Wednesday 30th November 2016
Let’s be honest, it wouldn’t be November without a defeat. And tonight we were well beaten. No bad luck, no bad decisions, just defeated by the better side on the night.
I’m not a believer in omens or atmospheres or the like but it’s amazing how many poor results follow a problematic build up. Firstly my ‘direct’ train from Portsmouth to London had me alighting at Guildford. A broken rail near Surbiton the reason apparently but whatever the excuse, standing on a freezing cold platform half way through my journey wasn’t part of the plans.
The Piccadilly Line is also suffering with a lack of wheels or something. A hardware essential when running a train service I would imagine and being the nearest line to Arsenal Football Club, that didn’t look a promising situation all round.
Fewer trains, in rush hour, with a game on. Triffic.
7.45 kick-offs genuinely mean I get home about 1am. But with little room for error on my journey south. 8pm starts for example, everything needs to work like clockwork to make it.
Altogether not a major issue you would think but if it doesn’t go well I get in at 4am gone. And with a working day head that doesn’t really work. So extra time and/or penalties would not go down well either.
Unless we win of course!
The game started relatively evenly I felt but there was something altogether stronger and more organised about our visitors. And as a result, from the moment they took the lead, it looked extremely unlikely we would overturn the deficit.
If the first was a little unfortunate, or certainly a fantastic strike, the second was extremely soft and avoidable.
We were arguably the better side for much of the second half but the Saints never really looked in trouble, especially the goalkeeper. But if Ox had taken our best chance of the game with 10 to 15 minutes remaining who knows.
I head home disappointed of course but not altogether surprised. I enjoy the League Cup but there is a reason why we haven’t won the competition for 23 years. In the same period we have been victorious in 9 major competitions and have been runners up or in the last or top 4 of many others. That tells the story.
I’m finishing my notes on the midnight ferry….which means I’ve made it, despite the potential travel issues and for me that means I end a disappointing evening on a positive note.
And it’s that vibe we need to take to West Ham and their new home on Saturday evening.
See you in Stratford.