1. If you can’t win pretty, win ugly – it’s a cliché, but there’s something in it. It’s perhaps doing a disservice to the lads’ efforts to call the victory at Millwall on Saturday actually ugly, but it won’t win points for artistic merit. Seeing as you don’t get points for artistic merit in football, just points for scoring more goals than the other lot, perhaps we shouldn’t worry about it.
2. What we should worry about it is where it leaves us – to which the answer is “very handily placed”. After their win on Thursday, Leicester must have wondered whether our dip in form would continue and give them a clear lead in second. That City put the pressure of that position and their own recent troubles to one side to grind it out speaks volumes for a team whose committment is just about as good as you can get.
3. Jay Simpson frequently attracts criticism for his disappointing goals return. That’s not always harsh either, as he really ought to have a higher total than he does. However, his application was so instrumental on Saturday that it’s occasionally possible to overlook that. He should score more, but there’s still no doubting that he can bring a lot to the side when he’s at his best.
4. Having won at the New Den for the first time ever, next stop it’s the Amex, where also a victory would be our first ever. Later this month it’s the Reebok, where we have also never won. What a marvellous time it would be to put three grounds with a touch of hoodoo to them to bed.
5. Given the madness that often descends at this time of year, City did well in the transfer window – both in terms of acquisitions and also resisting temptation. It’s impossible to know just how well Fathy and Gedo will fare of course, but they arrive with a pedigree that makes them well worth a punt on. It also goes without saying that re-signing Ahmed Elmohamady is greatly important.
6. Less worth a punt on was DJ Campbell. He’d have been a useful signing for a side, but wasn’t worth a long-term contract and certainly isn’t worth bothering with now his distasteful attitude has been so vividly explained by Steve Bruce.
7. On Thursday evening and into Friday, it was remarkable to see the influx of Egyptian football fans onto City’s Facebook page. Credit to the club for reacting so quickly by establish a page in arabic for our new friends – now, are any of the club’s strategists working out a way of capitalising upon and maintaining this interest in the longer term?
8. Good luck to Mark Cullen at Stockport. He should, with decent service, be able to score an absolute stack in the Blue Square Premier.
9. A current Tiger in Robbie Brady has been voted the Irish under 21 Player of the Year. Good on him. Perhaps more unnervingly, the Irish full squad Player of the Year is an ex-Tiger, one Keith Andrews. It’s hardly the Ballon d’Or, but given how much top flight and international football he’s managed since we packed him off in 2006, as well as now a prestigious personal award, did we just get him wrong?
10. He made a hell of a start yesterday, which gives this view a touch of wisdom after the event, but as we saw when he wore our shirt, Fraizer Campbell will kill off the rest of the Championship if he stays fit. Now it’s nigh on impossible to imagine anyone, including us, catching Cardiff. The race is probably now for second place.