After a suitable period of mourning for the national team it's back to the real action of Championship football. Not that I'm mourning for the players in the England team of course, or even the manager, it's the state of English football that I care most about. I blame the F.A. Yes the Fat Asses who control the game and who know sweet F.A. about football. Oh yes, they might know a lot about business, and what they will call the 'business of football' but none of this can translate into a passion for the game.
When was the last time they all stood on a terrace for over two hours in the middle of winter with nothing to show but Frozen Assets at the end of a match. I know I'm one of the softies who has a regular seat at Layer Road, but that's on account of my Flippin' Arthritis and I like to think I've done my time at the real end of the game. When have they ever sat at a match where they cared about watching some Ferocious Action and prayed for help, and I mean put their hands together and asked Him to grant their wishes. Except of course it probably did happen last week when they realised that there'd be Falling Advertising revenues from sponsors who were banking on a profitable Euro 2008 campaign.
Sad to say but this sense of grief returned early in the game against Palace, just six minutes into the First 'Arf' and we were one down. Worse was to come a minute later when Baldwin Flapped his Arms and Ifill Fell About as though he'd been shot. But somehow from that point it became a match worth saving. The boys slowly clawed their way back into contention. It wasn't pretty, but we don't ask for that. We just ask that they try, and try they did. By half time things were looking positive and you could tell we were on the up because our Favourite Announcement told us that Ipswich had lost earlier.
The half time entertainment had a mis-match in 'Over-The-Wall'. One very young contender was barely taller than the ball, but he surprised everyone by winning the contest and may even be in contention for the Wickes DIY Vouchers at the end of the season. The Palace supporters were delighted and cheered him back to his place on the terraces to the tune of 'Sign him up, sign up, sign him up'. Let's hope he's a Free Agent?
In the second period it looked like we wanted to salvage something and a superb piece of Footie Action resulted in the equaliser. At this point Palace were expected to Fall Apart and gift us the game. But no, they hadn't read the same script and Neil Warnock's men decided that a draw wasn't enough for them and they upped their pace and took the lead once again.
Despite the reappearance of our Fallen Angel, Teddy Sheringham MBE (Mischievous Bl**dy Elbow) and some Frantic Activity in the remotest areas of the field the result was to be the same as the corresponding fixture last season.
I have to say that the lads battled marvellously throughout the last eighty three minutes, but in the Final Analysis, we lost 1-2, and we scored no points, and it Felt Awful trudging down Layer Road with nothing to show for our efforts.
I blame the F.A.