A week is considered a long time in football. 604,800 seconds, 10,080 minutes or 168 hours. Mad really isn’t it? If you count to 604,800 in real time, then a week would’ve been and gone. Anyway, the reason why I’m starting with that is that last week, looking back on it, I may have been a little angry. Just a tad. In my defence, at the time, it was justified. It just so happens now that the outlook is much different and damn sight rosier.
FOUR More Wins
Six points and nine goals was exactly what the doctor ordered and that accompanied by them losing two on the bounce now means we are thirteen points clear of third and we only require four more wins which means that the earliest we can clinch it is against Derby on the 14th of April under the lights which would be ace. However, after we play Derby, we’re at home to Blues. That is the one that will top the rest. To clinch it against Blues while piling more misery on their season would be a thing of beauty and cap off what has been a wonderful season.
Some people argue that only promotion is important and the title doesn’t particularly matter. To those people, I say, have you got your head screwed on properly? If we finish second, considering where we were earlier in the season, it’d be a huge disappointment. The counter-argument to that tends to be “would you have taken second at the start of the season” and the answer is, of course, I would, but if you had offered it to me after the first few months of the season, I would have said no.
Saying that Nuno mode must be initiated now as we need to take it one game at a time and then it will happen on its own. We’ve got Middlesbrough after the international break and we haven’t won on Teesside for what I think is about 1,000 years, ok, maybe that’s slightly over the top. Then again, we hadn’t had a good November until Nuno arrived either and we blew that out of the park. More of the same would be good at Middlesbrough. I’ll save the tale of when I last went to the Riverside for next week. It’s a messy one.
Forget The Goals, Let’s Talk About The Passes
As I’ve touched on, we won both games last week and we oozed class as we swept aside Reading and Burton respectively with relative ease. Against Reading, Doherty was so far up the pitch he had a nose bleed, nevertheless, that didn’t prevent him from bagging a brace and they were completely different from one another. First up, he headed home after Douglas seemingly got his angles all wrong with a header of his own.
His second and our third was beautifully curled in from the edge of the area in the second half and that was the end of that. I do, of course, jest regarding Matt having a nosebleed for being that far up the pitch, he has been top-drawer this season. I’d even go as far to say that he’s been one of our players of the season. We’ll worry about that later. In between Doherty’s brace, Afobe got his first goal at Molineux in what was his first start as Nuno mixed it up after the game against them.
After that, we faced Nigel Clough’s Burton side who came into the game with pretty much nothing to lose. Yes, they’re scrapping for their lives at the foot of the table, nonetheless, not even the most outlandish Burton supporter would have predicted a positive result for them on Saturday. Another three goals and another three points.
Only A Few On The Planet Could’ve Done That
Afobe with the brace this time, Costa getting the other, but the goals, although they were all well-taken, weren’t the main talking points. It was the passing. Coady’s ball over the top for Costa was ridiculous. Neves’ ball through to Afobe was even better. In the second half, the ball Neves played through to Costa was sublime, it was such a shame he couldn’t finish it. Only a few people on the planet can get a pass like that right and we’re blessed with one of them in our side. Crazy really.
With there being no club football this weekend, my blood pressure can have a well-deserved rest. That’s not to say we haven’t got anybody involved in the international side of things because we have. At this moment in time, our players on the international scene are as follows… Andreas Sondergaard (Denmark U17s), Morgan Gibbs-White (England U18s), Joe Young (England U16s), Matt Doherty (Republic of Ireland), Ray O’Sullivan & Callum Thompson (Republic of Ireland U17s), Romain Saiss (Morocco), Ruben Neves (Portugal), Pedro Goncalves (Portugal U20s), Ruben Vinagre (U19s), Barry Douglas (Scotland), Elliot Watt (Scotland U19s), Alfred N’Diaye (Senegal).
Tidy little collection of players we’ve got there, I just hope that none of them get injured. That’s it, blood pressure going to be an issue again as I worry about whether or not Romain Saiss gets injured in a game against fucking Uzbekistan. Such is life.
I think I’ve just about exhausted everything on my chest, for now, I’ll be back next week with a preview of the Middlesbrough game and some other bits and pieces.
Until the next time.