It’s the hope that kills you really…
I reckon Birmingham’s 200 year masterplan to conquer World Football (due to come to fruition in 2075) is still on course as we are currently undergoing what historians will look back on and call ‘the fallow years.’
Sun shining, potential to be in the top four at the end of the day, unbeaten at home and spin doctoring to rival Alistair Campbell in his pomp meant I arrived at St Andrew’s full of optimism.
I reckon 99% of the English readership on this blog (that’s about six people) are of a football bias as opposed to rugby and can relate to the addiction/pain of following a side outside the top four of the Premier League.
Even Paul down the road at Molineux can probably recall a pummelling by Chorley in the FA Cup back in the eighties whilst Ian Thurman can probably recall Burton’s local derby defeats against Tamuff and Nuneaton in the Northern Premier League.
Anyway, I digress and even the closest boozer to St Andrew’s…
…99 – Royal George Hotel B9 4PN – has had a spruce up ahead of this campaign and I managed to resist the lure on this occasion but you can read about it, with some classic Alan Winfield comments, here.
A decent crowd, plenty of noise and then…..not one shot on target in 90 minutes and a 1-0 home defeat against Preston North End, which was met with general indifference as it’s not quite bad enough to grumble about or good enough to get excited.
Perpetual purgatory with the odd glimpse of enjoyment is how one wag next to me described it although, given Marin’s recent revelation that he is middle-aged, then this feller is only just approaching his forties!
I thought I’d draw solace by stopping off at Coleshill on the way home as I’d not been to the posh bit of Chelmsley Wood for a beer since I started blogging.
Duncan will be pleased to know that St Mirren took preference to the Rugby World Cup on Talk Sport as they led on their sports news with “Rugby World Cup results to follow…” which it did, after about five minutes of football culminating in St Mirren’s SPL score being announced.
Anyway, Coleshill residents will be up in arms at hearing themselves compared to near neighbours Chelmsley Wood but, anyone who moves from Chelmsley generally gravitates towards Coleshill, and it still has enough pubs in close proximity to make it a lively night out.
The High Street is a mix of takeaways, boozers, convenience stores and hairdressers with the odd butchers shop surviving on side streets.
I’m not sure Coleshill is a magnet for ale trails or CAMRA connoisseurs but it is always lively and 474- The Swan B46 3BL on the High Street was full enough for me to queue at the bar as Newcastle and Brighton offered some fairly paltry fare in the background.
It’s a big pub as it also doubles as a hotel and I reckon would be the sort of place Martin would stop in and negotiate bargain prices should Coleshill ever get a GBG Boozer in the near future…
Anyway, this is classic M&B Stonehouse with big screens, a slightly chaotic feel and, just to compound my day, I found a barmaid who seemed keen to serve everyone else before me and polite chap I am I didn’t mind until I finally stepped in with the “actually, I think I’m next.”
A bloke who looked like he’d been in there for a lot longer than me acquiesced with the comment “I could see you were a Blues fan” and all was good in the Blues stronghold!
The Pedigree (Marston’s) was pretty decent actually confirming the rumours that a Pedigree revival is on the cards! However, as it was chalked up at £2.95 I was surprised to see £3.30 the price charged, but I just wanted a pint and was so surprised the barmaid had finally served me at about the sixth attempt that I took a pew near the TV and watched former Blues man Graham Potter weave his magic from the dugout for Brighton.
A solid behemoth of a boozer with salt of the earth punters out to drink a lot and not particularly fussed whether it is Carling, Pedigree (in a GK IPA glass), G&T or bottles of Sol.
A proper lively local in the centre of a suburb of North Solihull (well Warwickshire really) which would only have got busier as the night went on.
Anyway, the beauty of football is that there is always another day/season so the hope had returned by the time I had finished off the Pedigree and next week’s trip to Derby should be fun!