The Sky's the limit: Roger Moore scores

Last updated : 06 October 2008 By Roger Moore
Well, I've done my bit. Earlier this week, I cancelled my Sky contract. Sadly, of course, the one month's required notice did not prevent me from yet another drubbing live on international television. But what with the credit crunch, Saints' abysmal televised form was all the motivation needed to reduce my monthly outlay by around £40.

And now that I can no longer witness games that I cannot make, perhaps this will provide the impetus for Saints to turn on the style in front of the cameras.

The shame, of course, if you were not at the Norwich game is that, once again, you have been given scant encouragement from what you have seen to attend the Watford game in just less than a fortnight. And that is a real pity.

Because for every bad thing you were witness to tonight, was a brilliant alternative just four days earlier. But if you weren't there, you'll simply have to take my word for it.

Yes, from time to time we make schoolboy errors; we are, after all, little more than schoolboys on the whole. And whether the emphasis on youth is your particular cup of tea, it is the brew on offer and has as much to commend it as condemn it.

I admit I'm annoyed when we lose on television, much more than when we simply lose. Sky and Vodafone provide ammunition for friends and associates to lambaste from afar - normally safe in their 'mock-support' of clubs like Manchester United and Chelsea, although abuse from fellow Championship fans who actually attend football matches is fair game. It's annoying isn't it?

Be honest, the dented pride hurts as much as (if not more than) simply losing. You want to watch your team win, knowing that others are seeing the same; people you know who might be quietly impressed even if they daren't say so.

Why, I ask myself, could our demolition of Norwich not have been centre-stage; a game that could and genuinely should have concluded with a hockey score? And of course there's a simple reason, which even now Bruce Hornsby reminds me from 'i-tunes' -"that's just the way it is".

We play poorly when the cameras are rolling for no good reason, just as under the ginger-whinger the cameras seemed to inspire us. I remember working away from home and watching us beat Charlton 3-2 in a thriller and Liverpool 2-0 at Anfield. But then, perhaps we were just winning a bit more often, television or not.

One thing I won't do though is throw a metaphorical brick at the screen. Yes, it was disappointing, heartily so. But however you dress the statistics, it is still our first loss in five games and ten games into the season we find ourselves well in the Championship mix, proving once again that in this league, anyone can still beat anyone.

What we need now is a run of games away from the cameras to establish some genuine consistency and for the young team to show their resilience.

Truth be told seven games in 21 days is a tough ask for players who have, on the whole, been plying their trade in the less demanding reserve or youth team ranks. Combine this with a manager who has now undertaken his first ten games in English football, and perhaps those who remain pessimistic need to avail themselves of the award-wining Southampton caterers and ask for a large slice of reality cake.

I'm taking mine with a nice cup of Earl Grey. But from now on it's Bovril and a pie in the stands or no football at all for me. Come along and join me at the Watford game and perhaps you'll find that, away from Sky, we're really not that bad - honest!