To get the painfully obvious out of the way, we played against a relegated side missing several of its top players and never looked like scoring. If we were to get through the play-offs (see point 2) what chance against United, Chelsea and the rest?
More depressing than Barnsley, if anything. No lack of effort this time, not really. We probably edged the first half, and were much the better team at the start of the second. And Palace still mugged us painfully easily. This is what we were doing to teams two years ago, of course.
Watford missed out on the chance to leap to the top of the Championship and extended their recent run of form to one win in 10 after a desperate performance against struggling Barnsley, for whom a second away win of the season was enough to soothe any FA Cup hangover and send them surging out of the bottom three.
This week I’ve seen a house purchase fall through, spent any amount of time with a bored toddler in queues on the M1, and my tickly cough is back. I really didn’t need last night’s gutless, passionless, utterly undistracting shower of shit.
Little more than three miles away Gordon Brown and 15 heads of state were sitting down at The Grove hotel trying to put the world to rights while an event of more significance in the minds of Watford fans was being played out on a difficult pitch. At the end of it all their team somehow came away on top.
We were, it was very clear, fully aware of how fortunate we’d been and how little we could afford to throw it away again. It has come to that: eleven men behind the ball to hang on grimly against a team in the bottom half. But if that’s what it takes….