Andy Griffin - behind the times? No chance! - 01/11/2002

Andy Griffin - behind the times? No chance!
Griff gets forward well - pity his clocks didn't!!

In the build up to last Tuesday’s Champions League fixture I’d been quite confident of a good result. The Juventus game had given us a boost and with a win over Charlton last weekend, we were playing well. In addition to our form, the squad were really focused on the job in hand and were determined to secure the points. I’m usually one of the first few players to arrive at the ground and when I saw that Andy Griffin’s car was at St.James, I thought there might have been a problem. Perhaps he pulled a muscle or wasn’t feeling well? I wondered if he might be seeing the club doctor or getting the physios to take a look at him. It seemed strange as he’d looked fine in training. It then crossed my mind that all the hype of the last couple of weeks might have been getting to him, no goals for years, excepting that own goal against Blackburn, and then he scores two in two games! I bet he was getting in early and preparing to make it three in three!!

Well, I got it wrong, totally wrong, what had actually happened is that he’d left his home at Wynyard an hour too early…he’d forgotten to put the clocks back…even though it was now three days since the clocks went back!!! Apparently he’d got to the ground and panicked as he was the only one there! As you can imagine, the lads had something to say about it.

Going back to the game, we’re so pleased because we’ve now set the record straight, three losses out of the first three games looked very poor and didn’t reflect our performances. Although we’re not fully in control of our own Champions League destiny, we are when it comes to the UEFA Cup. I know that the UEFA Cup doesn't touch the Champions League, but after losing the first three games, who wouldn’t have settled for a place in Europe's second competition? I think we have to accept that Juventus will not be playing their full strength side, would we? But there’ll still be quality players looking to impress Lippi and if say Del Piero is replaced by Marcelo Salas...then Kiev will still have to work to earn their place. First things first though, we have to go to Feyenoord and get the victory, it’d be a bit of a sickener if Juventus won and we could only draw or even lose. We’ll be focusing on our game and if we get that right only then can we look to Kiev.

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