Monday, May 07, 2007

Out Of Our Misery

Well if the hope was meant to kill us, I'm pleased to say I'm still alive. It was fitting perhaps that we exit the Premiership on the back of two stunning Spurs goals which exemplified the gap in class that we've failed to bridge, not only tonight but frankly for most of the season.

A Spurs-supporting friend kindly texted me to say, "Mate, you support a top club. Don't ever forget that," and as I choked back a tear or two, I realised it's really not the end of the world.

We've spent longer in the top flight than even the most optimistic fan would have imagined possible. We are the working class beau who married above his station, but now it's time for a painful short-term separation.

Our loyal fans meanwhile gave tremendous support both tonight and at Blackburn, and deserved better all season. How many of our squad can look themselves in the mirror and say, "I did everything I could."? It's scandalous given the talent at our disposal and the money spent that we will likely accumulate fewer points than we did the last time we went down. The sum has been less than the parts all season, and the inquest can start now.

Wholesale changes will have to be made, but the Championship isn't the footballing graveyard it's sometimes portrayed as. Just look at Birmingham and Sunderland. And surely the most enjoyable two seasons in our recent history have been 1997/1998 and 1999/2000? We watch Charlton because we like to see them win, whilst hopefully progressing longer-term as a football club. Sometimes in life you have to take one step back in order to leap forward.

As Richard Murray rightly points out, it's the adjustment that will be the hardest thing to bear. Hard-working club staff will lose their jobs whilst Marcus Bent counts his money at some equally naive Premiership club. But if the adjustment is the problem, then in a perverse way aren't we better off getting relegated this season rather than say, next?

I'm off to see the outstanding Arcade Fire this evening. It's appropriate that their amazing debut album was called Funeral. And when the band launches into the stunning anthemic chorus of "Wake Up" and bellow, "I guess we'll just have to adjust," they'll be speaking for all of us.


At 10:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear NYA,
I agree I feel better now the misery is over.Last time we went down we had a fighting ethos and a couple of good purchases by ac (Kiely,Hunt) and we bounced back...but where do you start with this bunch? The "spine" of the team doesn't exsist- pardew has his work cut out-starting tomorrow-
David Whyte -Whyte-Whyte

At 11:22 PM, Anonymous Nug said...

Matt Holland you are a superstar, he ran his nuts off tonight, as upset as I am I'm also glad the suffering is over, I don't think I could have taken another week of this.

The atmosphere was cracking and the chant of we are going up at the end bought a lump to my throat. Shame more didn't hang around for the players coming back onto the pitch but I guess it's understandable.

By the way Loyd Sam looked excellent when he came on, I pray players like him now get their chance, a breath of fresh air.

At 11:56 PM, Blogger Kappacino Kid said...

Thank god we know. At last I can say I have had a dream that has come true, Defoe in the 90 th minute, I have been sure of that since Christmas, although it was also to be the goal that put us down, but we were already down by then.

As has been said, we just were not good enough, lots of effort, huff and puff (except Marcus). When Martin Jol took over at spurs there was very little difference in quality between the two teams, now look at them, Spurs were very good tonight. But we did not lose our status tonight we lost it through a poor season when we have only managed to win one game away, when our second striker scored less goals than OG's and our board made at least one if not two phenomenal mistakes in appointments.

There are a few players we need to keep and many others that we should be happy to see go. I was a Romedahl fan for much of his time with us, but he never repaid the faith that I and others had in him, good riddance I just hope he now languishes in the Norwegian waste somewhere.

Next season we already have Bougherra, Reid, Gibb, possibly Song, so maybe it will be another promotion, I thought to myself we'll probably get knocked out of the cups early - but then no change there.

I'm beginning to warm to the Championship and it starts on the 11th August - bring it on.

BTW A lot of people did not realise the players were coming back on and the announcement was not clear.

At 7:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not all bad news.

Looking at the way Bent and King were getting on after the game it looks like King will be playing at the Valley next season.


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