I want all the world to see
To see you’re laughing
And you’re laughing at me
I can take it all from you
Again again again again again again again…
And indeed the wider world of footy certainly laughed long and hard last Saturday afternoon. We’re down, as old Francis has been telling us since, well since this time last year really.
It was a terrible game against Brentford. Truly dreadful. No atmosphere to speak of. The footy on offer, well from us any-road, was uninspiring, dull and just plain rubbish. I could visibly see Potter’s shoulders sink when they equalised. You could’ve picked faults with any one of them. But that would be childish, however… Cropper mate! Ever thought that perhaps football might not be your game? His performance in the first half was our whole season in microcosm. Dithering about, unable to make a decision, and just no idea what he should be doing.
I was one of the ones who thought we’d do okay in The Championship. I genuinely thought that we’d finish lower mid-table. I was of the opinion that we’d draw more than we’d win, and sink into mid-table obscurity. If only! We were told that if we managed to finish one place above the relegation zone, then it would’ve been a good season, and we would’ve succeeded. We didn’t. So therefore we failed.
You could point to any number of things that went wrong. The two Spanish lads. The early season striker debacle. Maynard fannying about before signing. The away game against Brentford. Samir pissing in a glass. Kay’s own goal at Dirty Leeds, Dale Jennings’ ever expanding waist line, conceding late equalisers, J.E.T. – the list goes on and on. But hindsight gives you 20/20 vision. The real reason we’ve gone down is simply down to the fact that we weren’t good enough. We were constantly out thought, out played, and both our tactics and players were found wanting.
But as you’re just about to find out, things could be worse. Much worse.
The season panned out in direct inversion to my personal life. I, unfortunately, was ill for most of it. Started feeling unwell on the day of the FA Cup final. Didn’t think much about it. A summer cold probably, and the season kicked off. We smashed Rotherham. I was no better. We went away to Reading, on what was one of the most beautiful summer days for many a year. We had a nil/nil draw. Not a bad result in retrospect. I was beginning to feel dreadful. Really dreadful. We started to lose more than we drew or won. I was by this time feeling really shit. Christmas was on the horizon. Off to Notts Forest on a pub stop mini-bus. Wonderful day. I had my first ever G&T, and met the singer out of The Mekons. We lost. Two days before that I was told that I would have to have part of my foot amputated. To be honest I’ve had better days. New year rocked up. Now the team were right up shit street. We lost at Birmingham. Me on the other hand. Well I knew what was wrong with me, but this is when I started to feel really, really bad. Burnley arrived, and kicked the living shit out of us. I’ve never felt so bad in my entire life. I was quite literally shaking, and couldn’t stop. I had to leave with more than 20mins to go. Which in the circumstances was a blessing in disguise, bearing in mind the result.
March, and into hospital I went. Operation went smooth as a nut. I came out, and instantly I started to feel better. The team on the other hand started to feel really bad. The first game I went to when I could get about on crutches, was the one where Baker missed a last gasp penalty. And well, you know the rest. So as I got better, the team got shitter.
Blame me if you want. I’ll accept full responsibility. I was really looking forward to this season. But as you can see from what happened to me, it’s not been great. And now we’re down. But you’ll be happy to know that I’m feeling chipper. You’ll be reading this on Sunday, but it’s written well before that. So as it stands, I’ve just taken out another mortgage to fund a ticket for Ipswich. A game I’m really looking forward to. Me and a gang of friends are heading off in yet another mini-bus trip. I can’t wait, and many more G&T’s await.
So there you have it. We’re down, but certainly not out. Ipswich is a nothing game. We’ve been relegated. So what. We tried, we failed. Big deal. After the season that I’ve just had, I’m more than happy to still have most of my foot.
So believe me when I tell you this. It’s an old cliche, but there are certainly far more important things in this life than your football team getting relegated.