Date:26th October 2012 at 12:24pm
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Last night was a lot like the game against the Bubbles but with 13,000 Rammstein fans in the crowd. The overwhelming concern to all of us watching was that it really was a terribly dull fare. Once you got past the Maribor ‘I’ve been shot in the face’ play-acting the actual entertainment to be had was less than meager.

The star of our show – that if it was a pilot episode wouldn’t get commissioned for a series – was Tommy Huddlestone. I’ve been increasingly frustrated with him and the ‘myth of him’ perpetuated by his fanboys. But in the midst of this wake with no booze of a match he stood out as someone who was at least attempting to offer some class.

Difficult to argue there is a sweeter strike of the ball in the Premier League, I’d say. His distribution was like watching one of those slick frisbee players from the 1970’s. A slight delay as the grip was decided then the thing pinged effortlessly with extraordinary care and precision. Kind words from a blogger that described him only two weeks ago as looking like he’d been smoking ketamine. Possibly for weeks on end.

The problem is or was that Maribor are actually a bit rubbish.

My gusto for this tournament wanes when we don’t field a full strength team and we looked utterly characterless against a team greyer than John Major’s favourite sweater. Allegations that the manager is taking it more seriously than the players is a conspiracy theory that dissipates once the quality of the men in the Lilywhite nosedives this low.

Falque had a go, but at 23 you have to ask why he isn’t doing more than games like this. Lennon was in flatter to deceive mode again which against the schmucks he was facing is depressing.

Poor old/young Kyle Walker needs a rest. The bloke needs to urgently regroup. Don’t get sidetracked with the Twitter thing. Get focused on a naff game for England followed by a worse one for us against Chelsea. This guy isn’t too far away from being the business.But he needs to be reeled in now before we get a ‘trying too hard’ performance in the Premier League that also doesn’t amount to a hill of beans.

Jan was buried in the mediocrity. Naughton did little wrong, I want him to play against Southampton. Sandro was out of control. Mind you no one else was doing anything so it probably seemed like a good idea at the time. Livermore should ask Nottingham Forest if they have any openings. Gilfy needs Bale. Needs a plan. He’s a boy with no job description. Townsend look like he’d been taking tips from Kyle Walker. Lots of gusto, no bloody brain.

Defoe as a lone striker is like staring at the last match in the box and hoping it doesn’t snap/isn’t damp …

So what of the bosses’ Europa project? Mmmn. Bale on paternity leave. Adebayor with arse back ache. Moussa with a knocked out hip. Parker on a Saga Spa Break. Mmmn. If we don’t win the two home games we don’t deserve to progress. I just wish we’d played better. Unlovable stuff.