Date: 21st September 2012 at 9:37am
Written by:

Good morning.

Lilywhite shirts blazing under the lights, a lady for an ‘otdog, God is in his heaven and all is right with the world. Well, you know, if you turn a blind eye to refereeing that would be more at home at the centre of a match fixing scandal and a deaf ear to the monkey noises from the Lazio fans.

I’m not spearheading some crackpot conspiracy theory here, but it was curious that the game was officiated pretty impeccably everywhere other than our attempts to get the flippin’ ball over the line.

Caulker’s header was never up for debate. The ‘man’ in front of him crumbled and should’ve been booked once the goal awarded.

The game was enthralling. Having enjoyed watching Real Madrid the other night it was pleasing to see so many similarities in our play. Ball on the floor, players brains working over-time to find a way, make the break.

What I was watching was an AVB masterclass. Tactically we were thoughtful and committed. The only absent element were the goals to win the game and I wonder if one of our lot had launched one into the Lazio net from 35 yards the referee would have found some infraction to deny it.

One thing that drives me out of mind is watching footballers repeat the same mistakes. 5 games in I might be delusional, but I think I’m seeing fine tuning taking place with a number of players.

The monkey noises need to be investigated and this is as complex as asking ITV for a copy of the tape and hitting the play button. This is a club with a checkered past and without passing comments such as ‘Paulo Di Canio always looks very smart in a black shirt’ Lazio need to be heavily fined to ensure that they genuinely tackle the matter internally.

Now he didn’t have to do much but what did he did do and the body language were all positive.


A few excellent balls forward, notably to Azza. Sadly matched by a few sloppy losses of possession that he’s fortunate we weren’t punished for.


Much improved from the Reading game. Fine tuning or coincidence? Either way, more please.

I really want to see more of this guy. On last night’s showing he’s a perfect fit for the boss’ template.

Now that’s what I call solidification. He bossed and bustled. A proper menace.

Did nothing extraordinary but everything he did was integral to what we achieved as a unit. A quality footballer.

Captain my captain. He obviously felt more responsible about things, but his performance in the opposition’s 18 yard box was Arsenalesque. Shoot!

Hmmm. I don’t think we’re getting value for money from him in this central role at all at the moment. Not at all.

The offside decision was farcical. On an upbeat note he looks sharp and every inch a professional I’m convinced he’ll notch ’em up this season.

He played as well as he did against Reading, just didn’t get the breaks. Thought he was more involved again, more of a team player. Keep it up.

QPR await and if he can summon up immense human dimensions from our lot on a par with those he summoned up last night we will be in business.

That was an interesting night of football. Newcastle and played ‘Redknapp’ sides. The Newcastle game was appalling. Unwatchable.The Liverpool game was surreal. A cross between the old Monty Python ‘100 meters for people for no sense of direction’ and err… a football match.

Rodgers and Villas-Boas both want to play football a little differently to way their new clubs are used to. The difference appears – at this stage- that one of them took into consideration the existing personnel before agreeing to take over… and one of them didn’t. If you’ve any loose change floating around the house, stick it on a Manchester United win this weekend.

Funny breed are our home fans. Turned out in decent number to watch some truly mediocre fayre in this competition last time round yet there were about 10,000 spare seats last night for what will be remembered as a truly memorable game. Oh well.