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FA Carling Premiership, 12/2/00
Leicester City
Plot uncovered
By Martin Blanc

Police were crawling all over Vicarage Road before the game as word got out of a plot to kidnap baby Collymore. His estranged mummy, Ulrika, said "They're welcome to the little bastard, and his evil stepfather Johnny Gregory feels the same." Things took a stranger turn when it was revealed that the kidnapper had in fact been his evil stepfather, and that officers were actually overseeing the release of Colly into the care of a genial leprechaun with a penchant for limelight-grabbing in post-match interviews...


And then I woke up, and we were kicking off with Wooter strangely reluctant to join Helguson in the centre circle. It had been easy to drift off, bit late into my seat, then seeing the team sheet which along with the unseasonal weather had the afternoon getting brighter and brighter.

We bustled, hustled, made fewer mistakes early on. Ah, but could we lay to rest the old gag - why's it always safe to have sex with a Watford player? Cos they've got no f***ing penetration.... Could we bollocks. The first team are now on the mend, and - horror of horrors - they're not perfect. Critiquing them, though, is a gutwrenching, heartbreaking process of repeating all the things they didn't get right earlier in this Gormenghast of a season. Kennedy is still a one-footed player (see the Wigan report), so he'd better be coming in at a favourable angle when defending in our box or he joins the ranks of our Keystone Cops centre backs and no mistake. Teamwork - see the Spurs report. When a swarm of players bearing down on the opposition area run into vacant channels, and the man on the ball just punts it over the bar from twenty-plus yards, something is rotten in the state of Watford. They can't be that blind, that blinkered. Come on, who hates who? It's been a long season, after all. Pros do not always get along. We should be told.

And then how about the new old boys:

Welcome back, Nordin. You still need a big flashing neon roadsign to show you the right direction in which to execute your mazy runs - could it also be that you have acute agoraphobia, can't possibly run into empty space because you'd stop, fall to your knees, break down, start screaming for the walls, the walls?

Welcome back, Allan. That's Allan "scores a goal at Wembley, thinks he's a striker" Smart - all the composure of a spotty twat at a school disco, FOUR YARDS OUT, for Pete's sakes. That's a seminal moment there - that's our fingertip grip on Stallone's wrist (the Premiership) when we're over that five-mile drop (the Nationwide) in "Cliffhanger" loosened once and for all. But anyway...

Welcome back, Mark. You had an okay game, in that you left the opposition still standing after tackles, but most of them still leave you standing over a short sprint. B+ for effort, though.

And welcome back, Chris. The only game I'd pick you for is table football, cos all you can do is move from side to side on your frigging goal line, you're not even in command of your six-yard box, never mind that scary jungle of the whole penalty area.

Oh Lord, pass the Prozac. Because we gifted them their goal, again. And we came back at them, for a change. And we spurned, blew, said sayonara, to enough chances to bury them. So what's new? If it can be said that we played adequately and came away with a draw, then that'll do. But it can't be said. It's February, it's too late for that now. But maybe it's too late for anything now.