Some things you can infer from the comments on the club site; and when it reports on BWP going on loan to Brentford for the rest of the season, with no mention of recall clauses, and adds that his contract is up at the end of the season, even I can guess that we have in all probability seen the last of him - and for the last time sung that he’s better than Shaun. We will of course always think fondly of him and wish him well, not just for the winner at Carlisle, while the memory of his bloody awful penalty away at Notts County will, in time, fade (after all, we have a French striker who apparently missed a penalty once).
For the first half of last season he was superb, full of confidence and knocking them in for fun. But after his drought that confidence never seemed to really return and many chances went begging (his winner at Carlisle, from about a yard out, had been preceded by him failing to convert a one-on-one). Whether or not he could cut it at Championship level was a key issue for this season (I do remember thinking at the time when Curbs said he’d put him in his fantasy team on the grounds of him being a ‘goal machine’ that we’ll have to wait and see) and, although the goal at home against Leicester boded well, we soon learnt that sniffing around for Kermorgant’s knock-ons, taking advantage of crap defending, and the periodic strike from outside the box might not be enough to thrive against better opposition, while his hold-up play was never good enough. It’s fair to assume that Sir Chris made his mind up not long into the season and since then it’s been a case of Wright-Phillips being a fringe squad member rather than the 20-plus goals lynchpin of the attack that we hoped.
He clearly still has the time to prove he can make at least the Championship grade. If he does it with Brentford, good luck to him. But unless I’m very wrong (I always accept the theoretical possibility) it won’t be with us.
It will be interesting now to see whether Green is loaned out, after the two were about to join Swindon on deadline day, and, if so, whether this clears the space for one to come in. Having Kermorgant, Fuller and Haynes available (and there is Smith) and sometimes going for 4-5-1 (or variations) doesn’t point to an obvious need for a fourth striker, but the injury records to date do suggest a risk of being a bit thin on the ground. We shall see (as usual I’m not privy to any inside information).
In the interim, of course there is the small matter of Yann’s return to Leicester. Sir Chris has made the appropriate comments about having moved on from that penalty, but judging from the comments from some Leicester fans we chatted to in the pub before the game at The Valley they might have a little further to go in the adjustment process. Nothing that a hat-trick tonight for Kermorgant wouldn’t cure.
If that produces a glorious victory for us, there will be a little suffering involved, not just for the Leicester fans. I have normal taste buds and a proper palate, which means that cheese is disgusting muck. But I am ready to accept that, however strange it may seem, some people apparently get enjoyment from consuming the rotting concoction and it is sometimes a mild inconvenience to be unable to stand being in the proximity of it, especially sitting in France. So I do periodically check to make sure that my position is not based on prejudice. I have promised my partner Suzanne that if we win tonight I will try to eat a lump, with a large glass of St Joseph at the ready to try to wash away the taste (and something bunged up my nostrils for obvious reasons). She is currently in a Lyon fromagerie selecting something 'suitable', having set off this morning with just a little too much enjoyment at the prospect for my comfort.
A week working from Lyon is a delight, but there is the small matter of the various tasks that Suzanne stores up for my arrival, just those odd jobs that she seems unwilling to do. So to date I’ve fixed the shower, drilled holes in the wall to be able to hang the stepladder (don’t ask), humped huge bags of soil for some plant repotting, and of course carried all the bags when stocking up on various animal parts on the Saturday Croix Rousse market shop. The Thumper with various bits attached went down a treat but now it seems I’m required to prepare the goat for tonight (apparently to insert bits of garlic and persil – that’s parsley in the real world – into it and leave to marinate). Oh, and go to the local market this afternoon to buy some fish, drill more holes and put up some shelves, and sort out the electrician (who is arriving to price up some work, which I am somehow supposed to communicate to him; if Suzanne ends up with a new plug in the ceiling and a light strip at ground level she only has herself to blame).
It would have been good to report on a glorious victory for Lyon Duchere on Saturday evening. But having held on for confirmation of no last-minute equaliser at Hull and dashed to the ground, we witnessed what has to be said was a game that will not go down as a classic. Duchere had a couple of weeks without a match and it showed. They played out a 0-0 draw against Grenoble in which neither goalkeeper had a save to make. Duchere did put one over the bar from close range but the guy was offside anyway, Grenoble had one shot from a free kick that went narrowly wide, and as the game wore on Duchere might have nicked something from a set piece (the team has changed a bit since I last saw them and they are a good deal bigger than before, and a bit more route one). But they didn’t get a late break, and neither did we.
We still have tonight to put things right, even if it means a rather nasty lump going down my throat.