How subdued were the crowd again today? True the performance was uninspiring but the atmosphere at the Boleyn was dreadful.
It was all summed up by the muted response to Kriss Akabusi's reading of the teamsheet. Poor Akabusi gave it his all, reading the selected players' names as if they were returning World Cup winners, but the fans responded with all the enthusiasm of a beauty pulling out Ian Dowie's keys at a wife swapping party. Kriss announced "Capatain Fantastic, Number Four, Kevin Nolaaaaannnnnnn!" and the crowd responded with a barely audible, "Yay". By the time Akabusi reached, "Number Twenty-One Papa Bouba Diop" nobody could be arsed to even groan!
The best reception of all, in fact, was for Marlon Harewood, "Who so nearly scored the winning goal in the Cup Final against Liverpool." The applause before kick off and in response to his substitution was heart warming, but it is a bit desperate when an opponent is given a bigger cheer than any of your own team. Even the response to the announcement that Tomkins had extended his contract was slightly muted. In fact, first half, the Forest away supporters, like the Forest team, outperformed us.
We finished the game top of the table, but with the ground only two thirds full by the final whistle. For great chunks of the game, you could hear a penny drop in the stadium - even the anger seems to have been suffocated out of the supporters by Allardyce's boring, boring football.
Fortress Upton Park? The Boleyn Morgue more like!