Friday 21 December 2012

Twas the Wednesday before Christmas

I'm off to Sheffield tomorrow for only my third away game of the season (Forest and Millwall) which is a record low for me at this stage of a season and I am looking nervously at the incessant rain and worrying if our national railway network will let us down.

Sheffield was a favourite city of mine in my youth. There were always lively pubs in the centre of town  (eg The Stone House) and the locals were always inquisitively friendly. It was the venue for  'Blackheath Ramblers' weekend on one occasion ("why don't any of you wear rambling boots?"). One of my good mates even met a lovely lady on one visit which developed into a year-long attraction which helped me develop a convincing Sheffield accent. None of that tomorrow. The Gringo and I will hopefully be there by 12.30, enjoy a few pints in town and then catch a cab to Hillsborough.

I think it will be my fourth or fifth visit to Wednesday and I am still looking for my first victory and a chance to sing Jingle Bells. Wednesday may have claimed a scrappy win at neighbours Barnsley late on Saturday but they have been on an horrendous losing sequence and are in the drop zone. I am expecting another close and hard-fought game and will, once again, pray for a little more ambition from the manager. This match should tell us a lot about the depth of our sides playing conviction, coming three days before Christmas and with us safely in mid-table.

We must make better use of our substitutions later in the game. I don't know why Chris is so loathe to introduce them and why he is invariably too late to tactical match the opposition when they make theirs.
After the 1000-plus following we took there last year, we will likely be down to bare bones tomorrow in the Lepping Lanes end as the desperate go Christmas shopping, but I am looking forward to it nonetheless. Charlton forever!

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