16/9/17 Blues v Preston North End. Never mind chop suey, chop Harry.

I just wasn’t feeling it. Don’t know why, just wasn’t. It was Saturday, so no work. I was watching Blues, something I look forward to all week. I was meeting up with my lad, I don’t see him enough and there was beer to be drunk but I just felt flat. Then as I’m walking through town, I walked passed a woman that looked familiar. I ain’t got the best of track records when it comes to women. Relationships are something else I’m rubbish at. It wasn’t that where I recognised her from though. It wasn’t work either. Then I smiled as I remembered where I’d seen her. Being me, I couldn’t quite remember her name. Surname Lyons from off Mock The Week. Google search later. Zoey Lyons. If spotting Zoey Lyons made me smile then seeing armed police took the smile away. Isn’t the presence of armed police supposed to reassure you? Make you feel safer? Had the opposite effect for me. It put me on edge. I would’ve taken a photo but didn’t fancy my phone being shot out of my hand. The smaller of the two was best part of 6’6. The Kalashnikovs looked like purchases from Toys R Us, still wasn’t going to take the chance though. Little did I know that someone was for the bullet. . . . L.J. landed and I told him that I’d seen Zoey Lyons. He surprised me by not knowing who she was. Maybe it was just because it wasn’t Russell Howard. We got in the Wellington quickly followed by Pete. Jess behind the bar poked fun at L.J. for choosing a Koppenburg. I did ask for a straw for him but she said that he had to have a glass like a big boy. We went over and joined Steve, Jinksy, Baggies fan Paul Mason and his Dad. Steve had still got the tag that the stewards had put on his bag at Elland road. We got on to talking about Leeds. Ticket prices and Phil the Leeds fan. Pete almost spat his beer out when I told him how much Phil had paid for both his home season ticket and his away season ticket. We got on to talking about Steve Bruce being on his last legs at the Villa. The Villa fans are known for their love of sticking slogans on bedsheets. 2 defeats in a row and the paint comes out. We joked that they’d be a few going to Barnsley that day. Little did we know. . . . We dropped in on the P.O.V. Me Pete and L.J. got talking about proper cider and not the fizzy rubbish. Many a seat has been fallen off drinking the proper stuff. It can be lethal. Get a taste for one and before you know it, you’ve lost a day. Sometimes two. Pete went off to Hennesseys, us to Clink. Russell and Nick were already there when we got there. We got talking about Norwich and my blog got mentioned. The tosh is starting to do the rounds. It’s better than Eastenders but not much. Then again, that ain’t exactly saying a lot. L.J. struggled with his beer. I should give up trying with him really. Leave the poor kid alone. Leave him to his embarrassing Budweiser. Aida was already in the Spotted Dog when we got there. He was with a couple of kids from work. When they went off to the bar, I asked him about them. Apparently one had had aspirations of becoming a cage fighter till 30 seconds in to his first fight. Made the mistake of telling the other fighter that all his family were there to watch him. The other fighter then spent the next 60 seconds beating the poor kid to a pulp before the ref called a stop to it. I hadn’t really spent much time talking to my Son and apologised for it. He then told me that the golden girl half sister of his, had spectacularly failed to get the results she needed to get to where she wanted to be. I again apologised and did a little victory dance. Sounds pathetic I know, but L.J. has had to put up with how much his sister was so much better than him and would be going to Oxford or Cambridge. Turns out, Dudley college might not even take her. I’ve not got anything against his half Sis, the the people who have told she’s brilliant without actually mentioning the hard work that goes into being brilliant are the ones I’ve got a problem with. Words can cause so much damage when they’re not thought about and used properly. Anyway, I finished my dance and we headed out of the pub. There was a group of Preston being escorted passed the pub and up towards Camp Hill. There was 2 riot vans and about the same amount of police as there was fans in their little procession. Overkill? Looked it to me.

