The last half-hour or so of Carlisle/Derby

by Steve

Naturally, I miss the first goal. I have an uncanny knack of inducing goals in any game by wandering off for a bit. It almost guarantees a goal. I should be employed by TV companies to ensure they don’t screen any dull nil-nils.

This is my curtain-raiser to the season, in the sense that it is the first game I’ve sat down to watch. Well, sat down to watch, then wandered off, missed a goal, and then sat back down again. And, oh the glamour. Carlisle versus Derby in the first round of the Capital One Cup.

After the glamour and spectacle of the World Cup there is something almost cleansing about watching proper football. Football is not all skill and grace, it is also grit and graft, misery and mistakes. There doesn’t appear to be many people at the ground. Football isn’t really meant to be played on Monday nights. The first round of a cup competition nobody really gets excited about isn’t really a draw. Carlisle is a tough trip for any away supporter. And, of course, it is on the telly anyway.

Yet, I reckon the people there are having a great time. There are still terraces, and the nice sort of terraces where there is enough room to mill about a bit. It is a warm evening. On second thoughts, maybe Monday football isn’t such a bad thing. Wouldn’t Mondays be a lot easier if you knew you had the football to go to at the end of them? Or maybe that is cheating – you should really wait until Saturday for your reward. Oh, and now it is raining. Pissing down.

I’ve got back into playing Football Manager recently. I started a game without a club, and Carlisle were the only team to employ me. I’m already a few seasons in and the so only understand Carlisle in the sense of the bizarre alternate world I’ve created where Carlisle have a distinctly continental flair, plus a Mexican striker capable of scoring 65 goals a season. With this in mind, I obviously support Carlisle here, although I don’t recognise many players – although I’m pretty sure I got rid of a few of them in my Alternate-Carlisle World. I’m a pretty ruthless manager.

Anyway, the football is back.