When you’re struggling with form, confidence and the loss of a popular manager, a trip to a club ‘oop north’ to face a team filled with journeymen, ex top level players and an outhouse called Windass (although we were spared he and Barmby) – in midweek and still without a major part of the spine of your team, is probably as welcome as the news that your new proctologist is a Mr Abu Hamza from Finsbury Park – and could you strip and bend over please?
All the ingredients were in place for a miserable night that would rank up there with St Gallen, Rosenberg(!), Shrewsbury, Rotherham and sadly, Hull. The accident chasers were all there, many no doubt having written the majority of the match report in the days leading up to the game. Were we going to Hull in a handcart? Or would we make the trip to Hull & back without major incident?
As it turned out, the Hull goal was shot at more times than a Kylie calendar in a teenagers bedroom and this time some even managed to hit the target. However, despite the score it was a game that Avram Grant couldn’t win. You knocked 20 past Hull? So you should. You only won by a couple of goals? You’re rubbish. You LOST / DREW? Grant Out, Grant Out, Grant Out!
After Sundays can’t lose game, things somewhat evened out in this one but we haven’t really learned anything about our future direction in this first week of Grants reign. Fulham at home is a bit more balanced.
Fulham are capable of upsetting teams on their day and we are defending a long unbeaten home record – can we get it to span over three managers? I hope so. The win at Hull should give us some confidence, but we mustn’t allow it to lull us into a false sense of security. A win here on Saturday followed by a point in Valencia and we’ll at least be able to breathe easier in the hope that the good ship Chelsea hasn’t suffered from catastrophic Hull damage.
The first two weeks of post Mourinho Chelsea are going to be Titanic. Let’s hope we can keep afloat while the necessary repairs are taking place, look to dock ourselves back at the top of the league and once again harbour hopes of Champions League success. I refuse to get too worried until Eddie Barnett starts selling tickets to women and children first, and I see Peter Kenyon scampering away with his tail between his legs. (Although I find that last bit the least worrying).
Just a damned pity we didn’t sign David Seaman as goalkeeping coach – would have fitted the nautical theme beautifully.