Brentford supporters whose wits may have been slowed by the extra pint they were able to sneak in thanks to the delayed kick-off on Tuesday night, might have had a nasty shock when flicking through their match day programme.
Staring back at us from page five was a big picture of our recently departed manager, Andy Scott, grinning cheesily, alongside his set of programme notes.
I must confess that my heart skipped a couple of beats at the sight – had Scotty just made the most triumphant return since Lazarus spluttered back to life?
Rest easy, my friends. I’m happy to report that he had done nothing of the sort.
The programme that I, like the mug that I am, shelled out two quid for was the one that had been printed for the match against Tranmere Rovers that had originally been scheduled to take place at the end of December, when Andy Scott was, of course, still in situ.
If you had read Scotty’s programme notes at the time that they were written, they would have hardly have been worthy of comment – the usual cliché-filled gaffer speak about the boys doing good and the tough games ahead waste space in programmes up and down the country.
But in the light of his sacking, Scott’s comments about “harnessing inspiration and confidence” and making 2011 a successful year for the Bees will strike you as either poignant or amusing depending on your point of view, or, if you are lame-brained football pundit in the mould of Phil Thompson, Garth Crooks or Paul Merson, you’d probably call it ironical.
The match itself was a fairly non-descript affair. The Bees picked up the three points against a physical but uninspiring Tranmere side..
The victory against the Scousers will strengthen caretaker boss Nicky Forster’s case for getting the job on a full-time basis but the performance of the team was, it must be said, far from perfect.
It was good to see Charlie MacDonald back from injury and notching a decent goal and the lads tried their best to get a passing game going.
Sam Saunders, a player about as welcome in the Bees squad under Andy Scott as an outbreak of swine flu, once again excelled, but there is still clearly a fair amount of work that must be done on the training ground.
A team doesn’t go from playing football like Wimbledon circa-1987 to becoming “the Barcelona of the lower leagues” over night, despite what our terrace anthem would have you believe.