Horrible Jordan Hugill: from mayhem to Mozart ... David Rawson's Rotherham United fan column
We’re still four points away from fourth bottom. We still haven’t won for five games. We still haven’t kept a clean sheet since Richard Wood played for us.
It’s not looking pretty.
It looked bad after Bristol City. Rumour has it that those Norwegian “slow TV” channels dedicated to showing programmes in which nothing happens have bought the rights off Sky to the first 80 minutes. Losing that one felt numbingly sad, and also troublingly inevitable.
It looked worse after 70 minutes against Southampton. They pulled us open with a casual ease. We blocked and blocked and blocked again. Taking satisfaction from being only one goal down is not a great look.
But the thing about the big picture is that it’s made up of little details. And those little details can change the whole scene.
Enter Jordan Hugill.
Hugill is a unique player. He looks like he’s built out of the discarded parts of other footballers. He seems to have more than the usual number of knees and elbows.
He’s like a hyperactive toddler at a child’s birthday party, who is forever careering around, bashing into other kids and leaving a trail of tearful wails in his clumsy, awkward wake.
Other parents look at his mum and dad with pity. Imagine having to put up with that all the time,
And then he sits at a piano and plays flawless Mozart. And you forgive him everything.
That’s Hugill. That’s his goal at Southampton. No-one else in this squad scores that. Maybe no-one else we’ve ever had play for us scores that.
No-one else has had the combination of instinct, imagination, self-belief and skill that it took to execute that deft lob for the equaliser.
That’s why we signed him. He’ll drive you mad as he flops to the ground for the 73rd time in the first five minutes.
He’ll drive the opposition defenders to distraction. And he’ll score goals, out of nothing, that win you points in games you wouldn’t otherwise get anything from.
Matt Taylor’s first big statement signing doing exactly what he was signed to do, in exactly the circumstances he was signed to do it in.
Suddenly, there’s a little bit of colour added to the scene. A little bit of light. It all looks slightly different. Slightly, well, better.
We got a point. It’s a detail in the context of a picture of this season as a whole.
But it feels important. Like, maybe, it could change how it all looks in the end.