Draws, John, Smertin and vulnerable human goalkeepers

On the train home from work tonight I peered over someone else’s newspaper and saw the form guides for the Premiership.  Fulham: DDDDD.   Looked really weird.  And the funny thing is that it could go on.  Spurs at home will be tricky, in that they’re a decent side.  They can’t get results away from home this year, but we’ve hardly been an unstoppable force at the cottage this year, particularly on Saturday afternoon games, so a draw seems likely.  Then Newcastle visit, and they’re warming up at a bad time for us.  0-0 would be okay from that match.   Could we make it seven draws in a row?  Would that be a record?  Would we be happy?  Who knows?  Not me.

Meanwhile, Collins John has decided that while his future may lie elsewhere, it’s sure as hell not going to be at Watford.  Coincidentally, Ashley Young has just rejected a move away from Watford, which would be strange if we didn’t know that the club he rejected was none other than West Ham.   So we’re all waiting around for Portsmouth or Sheffield Utd to come back in for John, otherwise it’s the reserves for the young dutchman.

Elsewhere, Alexey Smertin is said to be warming to the idea of Fulham, which would be nice for him and us.  Everything else has calmed down somewhat, which is just as well as I’ve spent far too much time online at work.

Since my impassioned plea for mercy on Jan Lastuvka I’ve seen a few more positive comments (I’m not implying that I’ve caused those, merely that there are fellow sympathisers out there).  Certainly he helped himself with that Slide of Joy at Upton Park, but whether he gets the chance to prove his abilities either way remains to be seen, as Antti will be back soon.   This is what I love about football, the little subplots that keep things interesting on a human level.  For all I know Lastuvka could be a class 1 idiot, but I’m rooting for him for the same reason I always wanted the likes of Graham Hick to do well for England… and I don’t know how to articulate this, but there’s a vulnerability there that I’m drawn to.  A lot of athletes are ruthlessly brash and do what they do very well without ever exposing a human side.   That’s fine, but not something I can identify with.  I like footballers who show something of themselves, show that they think, or care, or make mistakes.  That they’re human.   Football at this level is a fiendishly difficult thing to do well, and for all but the very best there will be bumps in the road.  Lastuvka’s had his bumps, but I hope he has a blinder on Wednesday, for his own sake as well as ours.

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