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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Southampton Preview (JPT)

Ridiculous. Shame. Humiliation. And if you believe in Group Therapy, those were the words that appeared in this mornings papers over here after the once-mighty Real Madrid failed last night at the Berniebow to overturn a 4-0 deficit from the first leg of their Cup game against small Alcorcon from the regional Third Division. To protect the big clubs over here the cup ties are a two game affair - a policy we badly need in the UK - and the final result was 4-1 on aggregate.
As for ourselves, seems, like Madrid, we're saving ourselves the effort of all those boring cup runs, which are bound to end in failure anyway, and are devoting ourselves wholeheartedly to League success. Our worst defeat in 104 years was one headline. No, probably not but for sure the most embarrassing in our 88 year League history. Parky speaks of an appalling dressing-room after the game but I was thinking instead of the never-ending journey home of the 200 diehards who had the courage to see the game live.

Anyway, we used to strap on a Matty Holland at times like these so we've found a suitable mugshot to try to inject the required lost determination and desire. Well, it was either Pardew or a tin of paint, and I guessed you'd choose the paint.

We mentioned the last time we meet back in September that Pardew takes a perverted delight in putting it over his old teams. Both Reading and West Ham have failed to win in three away attempts with three home wins the end result. So are we to be number 4? Well, with the Saints 12 points behind a Play-off place at the moment, it's possible that this ex-glazier might just remember his building past and see this Painting Trophy as the best he can hopefully achieve this year. With all the other big clubs - thats us - putting points and promotion first, at least at this stage of the season, Pardew is planning a long cup run.

And clearly the fans are of a similar mind. A massive crowd of 9,300 turned up to see them have a close encounter with League Two basement men Torquay in the last round. After being 2 goals down at the break they stormed back with two second half goals from Papa Waigo and finally won 5-3 on penalties.

The Opposition
Clearly a night when the opposition only need to turn to win, it doesn't really matter who they are. So we'll give you their team in the last round and you can use the rest of the day guessing who's going to score the many goals we look like conceding.
Davis; Harding, Thomas, Perry, James; Gillett, Wotton, Hammond, Antonio; Lambert, Papa Waigo


After only one win in their first 10 games, the Saints have hit a rich run of form of late and before their 2-2 draw at Orient in their last League game had won four League games on the trot with convincing wins over the Gills 4-1, Southend 3-1, Oldham 3-1 and MK Dons 3-1. And with a home victory over Torquay on penalties in the Painting Round One and a 3-2 away win over Bristol Rovers in last Fridays FA cup game they are now 7 games unbeaten.....


Only one! No, they'll probably be a place, and a goal for the old fans favorite, ex-defender Chris Perry as well.

Whats Their Secret?
Since losing in the 96th minute to Bristol Rovers at St. Marys at the end of Sept, Pardews' sorted out their generous attitude and they are now 7 games unbeaten. And instead of gifting points to the opposition ( they are still the most generous League One club losing 11 points through drawing 4 times when winning and losing once when winning ) they have turned it all around, beating MK after going behind and drawing with both Torquay and Orient after being 2 goals down.

What Are They Saying

I read the other day that Meryl Streep thinks that one of the secrets to a happy marriage is sometimes keeping your mouth shut. An appropriate sentiment because I'm not sure words are of any use in the situation we are now in. Its surely a kick-up-the-arse time.

Looking at our cup form against the Saints, we lost there in the League Cup in 1973 3-0, drew 1-1 in 1976 before beating them at the Valley, and lost 1-0 in 1989.

The Team

If you can remember Nicky Bailey and Scott Wagstaff were shortlisted for the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Ultimate Finish award after scoring against Barnet in the second round three weeks ago. The contest - specially introduced for the current campaign - rewards the scorer of the best goal in each round of the competition en route to the Wembley final next March. Well, the award went instead to Bournemouth striker Brett Pitman and that'll probably be the last chance we had of winning any silverware in this particular competition.

Ketts over at the Surgery gives a in-depth analysis of who's going to play taking into account the rules laying down the use of six of the best. And, of course, its not just us that are suffering at the moment. Barcelona, with only 2 wins in the last six, took the drastic measure of dropping Xavi, Iniesta and Messi from the game against Mallorca last weekend and won 4-2. So Parky take a leaf out of Guardiola's book and drop a couple of midfielders and a forward.

Pardew's record against his old employers would probably be enough on its own to secure the win, but coupled with our current form plus no wins in 3 cup visits to Southampton, the only conclusion one can arrive at is another defeat. Exit stage left for the Addicks.

I once read a story about a mother on the day after her eldest son died, discussing the new decoration of her bathroom. It was obviously her way coping with her loss. So in similar vein, but obviously several miles less important, I asked Mrs Nelson for her views on the impending crisis in Manchester.
"Of course I know why people support Man. U"


"You have to understand that they are Government supported, I mean financed. How do you think they manage with such huge debts, don't you know anything? They're a big part of the Government Drug Prevention Programme. Seems there are people who can't cope with normal life and need a reliable weekly fix to help them get through the drudgery of life. What, did you think they hand out knighthoods for winning a silly football match?

Of course, the big problem is that when they start losing its going to give Gordon a big headache - that's what gives Brown the worried look that he always has - because unless the state pumps even more money in to get the results, thousands, perhaps millions of people will probably turn to drink or even hard drugs to drown their problems. It would be a social catastrophe. So you see, its not a case of people supporting ManU but its the exact opposite - its ManU supporting the people. 'Cause, you tough Addicks lot, you don't need supporting, you can manage all by yourself - even in times like these."

OK, its all sorted. When you need an answer, to what is a non-footballing question, ask Mrs Nelson. Its a social catastrophe whenever the reds lose, whereas we simply take it on the chin. Not quite sure she's right there though.

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