With all the turmoil surrounding our club right now losing a game 1-0 away from home to a team that was relegated from the Premier League with us and with ten men doesn't sound like a disaster.
The fact that we may well need to finish above Watford this season if we are going to make that top six makes the defeat a little bit of a set back in our quest for a free season ticket.
As I wasn't at the game I am not going to write a report.
According to the commentary on BBC London (available online) Bouazza was a bit rubbish. I can't be sure that Jerome Thomas would have been any better, and I guess that Bouazza's wages are lower. Hopefully he will find his feet sooner rather than later and will then start to offer much more. However, I seriously doubt that he will be moving clubs for a sum in excess of £2m again any time soon.
Maybe we are now paying for all the Premier League years in the same way that teenagers go mad with their credit cards and then months (or in some cases years) later have to cut back in order to pay for the over spending. Using that logic makes the current fire sale seem more palatable. I mean, we are in about the same financial situation as we were fifteen years ago yet we have a fantastic stadium, much better support and we have had a great time over the last ten years. I know this was never the plan, but even though it could have been different it wasn't and we are where we are. The most important thing is to get it right moving forward and as it stands I think that we need to trust Pardew to turn our fortunes around until we are convinced that he won't be able to, or he leaves for a 'better' job.
To lose with ten men is no shame. I'm not about to blame Youga, but it is not easy to come back from a goal down with ten men. In all fairness we were a goal down by the time Kelly saw red, and on the basis that we don't seem to have the playing style to come back from being behind, the sending off might not have changed the outcome anyway.
From what I read and heard from Swansea and what I saw against Yeovil I think we are going to have to score first if we are going to win this season. That does put some pressure on the defence, but with Hudson I think we have a player that can cope with that pressure. Jon Fortune, on the other hand, is clearly not in the same class. From the radio commentary it sounded as though he was at fault for Watford's goal. It says a lot that Pardew has accepted offers for Fortune for two years running, after sending him out on loan in the January transfer window after he took over at The Valley. With just one year left on his contract, and with Premier League wages, Fortune must almost certainly be on his way next summer. Either way, until we sign a replacement or two he is going to have to play.
Well, we have another week to sell some more players. I hear that Bailey is on decent wages, maybe we should send him out on loan to lessen the running costs? Seriously though we have another week to bring in that defender that Pardew has been talking about, and from what I heard Bailey is going to add something to the squad. It's only two games and we do have three points. We are only one win away from the league leaders!
Reading will not be easy opposition, but with a bit of luck they will have sold a player or two by then and we will have brought one or two in. If we haven't agreed a fee by then we might even have ZZ available to play.