Monday, May 14, 2012

14 May 2012: Nearly

Becky quite rightly asks why no comment on the football.

Answer: we're about to have another baby, currently at the point of counting contractions when they happen and looking for various other signs that things have actually started and we have to go to the hospital!

Also, Gloria's dad (known to Hannah as 'Pop Pop') is here and that's making Hannah very excited:

(That one's available in HD by the way, courtesy of our exciting Sony HDR-CX160 camera that is so small you'd think it's incapable of doing anything yet it records in 1080i/p and has 16GB internal memory as well as an SD card. But enough specificationing.)

The thing about Argyle staying up is that it seemed so amazingly unlikely back in September. There's an old saying in most sports that you can't win the title in the first month of the season, but you certainly can lose it. And back then, Argyle had the worst start just about any club has ever had - clicking this link will take you to a match report and league table from 17 September, nine games in to the season. Argyle had just lost again and had amassed (if that is the right word to use here) a mighty one point from those nine games, and that was due to a miraculous last-minute equaliser from soon-to-be-manager Carl Fletcher, one of the very few players who didn't leave. Argyle were regularly fielding teenagers to make up the squad and it looked bad.

In fact it reminded me of something Danny Baker once joked about regarding a league table once - Argyle would be the team this time who would not just finish bottom, but they would finish SUPER-bottom, so far adrift at the foot of the table that the Football League would have to send out search parties to try and find them.

But, James Brent came in, got a few players in, replaced Peter Reid (who frankly did his best) with Carl Fletcher, happily removed Peter Ridsdale (never trusted him) and the results slowly, slowly turned around such that the final 37 games of the season yielded 45 points, not wonderful but enough to keep Argyle up with a couple of weeks to spare.

Meantime Saints were at the opposite end of the Football League - in the top two of the Championship the entire season and despite a couple of wobbles, made it back to the Prem. Saw the final day 4-0 win over Coventry and very much enjoyed it. Curious thing is that the core of the team is the same one that struggled under Alan Pardew at the start of the League One season the previous year, Billy Sharp and Jack Cork (and possibly Steve De Ridder) being the only notable additions, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain the notable absentee. So, a settled squad but one that did, for a while, struggle in League One. I dunno. They say Hooiveld and Fonte are a good central defensive partnership, but frankly Saints shipped a LOT of goals, especially in the second half of the season. Just as well West Ham forgot how to win games...

Anyway - so baby sister coming sometime soon and who knows what fun we can have with the HD camera after that!

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