Date: 19th December 2011 at 9:32am
Written by:

Good morning.

Despite having an IQ likened by me to ‘the size of a planet’ when the game finished and the league table popped up on the TV screen I said out loud, ‘Wow, look at that’. Do you think it’s helpful we retain some modesty and indeed some small degree of awe while things are progressing so excellently?

In the opening minutes of the game there was a lovely move that broke down on the left when I think misplaced a pass and the ball was stroked out of play. This drew a significant groans from a section of the home support. I think it was Dave Basset commentating on my coverage and he wryly remarked that ‘some fans have been spoiled recently.’

I’m beginning to feel spoiled. We’re sitting 3rd in the Barclays with a game in hand and respectable goal difference. Our schedule of games has been balanced unlike it might be argued Newcastle’s who’s good run was underpinned by some results from soft opposition. Including us.

The ratings then…

 7.001 Granite face, metal heart. The Colonel oozes confidence, he pongs of experience. Go on, get close, fill your nostrils. The scent of defiance.

 5.678 A little too exciting to watch at times. Benny clearly has class and talent in equal measure but if we’re serious about this business now, he needs to row in the same direction.

 6. 467 A much improved showing here. But that is obviously down to getting back into the swing of things. Notably good in the air and far more composed all round.

 6. 467 Consistent as hell. Sunderland lacked bite up front but the pests that did get through had bad luck or no luck at all. Fingers crossed he doesn’t sneeze and dislocate an ankle before Cheatski.

 6. 467 Bundles of desire going forward, a menace on occasion. But I really want to see him get his defence game nailed. If he can do that, then he can start to really own his shirt.

 7.004 Unconvincing first half. His showing in the second was a key element in us not collapsing, not giving quarter and not failing. The trio of him, Modric and PNB is some unit right there.

 7.003 Let’s hope fans aren’t becoming complacent with his routinely tidy displays. Solid as a rock defensively and displaying wit and understading in spades going forwards.

 7.003 Looked a little out the mix in the early stages and there’s a nasty rumour going around about missing  sitter. I don’t buy a word of it. Cheatski will be back in for him in January offering first born children. And that sort of thing.

 7.209 Most of his work was excellent. The rest was sublime. His passing was on occasion extraordinary. We must have all been very, very good in a previous life to have landed him, eh Glenn?

 6. 399 We just couldn’t seem to feed him and when we did he struggled like hell to make much of it. Manu improved in the second half and his constant redeeming feature is his intelligence. 

 7 Watching him come on you could clearly see how non existent his relationship is with , Bondy waving his fingers, the boy himself was patting his hair down and looking into the distance. Sweet, sweet goal.