Tuesday 17th January 2017
Any 4 nil victory away from home should be memorable. Even though we thoroughly enjoyed our day out in South Wales however, the game almost felt like a little bit of a damp squib. And, despite having a few days to think about it, I’m still nowhere closer to understanding why that is. With the third Monday in January often referred to as ‘Blue Monday’ or the ‘most depressing day of the year’ I have decided to put the whole feeling down to Saturday’s close proximity to this occasion!
Given the fact our away games are pretty much split between London and the North I quite enjoy going to Swansea. The change of scenery is almost enough but just travelling in a different direction for once can help the monotony!
We set off bright and early as always and the usual banter on route was only matched in its intensity once settled in the warmth of our chosen pre match hostelry.
Our hosts currently prop up the Premier League table and there is a reason for that. So before a ball was kicked a win was absolutely essential. But football doesn’t always work like that as we all know, especially when your opponent has a new manager sat on the bench for the first time. New beginnings, new horizons, a chance for the squad to show their new boss what they’ve got, more intense optimism etc etc make the whole affair a potential banana skin. And one we have slipped upon in the past.
And in the opening exchanges all the above was quite evident. The Swans didn’t exactly ‘threaten’, a couple of shots from distance the extent of their positivity, but they were definitely up for it and not looking like a side who simply cannot buy a win right now.
For me, in that situation you need to match your opponent toe to toe in the battling side of the game, remain thoroughly switched on defensively and bide your time. The league table dictates we are a superior outfit and with this in mind you will at some stage dominate the game. It is during that period that you need to make it count. And on Saturday afternoon we pretty much did that.
All 4 of our goals had a degree of good fortune about them, a couple of OGs and close finishing after a bit of ‘pinball’ in the box but in between those we showed considerable domination and could and probably should have scored a hatful.
Overall then, despite a relatively low key atmosphere it was a job well done in Wales and it keeps us in the hunt.
An enjoyable journey home accompanied by some quality (or dodgy depending how you look at it) Saturday night tunes and a few celebratory beers upon our return completed a fine day all round.
Tomorrow night we will know if its Southampton or Norwich we head to at the end of the month but before that we welcome Burnley to London N5 in a fixture that is a ‘must win’ once again. Anyone who went to Turf Moor earlier in the season will know what a tough side The Clarets are to beat so I expect nothing but a similar encounter once again.
So…why the title to this piece? Well…walking into the Liberty Stadium I found a twenty pound note on the floor. So, those in our group wacked it on some random horse running in the 3 o’clock at Warwick. Half way back up the M4 we remembered……and checking the results on my mobile, it romped home!!
Not exactly a tactic that will beat the bookies I feel but these things happen on days when you are victorious! If we had got beat down in Swansea I’m convinced it would have come nowhere.
See you Sunday.