We looked solid in the first half. Didn’t look as good as we had against Leeds in the second half but solid. I hadn’t seen us score since Bournemouth in the league cup so it came as a bit of release when we did. One of Harry’s new lads too. Half time and I said hello to Dave Moyna and Hamed. Could this be lift off? No, no it couldn’t. Early in the second half and and the pivotal moment of the game arrived and it wasn’t good to watch. Alex Neil must’ve pointed out our soft underbelly because the bloke who scored ran at the centre of our defence and they backed off and they backed off and they backed off. The keeper can’t dive when the centre half is stood on his toes. 11 minutes later and the game was over. The second goal was well worked, though our midfield had forgotten that nobody does the mannequin challenge anymore. Special mention goes to Michael Morrison at this point. His performances in a Blues shirt this season have been a gutless disgrace. He is personally showing contempt for us Blues supporters and the lack of respect he has for our badge is abhorrent.

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Quick, someone call the N.S.P.C.C. before he’s feels compelled to ring Childline, seek therapy, phone the Samaritans. We’ve all been there kid.

The rest of the match fizzled out. I made it to full time but that was more to do with having to meet L.J. outside. Of the 21,000 crowd that were there at the start, I’d probably say there was less than 5,000 in the ground at the end and 1,500 of that was in the away end. “Sacked in the morning” sang the Preston end. Little did we know. . . . I saw Shane on the way out. He’d brought his missus to the game. It was the first time I’d met her. Probably the last too. Maybe it was just a way of showing her how much he suffers on a Saturday. She definitely looked like she was trying to get away from the ground as quick as she could without actually breaking into a run that’s for sure. If I was her, I’d be getting in touch with a good lawyer, just in case he does it again. We trudged back to the Dog. I popped my head round the door to the garden, told Dave Webb in the bar where we all were and got mine and L.J.s drinks I slumped next to Spoons. Darrell was in there and so too was Mikey. Rich and Mel joined us as well as the crew from before the game. We were soon joined by Taffy too. Spoons showed me the photo he’d took of the champion beer trophy that now resides at Churchend Brewery. It made it real somehow. We got talking about work and how we felt about it. I’m really struggling to get through work at the moment. I’m under paid, under appreciated, and over worked. None of which look like they’re going to change anytime soon. The trophy says it all for me. Gives him that well earned sense of pride. He’s not in your face with it though. It’s not his style. He’s too unassuming for that. Des the Baggie joining us. They’d drawn 0:0 with West Ham. Typical Pullis performance. A bit like pulling your own teeth. He also told us the Villa were winning. The bedsheets wouldn’t be coming out. Little did we know. . . . Jude joined us and told Spoons, she’d booked T’pau. They’re playing their home town in November. I am interested but with being under paid, I can’t see me being able to afford it. As L.J. had vowed not to be on the last train back to Coventry this time, we left.

What happened next shocked me to the core. As we got to St Martin’s, L.J. got a text to say Redknapp had been sacked. Had to be a wind up surely. He went on the Blues website. It was true. I stopped walking. I hadn’t felt like this since Hearts lost out on the league in 1986. I needed a drink. I needed to get back to the Dog. I said goodbye to L.J. and walked in a daze back to the Dog. I walked in, they’d all heard the news. I’d took to Harry. He spoke how I thought. No, I don’t think in a Cockney accent. I mean, to him, football isn’t just about winning 1:0 and boring everyone to death. It’s about entertainment, expression, skill. Doing things the fans can’t. The second half against Leeds was best I’d seen Blues play since the first half against Crystal Palace at home under Chris Houghton. We picked the bones out of it. Names were banded about. Then as usual with us Blues supporters, the humour starts. Our philosophy is that you might as well have a laugh. Otherwise you might as well support someone else. Forget Beavis and Butthead, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Love Rollercoaster. Blues are the proper Love Rollercoaster. Jude pointed out that this was why she loved hanging around with us and not Villa fans. We just don’t take things serious. I was devastated at Harry going but what would be the point of being depressed? I’d save that for when I’m being ignored by the management at work. For the record, we came up with King Bob the minion, Tommy Shelby and Spoons. Well Spoons knew how to win silverware for a start, plus he knew the words to “Keep Right On”. It had all got too much for Rich though as he promptly fell asleep. Anyway, thanks Harry. By the looks of it, you’re well out of it. There’s always a pint on me if we ever meet. All the best Kidder.

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