As I get older it appears that there is less time for, well, everything, really.
While not that long ago I used to be able to park myself in front of the keyboard and rattle off the odd literary classic, these days it’s a bit of a push to find the time.
Of course there is still time to sit down and watch the match – if there wasn’t then serious adjustments would have to be made – but writing about it , well that’s getting to be tricky.
This week I found myself putting in a few extra hours at work trying to sort out a botched installation.
A colleague was in charge of a large project to upgrade a fire alarm system and got it so wrong that apart from installing sprinklers that actually belched flames instead of water, it’s difficult to see what else he could have screwed up.
But buried deep in this fog of grey cloud there was a sliver of a silver lining of the most comedic type.
Following the bollocking of a lifetime from the boss, Ali decided to put him in his place by responding by email and copying it to the entire mailing list.
Ali’s response reasoned that while he may have messed up the project, it was obviously the boss who was to blame for giving the project to someone who had no idea what he was doing in the first place.
Laugh? I thought my pants would never dry!
I do try to look for, and usually find , humour in the most unexpected places (officer?).
Nothing is taboo, which is why I find Political Correctness et al to be so depressing. With the planet in its current state we really need to be able to find “mirth-worth” where-ever we can.
If you banned all jokes that offend, may offend, or possibly may offend, then there’s not an awful lot left to laugh at. I would guess that in 99.9% of all jokes we are laughing at someone else’s misfortune. Whether it’s the Irishman, the Blonde or the Farmers daughter, someone somewhere has just fallen flat on their arse.
So imagine my delight when I found cause for chortle after the QPR match when I read that Pardew was telling the press that we are becoming a team “difficult to beat”.
At the time I remember thinking that there’s a big difference between us being watertight at the back and QPR not being able to hit the proverbial “Krul’s arse with a banjo”.
The Villa game, while hardly being the stuff of the Entertainers, was, quite literally a completely different ballgame.
It’s amazing what a difference 2 or 3 new players can make. Not to mention a few older ones.
Krul – 6
A couple of good punches was about it for Krul. That may be impressive for Barton, but pretty average for Krul.
Simpson – 6
I still think Danny boy is getting better – we’ve certainly had worse playing for us. Nothing spectacular, but he’s getting fairly mobile and is pretty handy on the wing.
Raylor – 7
A couple of minor errors failed to mar an otherwise reasonable performance. Maybe he has realized that Left Back is his best bet for regular football , and judged on recent performances, apart from occasionally demonstrating the decision making prowess of a traffic light when it comes to tackling, he’s impressed.
Coloccini – 7
Another good showing but was caught in the wrong place for the goal – wrong-sided by Agbonlahor he did an Ameobi (help I’ve fallen and I cant get up!) while trying to challenge. Otherwise a decent showing
STaylor – 5
So what happened? Did they give him Titus Bramble’s old locker? Was there something contagious in there?
Sorry – I cant even think of the word “contagious” without thinking of the joke about the 1” paint brush.
I’m not usually shy when it comes to having a go at Taylor, but this was way more disconcerting than his normal performances. He may have almost pulled off the volley of the season, but he didn’t , and all I remember is a completely mistimed header and a back heel that put Bent in for a sitter, that, fortunately, having spent time with the Mackems, he missed.
Cabaye – 8
I wasn’t particularly impressed when Cabaye first showed up but boy does he look special now.
Are we missing Barton? – Don’t think so.
Are we missing Nolan? Who?
He marshals well, passes superbly and takes a mean dead ball. Not to mention his ability to wave his boot in the general direction of their goal.
What I find particularly off-pissing at the moment is the fact that we are paying an entire squad 20 – 80 thousand pounds a week each and we are “impressed” when this guy shoots from the edge of the box. Surely someone else in the squad is capable of having a crack?
Tiote – 6
Still hasn’t quite made it back to the level he was at before he went home to renew his visa. Maybe he’s been chewing something he shouldn’t. They have some funny plants in Ghana
Getting there but got caught napping so many times Pardew needs to rethink his policy of serving warm milk and cookies before the game.
Gutierrez – 6
One of his slower games. Didn’t get the runs under his belt and didn’t manage to fall over anywhere near as much as usual.
An off day for one of our more consistent performers.
Obertan – 6
Hasn’t been here “cinq minutes” but strikes me as a bit of a hot and cold character. Or should that be “chaud et froid”?
In his defence he gets about a bit, but there again so did my ex-wife, and for some reason I never considered that a plus with her.
Best – 7
I’m in serious danger of having to start writing good things about Leon. I still don’t like him or rate him but with 9 in 12 games its now getting very hard to justify my routine criticism of him.
In true Best fashion he hammered it home from 27cm out. While not wishing to detract too much from his obvious shooting ability I do feel obliged to point out that he did set up the goal by missing the initial header from 29 cm out.
Please feel free to get all moist thinking about Best’s record but, I’d be a tad more impressed if he could bang them in from a little further out.
I suppose the up-side here is that at least the ball is getting to him.
To me, Leon Best is like broccoli. I just don’t like him.
Ba – 6
Needs to reset his watch. Commentators tell us he is still fasting for the Islamic Holy month of Ramadan. As Ramadan finished 3 weeks ago I think he should seriously consider at least trying a sausage sandwich.
He strikes me as the type of forward who will just click and start putting them away, but until then………..
Sammyobi – 6
There are times when you watch a match and can’t understand why the manager isn’t playing to your strategy.
Personally considering our dearth of players who can get forward and cause problems, I’m waiting for the day when Sammy “the Cameo” Ameobi can measure his time on the pitch in minutes more than seconds.
This is a lad who needs the stage.
Shameobi – 5
Despite slagging off Best, I was surprised when Pardew took him off and put on Shola instead. He fell over, fell asleep and fell well short of the mark.
Marveaux – 7
In the brief time he was given he passed well, moved well and had came close to scoring, but spoiled it all for me by passing to Shola, something guaranteed to kill a promising move stone dead.
This looks like one to watch for the future.
What was a surprise for me in the game was the reception afforded Shay Given.
Given is class and served the club well for many years. Apart from Shearer there can’t be many others who have contributed so much to club and deserve the respect and recognition for what they have done.
So if you were part of the small group who booed him you should be ashamed of yourselves.
Booing Given? WTF?
We made chances, came close and had a few players on the pitch actually trying.
I hope those who kicked up such a fuss when our old guard left in the summer have seen the youth, enthusiasm, speed and creativity that we now have, have settled down a bit and will get back to supporting the team.
It’s not about those who have gone but those who remain. Its not about bringing in expensive players, but bringing in good ones. It’s not, and this may come as a shock to some of you, about the words on the roof, or the font used. It’s about what happens under it.
I’ve got socks older than that particular roof so lets lay off the whinging about insignificants and get on with supporting the team.
Regardless of our current position there’s still a long way to go, but our new signings combined with our young talent coming through are making it interesting.
The defence is still a bit “clockwork penguin” at times but there’s certainly hope.