Short and sweet today … to thank all those who, particularly via Facebook, have wished me a Happy Birthday and, more importantly, good luck to Burnley.
It is, quite simply, the biggest game since 1987 when we had to beat Orient to stay in the Football League. If we win, we will be the smallest town ever to get into the Premiership. That, added to the quality of the football we play, is why we seem to have neutrals backing us ahead of ‘big, strong, well-organised (yawn)’ Sheffield United.
Thank heavens it is not as hot as yesterday, when Millwall and Scunthorpe players were toiling in 100 degree pitchside heat.
All our players are fit which, given we have the smallest and most over-used squad in the Championship, is a minor miracle, and another omen suggesting things are heading our way.
I learned yesterday that there is a condition called ‘anticipatory anxiety,’ and I have definitely been suffering it. With Fiona on her way back from the Hay Festival (even she is coming today, though she will be evicted if she asks when the interval is) I went out with my Burnley-supporting son Calum last night. While we were waiting for our food to arrive, I texted all the football managers in my phone book – twelve of them – to ask not who they wanted to win, but who they thought would win.
Two said too close to call, one said Sheff U, nine said Burnley.
9-1. Perfect score. I predicted 16-0 for the second leg at Reading and we won 2-0. An eighth of 9-1 works out roughly at 1-0. That’ll do nicely, sir. Last minute scrambled goal in off Graham Alexander’s shin after Sheff U fail to clear from a corner. Best present of all time.
Oh ok, a bit of politics … good to see Labour ministers getting a bit more stuck into the bigger constitutional picture today, while Cameron diddles around with some idea that non-Tories should stand for the Tory Party. I really didn’t get that one at all. But both Alan Johnson and Ed Miliband, without any hint of disloyalty to GB, have some interesting things to say today on how the expenses fiasco must be used to push forward a bigger, broader reform agenda.
But enough of that. Only one thing counts. That the best team wins. And that is Burnley. Happy days.