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Behind Enemy Lines - Part 13

BRUCE THE NEW SBRAGIA?
Another soul destroying match at home at the weekend. A second goalless draw in three games and another game in which we probably wouldn't have scored if we played on until midnight. The strange thing about the current situation is, a month ago, we were scoring goals for fun, but conceding even more due to the inconsistent defence. Now we are defending well but not scoring enough either. It seems, as long as we keep John Mensah fit and playing we are looking a lot more settled at the back. If we can get Bent & Jones firing again we should be ok this season. Let's get this straight..Fulham came for a point on Sunday. They had men behind the ball, time wasted all game and made it hard for us. Saying that though, we rarely threatened and continually lumped the ball forward. At times it looked like we were happy to settle for the draw ourselves which sounds like the tactics of a recent manager of ours!

MONUMENTAL CLASH
Tuesday's visit of Bolton is absolutely massive. For weeks now I've been calling games as huge but this one is more important than that. With games coming up against Man City, Birmingham, Villa, Liverpool etc three points here is essential. A draw wouldn't be much good to us and defeat to a team below us doesn't bear thinking about. Let's hope Mensah, who was immense against Fulham, and the rest of our defence are fit to keep it settled. We then just need to hope that Bent & Jones get the service and they hit the target. We must be more creative in midfield, which is why Steed Malbranque must be brought back in, especially if Andy Reid is sidelined again. Malbranque was dropped by Bruce and he doesn't seem to like him at all. Yes, the Belgian may only last an hour these days in games but surely he's worth it, as he's one of our only creative players and a lovely footballer to watch. Rumours are that Andy Reid & Jordan Henderson are close to a return, which is a massive boost for the club and at a perfect time. I'm back to doom & gloom this week though, so I'm going with another mind numbing nailbiter.

PREDICTION: SAFC 0 Bolton 0

TOUGH TIME FOR QUINN
Niall Quinn & Chief Exec Steve Walton have been doing a lot of media work over the last week, of course due to the season ticket renewals going out. Yes, this always comes across as the club begging fans to snap up season cards but it is an important message that SAFC are putting across. The only way this club can become successful and break in to the top 10, is more cash. It's as simple as that. More money means we can snap up better signings quicker by paying money up front and giving out larger pay packets. We can get more cash through two different means..a super rich owner willing to splash the cash willingly, which we do have to a point. The other, is 'bums on seats' and especially season tickets as we can plan ahead knowing the cash is available. The question is can Quinn & Co. sell the club to the fans during a relegation scrap? If we go down, all bets are off and we start almost from scratch again, albeit with a strong financial base to work from. Stay up by the skins of our teeth and we will struggle to sell tickets for next season. It's a very tough situation for the club and once again we are relying on the fans to keep the faith, when surely patience, understandably, must be wearing thin. For me, I will always try my best to go to every home game but then SAFC is under my skin. For the casual attendee, it will come down to the results on the pitch and entertainment value and that is something we are struggling to provide at the moment.

OUR AMERICAN HERO
Another point to come out of the recent Quinn/Walton interviews is the fact that our owner, Ellis Short has bankrolled the club to the tune of £48M to fund the buys of Darren Bent & Lee Cattermole etc. Where would be without this media shy man in charge is anyones guess and we owe him a great deal. God Bless America!

BET OF THE WEEKEND
To any who followed my bet last week, you have finally been rewarded. Let's make it two in two with Sheff Utd & Cardiff to win in the Championship.

That's All For Now
PW

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The Journalist

Writer: Paul Wallis Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday March 7 2010

Time: 12:05PM

 

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