Fuller Flavour: Mick McCarthy has proved me wrong, but fans shouldn’t be claiming victory over ‘outers’
PUBLISHED: 15:28 20 August 2017 | UPDATED: 16:04 20 August 2017
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Saturday was a five-star moment that showed all the qualities that we were so bereft of throughout the whole of 2016/17.
Was it a scintillating performance? No. Was it the sort of performance that we enjoyed against Newcastle at Easter time? No. But was it a deserved win? You bet it was!
I know if any Brentford fan is reading this they will disagree. From a possession point of view, I would understand their argument. But everything that needed to be done by those 14 players that represented Town on Saturday was done with conviction, courage and, above all else, clinically.
Such was it a team performance, I’m struggling to think of a man of the match.
Before the game, critics were claiming that our four-game winning run was only because of whom we played during those games. No doubt they’ll look at the current table and see that this fifth win on the spin was only against the bottom side currently. Brentford will not be there for long. They’re far too good to be down there and their fortunes will change for sure.
Coming back to who we have played so far. If our critics could be bothered to look beyond the opposition, they would see that we’re winning games with anything between nine and 11 players missing.
Our squad is already limited in depth, so to have several players missing and still be winning any game is an achievement itself let alone all five played so far.
And what of the qualities I mentioned above? Looking at Saturday’s back four, who would have thought at kick-off we’d get to 5pm on the back of a clean sheet? Yes, we rode our luck when Brentford hit the bar but the challenges, blocks and effort to keep everything else out was immense. I applaud the efforts of the whole back four on the day but a special mention for Jonas Knudsen who looked like he’d been playing at centre-back for his whole career.
I’ve been one of his biggest critics but he did not put a foot wrong and Cole Skuse encouraging Jonas to take up the ‘Chambo fist-pump’ after the game was just reward for the Dane.
Our midfield worked hard with David McGoldrick once again on top of his game putting himself here, there and everywhere. Then there was the clinical side added to our game since the arrivals of Joe Garner and Martyn Waghorn. I don’t mean just for their goals either but for their all-round performances.
Garner is certainly a nuisance and ruffles the feathers of defenders and we’ll score plenty more this season with these two in our line-up. Garner’s header would not have counted in any other season before now – thank heavens for the new goalline technology.
It was a pleasure walking out of the ground having witnessed a workmanlike performance with everyone pulling together to grind out such a good result. It was everything that we had cried out for during much of last season.
This brings me to those fans asking where the Mick ‘outers’ are now as if they’re claiming some kind of victory. Look, I was an outer for so long last season (and for a while before) only because I care so much for the club. I hated seeing the way we were playing last year and wanted to see the change that we’re now seeing.
In any walk of life, if we’re not happy with something then we want to see a change, don’t we? I did not think that a change would come within the current set-up. But absolute fair play to Mick, he is proving many of us wrong and, do you know what, I don’t mind being proved wrong.
I still care no differently but for now, it’s nice to have something to smile about again.