It will be lonely this Christmas, lonely and cold. It will be cold, cold, cold, lonely and cold, this Christmas!
Well, we all know what happens to the team bottom of the pile at Christmas don't we? So what's the point of sacking Grant, retaining Parker, keeping Behrami, retaining Upson...Let's just accept the inevitable; the players have!
Once again, we didn't really show up for the first 45 minutes. Once again, there was no fight, no heart, no passion, no commitment, no leadership, no shape, no desire. It was cold. Bloody cold. So bloody cold that Behrami decided a warm up was more than enough thank you very much. Ouch the hip! The hip boss. It's the hip. Can't play boss. It's the hip hip hooray, Spector's in the team instead! Does anybody know if there are any flights out of Manchester Airport to Roma this evening?
Barrera isn't as cute as Behrami - the idiot actually found himself in the starting line up! Never mind, he played to get himself withdrawn and must have felt thoroughly cheated to be sent out for the second half. "What do you have to do to be substituted?" he asked Dyer as they came out for the second 45, "I have passed to the opposition every time I have touched the ball!" Not to be frustrated, he escaped from the terrible cold by trying to dribble the ball from his own corner flag, losing possession in the process and so playing a vital part in Blackburn's pantomime goal. Ball crossed in, Tomkins outjumped (Look out, he's behind you!), ball falls to ground via a Blackburn head and Tomkins body, a shot, a save by Boffin, all flailing legs and arms, a where's the ball, where's the ball, where's the ball panic, and a Nelson bundled follow up as Boffin lay on his back!
Mind you, Dyer did his best to come off at the interval too. "Offside? What is offside? There's no such thing as offside in the treatment room!" He perked up in the second half and combined brilliantly with Parker in one rare moment of quality but, that apart, he was average. Like the rest, he only woke up after we went behind.
Parker was busy and was involved in the goal with a typical driving run into a cul de sac.The ball made its way to Stanislas via a Blackburn player (the aptly named Givet) so, like the Blackburn goal, it was a slapstick creation, despite the brilliant Stanislas finish.
The goal apart, and a shot from Upson against the post, we offered virtually nothing going forward. Mind you, apart from free kicks happily conceded by Gabbidon and Boa, Blackburn offered no attacking threat either. Quite why Gabbidon and Boa did their best to assist Pedersen by giving away these free kicks is anybody's guess. Maybe they fancied the warmth of the dressing room too!
Spector shouldn't have started anyway and was justifiably withdrawn, although Barrera and Gabbidon had made much stronger personal cases to be substituted than the American. But then Cole and McCarthy came on and put them all to shame! If you want to look utterly crap, this is how you do it!
Upson did ok. Tomkins played well but was involved in the mess of the Blackburn goal. Ben Haim played well but was booked for a crude challenge and did his best to concede a penalty for pushing every time Blackburn were awarded a corner. How ironic that a Blackburn goal was struck off because Gabbidon was bundled to the ground by Nelson! Piquionne linked well a few times but was awful in front of goal, heading over from a corner and blazing two shots wide when it would have been better to check back and look for support.
That apart we were crap. Had Allardyce been in charge (of Blackburn!!!!), we would have been stuffed like a Christmas turkey. Luckily, the Blackburn board gave us a present by changing manager in the week of the game.
So, we sit bottom of the table for Christmas with unlucky 13 points. Anybody who thinks we can escape relegation must still believe in Father Christmas.
By the way, does anybody know what happened to Obinna? Was it too cold for him to even get on the coach?
Boffin 4; Ben Haim 6, Tomkins 6, Upson 6, Gabbidon 3; Barrera 2, Spector 4, Parker 6, Boa 5, Dyer 5, Piquionne 5 Subs Cole 2, McCarthy 1, Stanislas 6