In my fond wonderings last week I was of the opinion that upcoming games against Shildon and Whitley Bay were eminently winnable. Shows you what I know, for the first of those fixtures anyway. Shildon deployed three centre halves, two of them former RCA players in Leon Carling and Darryll Hall, and the other one one of whom, long term Shildon stalwart Dan “Bobby” Moore, played in midfield, clattered everybody, and got the vital opening goal. There is an old saying that there is no such thing as a good plan but any plan is better than no plan, and Shildon definitely had a plan. Defend for your lives just about sums it up. So credit to them when it worked so well, but I’m not sure it’s a long term recipe for success. The first goal was always going to be vital and so it proved. No shortage of effort from RCA but a shortage of inspiration, and maybe too much long ball. Never mind, what of the second leg of this week’s games? Will we catch Whitley Bay on one of their scoring six or more days? I hope not. And we are due a bit more reward for our work, but I will stop making predictions.
It happens for tennis once every year when Wimbledon is on and Andy, Serena and assorted East Europeans get their annual moment of fame, and it happens for golf once every two years when the only team version of the game is played in the Ryder Cup. Great stuff this last weekend, with the European lads handing out a drubbing to the Yanks. Why is match play golf so more entertaining than tournament golf? And why don’t they play more matchplay when that is clearly the case? I don’t know. And not so good at team games those Americans. Probably because most of their team games aren’t played by anybody else. Long may it continue I say. But will the British lads be thrown out of the team after Brexit? Probably not, it was our idea in the first place. And they wouldn’t want to lose Tommy Fleetwood for one, a talented but different professional golfer. Looks like he would be better suited playing the drums for a heavy metal band than taking part in a genteel old pastime like golf. To be fair every game needs characters and golf usually throws up a few. Back in the day, Lee Trevino was one of them, grew up hustling for money round Texas country courses, and famously when asked once if he could handle the pressure of playing for big prize money replied that wasn’t pressure. Playing for ten dollars when you only had five in your pocket was pressure. I think Trevino would have taken to Tommy. Anyway we can safely forget about golf again for a couple of years.
Back to football, and speaking of characters, this new Chelsea boss seems a bit different. He has got the wide boys from West London playing with a bit of style. Hazard back to his best and Jorginho looks a bit special. I thought they were unlucky not to beat Liverpool twice in a week and I think Liverpool are better than City now, so where does that put Chelsea? There maybe more to this season's Premier League title race than most people imagine. I hope so, it’s never off the telly, so it could do with being more interesting than it usually is.