27/10/18 Blues v Sheffield Wednesday. Lost And Found.

I might’ve lost my voice, but I’ve discovered my love of the Blues again. I could wax lyrical about Garry Monk, exclaiming how wonderful he is, but I don’t go in for hero worship anymore, I reserve that sort of thing for the truly deserving, after all, he’s just a football manager. However, his style of football, has woken up that inner child in me. It’s football that gives me contentment, not frustration, excitement, not boredom. I’m not going to a Blues game in trepidation anymore. I might not show it, but I’ve got my smile back. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to games expecting Blues to win, but I’m turning up knowing, there’s a distinct possibility that we will. I was first in the Wellington, the first of us ale trailers anyway. The first to join me, was an away shirted Paul Mason. The barman eavesdropping our conversation, quizzical to allegiances. Paul’s was obvious, but I had to reveal mine. He was a Liverpool fan. Anyone who knows me, knows of my disdain of Liverpool fans, I have to try and hide it. Although in my opinion, it’s lost on them, Klopp has got his team playing really good football, it’s hard wanting a club to lose because of their fans, yet begrudgingly enjoying the football the club’s playing. Jinksy turned up, still with his I.D. dog tag on. I never understand how people don’t remove them, as soon as they don’t need them. We moved away from the bar, and were joined by Mikey, Steve, L.J. and his mate, in pretty quick succession. L.J. Wasn’t late, for a change, his mate Joe, a Sheffield Wednesday fan. The cold of autumn, had started to bite, Mikey had a Blues scarf, I mistook for Moors, I had my Hearts one, he mistook for B’sixers, I knew someone would get it wrong. With the new Pint Shop reportedly being full of Wednesdayites, we went to the Head of Steam, with a better chance of getting served. It was the first time L.J. had been in the place, and was rightly impressed. “A place to take a first date” I think his words were. We got chatting about about our perspective clubs form this season, and their managers. L.J. had the opinion that Rowett had done a good job, I couldn’t let it lie. I could probably complete an hour long lecture, with the aid of diagrams, and graphs, when it comes to Rowett, and once started, I can’t stop. My poor Son, got it both barrels. We followed the rest down to Kilda. Now L.J. doesn’t share my love of ale, his tastebuds haven’t developed yet, he’s still at the bland fizz stage. In Kilda, you have to try something out of the usual boring. I chose something for me, I thought he might like the taste of. To my surprise, they both liked it, maybe, just maybe, his tastebuds have been awakened. Dig Brew was next, and I said hello to Jack, I shared my revelation, that I’d got my excitement back, so’s Jack, I’m glad I’m not the only one this has happened to. I wasn’t ever going to stop watching Blues, but their games had become a rigmarole. I said hello to Aids, who had recently been blown away by a YouTube video of Ronaldino, trying a brand new pair of boots. Although I don’t recall it, it looked like a promotion for Nike. These boots are brought to him, at a training session, he puts them on, and uses the nearest football to practice on. You see him, getting a feel for them, as he’s keeping the ball up in the air, firing it against the crossbar, like it was a wall, from the edge of the penalty area, not just once, but four times, never once, does he allow the ball to touch the ground. We were as blown away by it, as Aid had been. The two lads went to the ground, to grab food, I followed not long after.

It was a healthy crowd. Wednesday have a decent away following anyway, but there’s not so many empty seats in the home end, I don’t think me and Jack are the only ones who have found our religions again, the air of depression is lifting, we seem happier as fans, after the near civil war, of the Zola days, together again. The Owls still deserved to go 1:0 up though, either a well worked goal, or bad defending, probably a bit of both. We weren’t playing well, not as fluid with the ball. I don’t believe in luck in football, it may have looked a bit fortuitous, that we equalised just before the break, it might have looked that it would’ve taken a goal of the season type finish to get us back in the game, but that’s exactly what happened. The on loan Mahoney, cut in off the left, and unleashed an unstoppable shot from just outside the box, into the top corner. It was probably cruel on Wednesday, but this team works hard, when things aren’t going right. Even Joe at half time, conceded, it had been a good goal. A different Blues came out for the second half, they looked the same players, but the new clones, had more purpose. Roberts, an early substitution for the injured Dean, had settled in comfortably, and wasn’t hoofing the ball, but finding a Blue shirt. Sheffield were playing the ball continually across their back four, Bannan just wasn’t allowed to use it, whenever it was played to him. With the start of  their attack negated, we pressed, pouring forward into gaps, we were getting chances. Jota stood a cross up, using the right foot, he’s not supposed to be able to use, for the best header of a ball, the club’s had since Mick Harford. Jutkiewicz scored with his eighth of the season. We went in search of a third and a pack of cigars to hand out. It came, and they were duly handed round, Adams scored again, to put the cherry on the top, I say again, because it looks like we have strikers, and not just forwards. The desperation for Vassell to return from injury, has vanished. It means, we can ease him back and not rush him.

It was a happy Spotted Dog, a happy set of ale trailers. We made, and cemented plans for Derby away, and the derby away. L.J. went off for his date with a girl, I think is messing him about, but I’m trying to keep my reservation, until after I meet her, thankfully, I didn’t inherit my mother’s lack of diplomacy, and I should get to meet the girl. My reservations could, and possibly are, unfounded. Time will tell, and I’m just glad I’m enjoying watching Blues play again.

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