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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Health Spa on the Cards?

Lentils - Guaranteed! Works every time, makes you regular as proverbial clockwork, especially a plateful of the mother-in-laws'.

But other things, of course, except our culinary intake, can give us the wobbles. I recall moments spent hurling down an Austrian mountain on a wooden tray years ago, when I would rather been elsewhere, and gripping tightly a pathetic wooded peg that failed to qualify in my mind as a brake, that I wouldn't fancy doing again. And getting the wobbles obviously affected our heroes last weekend.

The article in the independent yesterday said it all about the Sheff U game. Once we were in front and the goal of the 3 points was in sight, fear set in and the team froze, simple as that. Just like that dream when you´re trying to run away from the hideous ghost carrying his head under his arm and at last getting your hand on the door and you're unable to find the strength to turn the thing. Ghosts or failure, its all the same scary stuff, and it all goes to explain why Pardew doesn't like the added pressure of must-win games and why he likes to get them to relax in the best hotels.

But how is Pards going to stop exactly the same thing happening this Saturday against Blackburn if we happen to go ahead again? The truth is there is no simple answer, no easy fix. People get nervious when its crunch time especially in front of 27000 people all expecting victory and the ones with cool heads are always going to be in the minority. At least it tells us that they really care.

But come Saturday he will need to emphasize once again that the only way we are going to win is to stay calm. In that respect the game is very different to the last one where we were at home and wanted, and were expected, to take the game to Sheff U. And he probably won't mention the 5000 Addicks fans cheering away in the away end trying to make the team feel at home.

Against Blackburn we will be able to take our time. If we can return to our defensive record as against Man. City and Reading and stop them scoring, we only need one goal to get the 3 points. To get you in the mood, however, we have to remind you that only Chelski, Bolton, manure and the Arse have stopped Blackburn from scoring at home this season but then again Newcastle (1-3), West Ham (1-2) and Aston Villa (1-2) have also come away with the 3 points, the last two in the last 5 weeks.

Other points in our favour is that they appear to be a suffering a bit of end-of-season Curbs-itis and have only won 1 game in the last 5 and that was against Watford. They stand in 10th spot with 44 points with 4 games left and are 1o points adrift of a UEFA place, so their season is appears to be just an matter of how far up they finish.

However, Pards will not be taking anything for granted. Don't know if he's ever played against Hughes on the pitch but he'll know that Blackburn under him have never been easy, even though he has already beaten him 2-1 at Upton Park last October.

So perhaps a health spa in the wilds of Cumbria is on the cards for Friday. Massage and cool music. Calming hands and expensive showers. Lets hope it works..

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