The most sickening thing about today's game is that the players didn't care. When Parker overhit a pass and Nolan ended up 'in the crowd', he came out all smiles - and that betrayed the mood of the team. Over 93 minutes of mundane, low tempo football which should have infuriated and frustrated the players, we didn't pick up a single booking - and Howard Webb was in charge!
Think about that for a moment. This is a blood and thunder division. This was the first game of the season at home in front of an expectant crowd. This is a team managed by Doctor Evil Allardyce. Dear God, has ANY team managed by Allardyce ever lost and not picked up a single booking? If so, it would be a very rare event indeed. Bloody Kevin Davies collects yellows like my Nan used to collect Green Shield Stamps.
But when a team is gutless, when a team has no fire in its belly, when a team doesn't give a flying fcuk, is it any wonder they can get through a game without inducing even Howard Webb to show a yellow? Even more of a worry is the fact that Cardiff were able to hold us at bay and only collect one yellow themselves, and that because Cole stood on the bloody ball! We didn't stretch them, we didn't run at them, we didn't threaten to hurt them - so the whole game was played at the tempo of a pre season friendly and the atmosphere of the crowd matched!
And this is how it has been for two years now. Allardyce warned in mid week that he had not been able to get into the heads of the players yet. He warned that this team are attuned to defeat. He hinted that this is a squad that has forgotten how to win. He should now say it how it is: this is a team that doesn't give a shit.
Some are arguing that the players were nervous. Nervous? Nervous about what? Nervous about playing Cardiff in the NPower Championship? How are Parker and Green going to perform for England if their legs and hands turn to jelly in a game against Cardiff? How do any of them have a future in the game if they freeze in a match like this? It had sod all to do with nerves, sod all to do with tension and everything to do with apathy in my book, which is why Webb had such an easy afternoon.
It was Sunday. It was a 1 pm kickoff. It was just a matter of time before we scored. It was a stroll in the Upton Park. It was a fcuking betrayal yet again.
Allardyce made excuses and he shouldn't. The fans deserve better and deserve a manager who tells it how it really is. He should have pulled off Parker as a statement, not Noble. He should have got Collison, Cole and Barrera into the action much earlier. He should have kept them locked in the dressing room for an hour after the game and told them what we all think of them.
The message must be 'Never again'.