Wednesday night was all too predictable for us in cup ‘runs’. Despite their three best players not even being in the city, we just couldn’t take the few chances we had.
I suspect a congratulatory phone call at ticking-off one ‘non-priority’ was the order of the day. Like the first letter in The Times reporting the first Cuckoo of Spring, we already have an airing of the ‘tired legs’ line.
The club has successfully removed any threat of a European adventure, but to little effect on our ‘fitness’ seemingly.
Therefore they must now move on to getting rid of the tiresome business of a successful domestic cup run, in case it hampers Ashley’s ambition of finishing among the top £60 million. Brighton (a) in the FA Cup should do it nicely.
This moves us on to Chelsea, another team we apparently aspire to be like, if only we’d had a billionaire owner.
If I didn’t see the result at our dear friends’ home coming, then I certainly didn’t this one.
For an hour we chased the ball like a daft dog chasing a torch beam.
However, when it clicked Chelsea were all show and no front, we actually started to look comfortable. Inevitably, and equally as unobtainable, like a drunk in a pole dancing club, they threw ever-increasing amounts of money at us.
Fortunately, as against Liverpool, we prevailed admirably.
Perversely, I suspect many would swap those two results for the derby.
So, our depleted, injury-laden squad continues to soldier on (if only there was some way of adding to the squad for such eventualities), and confound as well confuse by equal measure.
A postscript to the derby last week and the NCJ media ban. Are we now only to hear five-yearly proclamations from our supreme leader played over the club tannoys underneath 1950s photographs, North Korea style?
The club’s press officer Wendy Taylor tried to justify the ban.
Quite frankly madam, if you think preventing our manager from speaking to certain press (when it wasn’t even at our stadium) is acceptable behaviour in 2013 when we are about to commemorate the millions who died protecting such a freedom, then you’re not only in the wrong job but you’re in the wrong century.