Writer: Dan Malin
Date:Saturday October 29 2011
I`m not really sure where I am expected to start talking about today`s game. I fear if I start on one particular subject, I may not be able to stop but I`ll do my best to abuse everyone who deserves it; in moderation of course.
It would be rude not to start by doing my utmost to destroy the reputation of the flag-wielding moron who ran the line closest to the "Turtle End". No one likes being told off by Jimmy but, for me, it is the linesman`s job to shrug off any verbal abuse and call the game exactly as he sees it. Unfortunately for us, this particular linesman can`t actually see. I`d love to name and shame the complete pillock but he`s not even in the programme because he wasn`t billed to run the line today. The only thing I can hope for is that he was being assessed today and he never sets foot on a football league pitch for the rest of his career. Jimmy shouldn`t have abused the linesman ten minutes before the incident occurred but the lino had decided Jimmy was outside the box, long before the ball had got anywhere near Wacka. He then decided that Danny Powell was denied a goal-scoring opportunity and advised the referee that it was a straight red card offence. Mass protest ensues, Super Lee Beevers goes in goal and Lewington duly plants the free-kick in the top corner. We`re annoyed but we can calm down providing the ref and lino do the best they can for the rest of the game. Cue goal 2. I do not begrudge Jabo scoring, he was a superb player for us and we treated him terribly by releasing him despite being our strongest front man that season. What I do take issue with is the fact he was a good few yards offside when he took advantage of a terrible shot from someone in the Dons midfield. The linesman offered the players no explanation and then showed his incredible professionalism by smiling at Manny when he requested an explanation; albeit a slightly more aggressive request than is allowed in the laws of the game. The linesman was behind the play when the shot came through to Ibehre and he should have put his hands up and said "I was behind the game, I`m sorry". Under no circumstances do you stand there and beam like a bleeding idiot at a group of testosterone-fuelled footballers who would be pummelling you into the ground if they were not on a football pitch. After that, tempers boiled over and the officials lost all control of the game and half-time could not have come at a better time. The linesman sprinted down the tunnel and the ref saw fit to send Deano into the stands after words were exchanged by our glorious leader and the plank with the whistle.
I have limited myself no end in that lengthy paragraph and, if you would have heard me at the game, you would have heard a far more colourful vocabulary being hurled at the linesman and ref as I restrained myself from throwing my packet of Trebor extra strong mints at whichever one of them was brave enough to come within my line of fire.
Now for the positives: the second half performance. Claude Gnakpa played like a man possessed and there is surely no way he can be ignored next week at Huddersfield. He`s an absolute beast of a man and even Dean Lewington was running scared every time the least French-looking Frenchman in the world got the ball. To compliment some excellent wing play, Nicholls was inspired again up front. He is arguably the fittest player in the team and he works himself to the bone in every single game. He gave them problems and was unlucky not to score when he latched onto a long ball only to see his shot deflected just past the post; which, true to form, the behind-the-play linesman gave as a goal kick. Mr Simon Pratley, business studies teacher and school football team mastermind, would be proud of Alex this season as he is showing the kind of class and work ethic that you can only learn from years of playing for a school team run by a balding maniac named Simmonds and a tactical mastermind like Mr Pratley.
If you have read these past articles then you will know of my undying bromance with Manny Smith. I absolutely love the aggressive nutter and he put in a terrifying performance again today. He headed, booted, kneed and elbowed absolutely everything today and he, maybe a bit undeservedly, won man of the match. Booked for mentally assassinating the linesman and generally played brilliantly, in Manny we trust. Last but not least: Lee Beevers. For me he`s a better goalkeeper than he is right-back and it`s nice to know we can rely on the big full-back to save everything that`s hit straight at him, even with a few fumbles just to keep the crowd interested. He was inspired in goal and his every touch was cheered by the faithful. He put himself in the firing line and dodged a few bullets quite, quite brilliantly.
Overall, the FA have got to look at the standard of officiating in the lower leagues because today was completely ruined by the bloody chuckle brothers running the game and it is a shame for the people who are working all week to spend their hard-earned money on coming to Walsall when they could have had a very similar experience going to a local circus. The lads worked themselves into the ground and there is no shame in the way we lost but lose we did and that pillock up the line has cost us the game and left us at the wrong end of the table. There`s always next week ay? Come on you Saddlers!!!!
Date:Saturday October 29 2011
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