Our Goose is Cooked!
It`s been a quiet week on this site, presumably because we bloggers have resigned ourselves to relegation and have lost the will to ponder publicly on the already decided fate of the club.
For a brief moment on Wednesday evening my spirits rose slightly. My wife and I had returned late and, as she was tired, I was able to watch highlights of the QPR-Liverpool match. At 0-2 down QPR were still in trouble. Thirteen minutes later, they were flying out of the relegation zone. Now we`re in a mini-league of three!
Of course, there are still loads of points on offer but our failure to pick up any this afternoon did not help our cause. At least, I can forget about the misfortunes of WW this evening as we are going out for a street dinner at a local pub with 24 other people. Unfortunately, I expect several wags to remind me of the score. After a few pints of Youngs Special I will be beyond caring.
But, I have had to rush this report in order to post it before I go out and am writing in between distractions from my wife who keeps asking me to help her choose a frock for this evening. And, I did not see much of the game because I viewed it on a very poor site, which froze every five seconds and wouldn`t let me enlarge the image on the screen. Moreover, half the pitch was in shadows and my screen couldn`t penetrate the gloom.
Nothing can penetrate my gloom either. We had to win this match today and might have done were it not for another defensive lapse and a harsh penalty decision. We started off brightly and might have scored in the 2nd. minute if Doyle had converted a well-placed free kick from Kightly.
Then, we took the lead. Another cross from Kightly, driving in from the wing, gets diverted to Jarvis, who slots it home. What we needed to do now was to consolidate our position by maintaining our shape at the back and not make any silly mistakes.
Clearly, that was too much to hope for because within 84 seconds Norwich were back on level terms. A failed attempt to spring the offside trap allowed Holt a free run at Hennessey. Having lobbed our goalie, he headed in from a couple of yards.
Norwich continued to exert pressure but were rather lucky to win a dubious penalty kick in the 44th. minute, which Holt put away. Through the murk it looked as though the ball had struck Jonsson rather than the other way round. But, we were not out of the game and had shown that we were capable of scoring. Once again, we needed an early score after the break.
It didn`t come and Norwich began to dominate the game. Their passing and movement was so much slicker than ours and only desperate defending saved us from going behind on a number of occasions. Holt could have completed his hat-trick in the 65th. minute but a beautifully weighted cross just passed in front of his outstretched leg.
That`s not to say that WW did not try nor that they did not create any chances. Jarvis and Kightly pumped over numerous cross but no-one managed to get on the end of them. Moreover, neither of them had the free run of their wing. Jarvis was less positive than he had been against MU; he tended to push the ball too far ahead or check and was often crowded out on the by-line. Kightly, on the other hand, constantly drove in from the right flank and it resulted in our goal. On occasion, however, he took the ball too far and was dispossessed.
We threw everything at Norwich in the last few minutes, helped by the sending off of Holt six minutes from time. Now, it was Norwich`s turn to defend desperately. Somehow one knew that we were not going to score. And, why, when we won a free kick on the edge of the box in the 89th. minute did SEB take it rather than Ned? Inevitably, his strike bounced back off the wall.
Had we won today, we might have given ourselves a chance. While Norwich were far more composed on the ball, they had defensive frailties too and we should have been able to exploit them. It`s an indication of how poor we have become that we cannot manage more than a couple of shots on goal. When Akela produces the stats you will see how inferior our play is in relation to Norwich`s performance.
And that`s about it, really. We`re just not good enough. The results kind of went our way today (apart from Wigan) so there is still a chance. The problem is that the players themselves do not really believe that WW can survive and it shows. There was plenty of sweat and toil in their play but a distinct lack of skill and technique. We still make elementary mistakes.
I think we are beyond redemption now and that relegation would give us the chance to regroup under a new manager, one who is attuned to the modern game and able to get us to play with pace and movement ... and do the basics! I am not sure how many of our team will remain but currently few of them are operating at a PL level. In the Championship they might regain their confidence and sweep back into the top flight the following year ... hmm! At least, we might win a few games. That would make a nice change.