Well, Brian. We've started poorly, failing to spot the key incident of the first game of the season and not capitalising on Lehmann's howler in the first minute against Fulham. To be fair, we've been lucky that error's not been punished more heavily. We've picked things up a bit better in Prague, the old Mike & Stuff stuff helped us put on a fairly convincing display in what could have been a tricky European away game. Back home, there's been another Lehmann blunder at Ewood Park that we've not been able to convert into a decent narrative thread having ballsed-up like the big German on day one; so we've hardly covered ourselves in glory at Blackburn either.
Still, we've been putting in some good work between the games. The B.S. Johnson sequence has set us up with a nice thread on the nature of storytelling and the England friendly against Germany has bought us a little bit more time. We've grown in confidence after a solid performance at home to Man City, even if by the time we get to the Portsmouth game we've been reduced to cribbing wholesale from the matchday programe notes. England's come to the rescue once more; the international break has given us a chance to introduce an autobiographical dimension that may prove vital later in the season and should give us a few more options in the middle. At this level, it's handy to have abit of experience to draw upon, so that's been a good addition to the squad.
But our European form has been good and solid. Our performance in the Sevilla game in particular, bodes well for the future. The writing, both on and off the pitch, is starting to look a lot more balanced. Obviously, we've had a few problems in the games we've not turned up for and there's the perennial problem of there simply being too much football. But by the end of the Derby County game, we're getting close to mid-season form.
Obviously, it's still early doors yet. There's a long way to go, still a lot of work to do in the exercise book. Our match reports lack a little fluidity at times and we can be prone to lapsing into cliche and at times we can find ourselves a little stretched at the back when we've over extended our metaphors as we did in the Sunderland game. But we've ridden our luck and we've never been ones for clean sheets, have we? But don't forget this is still a young author; we're learning all the time and we can only improve as the season wears on. At the end of the day, Brian, it's all about getting the words on the page, and we've been doing that consistently. We may not be Shakespeare, but we'll give it a bloody good go. And if they handed out prizes for effort, we'd have a full trophy cabinet come the end of the season.
So, a fairly promising start, but it's all about being there or thereabouts come March and April time. If we're still in with a sniff by then, who knows? We've still got to get through a few of those cold and dreary Tuesday evenings listening to Alan Green on 5live away to Bolton. It's at grounds like that where Booker prizes are won and lost. But if we can go into the spring with our tale up and a few chapters on the board, then anything can happen.
Like I said, Brian, it's early doors, but we've still got everything to write for. If we can just maintain our focus, we may still be able to deliver that fairy tale ending come next May. Ten straight wins in all competitions and only two points dropped in the league, it looks like being a very good season on grass. It's a shame they make us write on paper.
L.U.V. on y'all,
Hear Bob read extracts from his diary of the 2007-08 season, "The Road to Moscow"!!
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