Friday 4 November 2011

Rain, rain, go away

It looks as if it might be raining at The Valley this afternoon and that always makes me uneasy.   It's more difficult to play fluent, passing football on a slippery surface and the ball can do strange things, leading to freak goals for the less good side.

Of course, it's not like the 1950s when players had to skim the ball across the surface of puddles.   Most pitches, even at non-league level, are excellent today (Leamington have received a number of national awards for theirs).   However, I do remember visiting a village club when the Brakes were lower down the non-league system and our first question on seeing the pitch was 'When does the tide come back in?'

I used to regard the tide being in on Deptford Creek as a good omen: low tide meant a loss, and half tide a draw.   Of course, like all such nonsense, it stopped working after a while.

Phil Brown may need an umbrella this afternoon, otherwise his tan could go all streaky.

Let's hope we can get a win, requiring Gabby Logan on Final Score to use the same tone of surprise and disgust that she did last week to state that Charlton were still top of League 1.   I suppose it goes with being an unfashionable club.   I always remember ITV News describing us as 'the tiny London club' when we won the play-off final.

It's actually quite surprising (or perhaps not) that many football fans have no idea how we are doing.   In the past week or so, I have talked about football with season ticket holders at Derby County, Nottingham Forest and Oxford United and none of them knew that we were top of League 1.   Indeed, the Oxford supporter said, 'We could be playing you next season.'    In a nightmare.

Do I know which club is top of League 2?   Well I do, actually.

One good memory is of this day in 1955 when we beat Manchester City 5-2 at The Valley.   There was no room for strikers Bobby Ayre and Jimmy Gauld but manager Jimmy Seed said, 'Both are decent fellows and will understand'

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