When the fixtures came out in June I remember being pretty satisfied with the exception of having to play Man. Utd. at home on the last day as realistically we would need to get something from the game, a fact that has come to pass.
I was, along with Toon fanatic Mr. Tait, absolutely resolved NOT to end up pacing the room last Saturday with Soccer Saturday and or, some dodgy internet link up to Bolton dictacting my emotions. Thus we arranged to take the kids to the theatre. Upon arrival we were informed that the pivotal member of the cast was sick.
But not as sick (with worry) as I turned out to be as, despite myself I ended up in precisely the scenario outlined above…..
But, a one all draw and a magnificant performance where only that pesky Jaaskalinen prevented City taking all three points.
The Trotters goalie has produced not one,but two saves against us this season which have simply defied the laws of nature and cost us four points in the process.
Nevertheless we can have no complaints over the season, and I for one have enjoyed most of it. The week where we lost to Spurs, made heavy weather of Sheff. Utd in the Cup and crashed against Blackburn, all at Walton Street was the only sustained period where I was truly fed up.
IF WE STAY UP: It will be because we have taken points off every team in this Division so far except Sunderland. Against the bottom three we have taken 11 out of 18 points available, only losing to Boro away. And against the top four we have taken 5 points and scored nine goals including THAT victory at Arsenal plus draws away to Liverpool and Chelsea. And there is the small matter of banging in three goals at World Club champs Manchester United.
IF WE GO DOWN: This will be due to awful form at Walton Street with only three wins, and none since December. Failure to beat teams in the middle of the table has cost us, and a total of just two wins since October (29 games) is just woeful in the extreme. Brown’s bollocking of the players in flangrante at Eastlands was a pivotal moment as our ability to play above our natural station was based on sticking together, come what may. The Manager’s transfer window activity was poor and his man management of King, Cousin and Geovanni, all vital in the goals for column, has been underwhelming.
But whatever the outcome on Sunday the Club is well on track to be established in the Premier League by 2011, the target set by Mr. Duffen last year, so really this season has been a "free" go in preparation for that. We are solvent and Season Tickets are sold out already meaning that we can either push on in this Division or mount a successful attempt on the Championship (Europe’s fourth most important league) summit.
Phil Brown has apologised for the Man City incident and deserves to remain as Boss for the forseeable future as he seems to be the sort of guy who learns from his mistakes.