Post-Match: Birmingham

My ambition in writing this blog is nothing loftier than to create a publication to rival the most accurate news outlets. Objectivity is the watchword; I call a spade a spade because it is one. This is a space where high-brow entertainment and eye-brow lowering news can coexist: I shall never duck the big debates or goose yesterday’s current affairs. This entry is no different.

I write this account with glum heinzsight whilst I mentally admonish a disappointing hotel breakfast of beans on toast. Nobody thought that DEM BLADES would get an easy ride like that enjoyed by Ant McPartlin throughout his newsworthy drink-driving trial and yet, like the offending incident, neither did fans anticipate a minor car crash.


My trip to Birmingham earlier in the season resulted in a stand-off with an unreasonable toddler after the little twerp had repeatedly hacked at my retina with a half-torn, razor-sharp Indian flatbread. I no longer see my former friend Dan, whose son only stopped after I swore loudly at him – surely this trip would be better?

It started off that way with a Birmingham-evening par excellence or, at least, it was as good or better than last time. And this time I saw another familiar face in another Indian Restaurant…

The Gaffer

Birmingham started the season under the impression that they’d do well, under the auspices of playoff material and under the thumb of a rotund tax-dodger.  Thankfully it was not his face I encountered whilst mid-bite of a free popadom (and lime pickle) , but Garry Monk’s.

I said, “Garry, looking forward to the game tomorrow?” The squat English Welshman turned to me with his newly dyed brown hair and his eyes said, I’m scared DEM BLADES are going to trample us. What he actually said was, “very funny – I’ve never heard that one before.”

Strange bloke. Anyhow, his appearance must’ve subconsciously altered my menu choice as I ended up with the most expensive dish…


…Monkfish with an airy, cardamom-infused coconut broth, bafflingly English vegetables and chips replacing the traditional rice – why wouldn’t you? This was the lightly spiced calm before the arse-burning storm (and by storm I mean football match).


I was swept off my feet at the news of Dale Winton, surprisingly ambivalent to news of Arsene Wenger and ambivalently unsurprised to hear the Queen had reached her ninety-second birthday. Ninety seconds into the first half, everything glowed with possibility. But ninety minutes into the match, everybody would be glowering with despair.

There wasn’t much by way of chances until Lee Evans picked up the ball (with his feet not his hands) and played Mark Duffy through the right-channel and he carried possession toward the Broomy goal. Then, like an unstoppable gobshite, he cut-in. Cut-in onto his left foot and fired softly past the keeper. 0-1.

Happy days. Then! – shortly after – another effort. This time a fizzing long-range strike from Lee Evans, stopped by a fingertip save. Seventh place. We’re on it. But, in exactly the same way the Home Office has failed the Windrush generation, something about DEM BLADES wasn’t right.

Our play became sluggish and ponderous, snail-like and ungraceful. Like Dale Winton, our passing was shocking. The Broomies had us sussed and the 3-6-1 formation was rapidly unpicked.

DEM BLADES haven’t faced a player more times this season than they have Jota (pronounced jotter) and the aggravatingly good, long-haired Mark Duffy was becoming a greater and greater threat. Then, the evitable happened – you couldn’t write it…

A corner that should’ve been cleared at the front post, wasn’t. A Birmingham player won the flick-on and Marc Roberts equalised. 1-1. Shit.

DEM BLADES recovered possession in the early stages of the second-half, but they didn’t pose any attacking intent. Changes were needed but the bench was lacking in options.

Then came the decisive blow. Chav Edams played a through ball to Jack’s Magowner and he closed-in on goal, and fired past Jamal Blackman for 2-1. Deserved. They looked hungrier, though I’ve looked hungrier too.

Without mustering a clear attempt on goal for the remainder of the half, DEM BLADES battled on exhaustedly. Like the concept of Sting and Tom Jones playing a gig for the Queen’s birthday, it was horrible to watch.

There was no way back for DEM BLADES, despite Wilder’s attempt to change personell. The sound of the final whistle was the last toots on a thrillingly disappointing pipe. It’s times like these I remember what my Dad occasionally used to say,

Hope exacerbates despair but it is also a place in the Peak District.”


Taking place this morning is the London Marathon…

…and it feels as if any latent playoff hopes have jogged away from DEM BLADES.

…and although DEM BLADES were up for the sprint, it looks like we’re slowing to a walking pace.

…and DEM BLADES haven’t taken enough liquids on board and look to be losing their footing.

…and, if La Liga was a marathon, DEM BLADES would be pissing by the side of the road.

…and who on earth actually care?

As I outlined at the start of this piece, I am not one to shirk my responsibility as a journalist. Play-off contentions are not over, we’re three points off. These are the facts. But the idea that we will make the top six, in my expert opinion, is fake news.

Man of the Match

We have seen more of him this week than we have done in a while, Paul Coutts.


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