.

The only other Bolton chance of note was a Sam Ricketts shot from thirty five yards that screamed just wide. We’re still waiting for his first goal for the club, which, when you think that may have been his first shot for us, isn’t too surprising.

Although there were no goals, it was a fairly frenetic first half. Not much quality but plenty of endeavour. That we had missed Chung-Yong Lee was evident as much that was good came through him. However, a lack of potency up front called for the introduction of Danny Sturridge, surely?

No, not so much. The second half began pretty much as the first half ended, much running about, not much end product. A chance fell to Lee but Hennessey stuck his leg out and the ball was cleared before Paul Robinson and Richard Stearman both challenged for the ball and then both challenged for worse set to of the match, Robbo just shading it with the tried and tested grab other player by the throat technique. Both players saw yellow. Anyone watching Robbo’s face could only see puce.

Hennessey made another crucial save, this time from his own player, as Lee flicked the ball onto Berra’s leg, who kindly diverted it towards his own goal. How Stockport must be wishing he was back on loan there. By that time, so was I.

With that, Lee and Taylor were substituted for Rodrigo and Sturridge. A cheer went round The Reebok but it quickly subsided when everyone realised that Elmander was staying on. And he then proved why he should have been taken off twice in quick succession, first by mishitting a shot so badly he may as well have left it and then secondly looking the wrong way when a SuperKev flick on squirmed out of Hennessey’s hands. By this time I was screaming at the computer for Klasnic to come on but, as usual, it was ignoring me. It does make you wonder what we are paying him for. Klasnic I mean, not Elmander. Although…..

Wolves had a glorious chance to take the lead with four minutes left. A long ball found Doyle on the right and, with Paul Robinson stranded upfield, Zat Knight ambled across to close him down. Then stopped. Then backed up as Doyle came into the area. Shaping to shoot, the returning Robinson got a leg to the ball, taking some of the sting out of it. The ball looped, spun, hit the post and was cleared. Heart in mouth, I returned to the fridge for another glass of Chablis.

What? I lived in London for five years. Give it time. I’ll be back on bitter soon.

With the match looking like it would fizzle out, Zubar then tried to play the ball back to Hennessey after initially throwing the ball in and receiving it back. Sturridge latched onto the ball and finished well, first time. With just enough time to give Muamba a run out, the game was over.

Not a classic performance, to be sure, but a welcome three points that has somehow put us back into eighth. There will now be a real clamour to start Sturridge at Spurs. Shall we form a line now?

McCarthy looked so depressed afterwards I actually felt sorry for him. He was speechless which, for someone from Yorkshire, is pretty bloody rare. But not as sorry as I feel for the inhabitants of Midsomer, knowing there is still a Barnaby about to seek justice.


9 Replies to “Last Minute Revelation Brings In New Boy”

  • Coincidentally, last night’s performance was criminal. And some Wolves were mugged. The game will probably appear on the police website soon.

  • Wait, is Nettles’ Inspector Barnaby no longer on Midsomer Murders? Nooooo! Hope Sturridge bangs in many more for you folks.

  • what does it take st owen to realise taylor has nothing to offer other than dead balls? he has no pace to play on the wing and cannot beat a man !! (even holden took the freekicks and corners last night) which leads me to wonder why is he in the team?? no disrespect to the lad he has been good for us especially when we had ginge and the long ball tactics !! but surely if St Owen wants to play football he needs pace to do this ie Rodrigo or at worst petrov would surely be better!! hopefully he will start sturridge against spurs as davvo and elmander look woefull at the minute dont know what klasnic has to do to get on the pitch!! davies and elmo couldnt finish there dinner yet klasnic is a natural finisher with very little game time confusing !! and it showed in the first half how much we have missed the blue dragon great to see him back all though he must be shagged after the milage that lad has done either way things can only get better COYWM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • BlueBanes, you’re just saying that because we’ve already played Chelsea twice. Although “played” may be putting our performance at the Reebok a little too strongly. I must say that I ran around my flat hollering like a madman when we scored. COYWM, indeed. PS Both Lofty the Lion and Super John on Twitter now. Can it get any better?

  • I can only imagine the torture suffered by the people who went to the game! We should be battering teams like Wolves (no disrespect intended) at least 2-0! Rockets applied to arses pronto. Plus Elmo needs a spell with the Stiffs. Sturridge has got to start otherwise why bring him in and Klasnic has got to get some game time. Both got to be ahead of Elmo. Likewise Rodrigo…has played well on the limited time he has had with Taylor and Petrov looking worryingly workmanlike! A bit of heart and balls please guys!!

  • Torture is right. And yes, I felt sorry for Wolves too. That’s the kind of luck that gets you relegated, we know by experience. Just hope we’ll gain some confidence from this and make a game of it against the spuds

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