“When he’s not putting crosses and through balls in to Big Sam, he can often be found helping the elderly cross roads, serving soup down at the homeless shelter or rescuing frightened cats from trees. The man lives to assist people”
This is it. Mark the day on your calendars, go up in the loft and get your Christmas decorations back down, pour yourself a glass of Dom Perignon or whatever your preferred tipple may be, get yourselves down to Iceland for a 48 piece pack of party food and get ready to celebrate.
This has been a long time coming. A VERY long time coming in fact. Not only did we win the crucial 6 pointer against Sunderland, but we did it convincingly. Though the black cats were undeniably appalling, the effort, determination and composure of the boys in blue should not be understated.
It’s well documented in sport, and life in general, that when things aren’t quite going your way it’s a psychological uphill battle to turn things around. As the old adage goes, “it never rains but it pours”, well it’s been hammering it down all season. We’ve been drowning in the flood and the under soil drainage system at St Andrews is about ready to burst but perhaps we now find ourselves at the dawning of the dry season.
As shown in the final 15 minutes, there is still work to be done, mentally rather than tactically. The unfamiliar territory of a hefty lead caused an onset of complacency as the boys called stumps and declared at 3 – 0, allowing Sunderland to pull one back. It’s not the end of the world, sure, but for this fight back to be successful, Stevie C needs to stomp out such silly behaviour.
Let’s focus on the positives though, as there are many to celebrate. Firstly, we only went and scored 3 bloomin’ goalaroonies! Our ‘goals for’ column makes for some depressing reading and fans have been screaming for the arrival of a striker before the transfer window slams shut. Hopefully those shouts will now be silenced somewhat and bluenoses will lavish in their renewed faith in the squad. We have the necessary strike force on the books, we just need to give them the service to perform.
Which brings us onto another positive; J Mags. Jaques Maghoma is the Congolese Prince of assists. When he’s not putting crosses and through balls in to Big Sam, he can often be found helping the elderly cross roads, serving soup down at the homeless shelter or rescuing frightened kittens from trees. The man lives to assist people and he is the most dangerous man in our club at the moment. Again, fans are calling out for Cotterill to recruit a playmaking midfielder. I agree to some extent that we could do with such a player, but let’s keep the faith in what we have.
All in all, we are not a rubbish team. Have we had periods of rubbishness? Sure. Have I wanted to pull my hair out and scream in frustration at our rubbishosity? At times. But are we inherently bad past the point of no return? No, we’re not.
Zola’s excuses of “we were unlucky” used to drive me up the wall, but I think that this season a case could be made that we have been simply unfortunate. Not in every loss, of course, but it’s hard to argue that things just haven’t been going our way.
∗ We’ve been blighted by injuries which have crippled the squad at times.
∗ Vetre and Dein AKA Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber are supposed to be responsible for player recruitment but have been using their job titles to steal a wage instead.
∗ ‘Arry’s ‘art was never really in it and I feel that may have rubbed off on the dressing room. Along with his cavalier approach to deadline day dealings and inflated player wages, this undoubtedly caused a negative atmosphere.
∗ Steve Cotterill was not the right man for the job to begin with, but he WAS the available man. He has definitely found his feet since Christmas though and all the cogs in the machine have finally started to turn simultaneously.
We began this season on the back foot but like an old steam train, we’re still chugging along towards the finish line. This will not be a season we will relish in over the years, but the result against Sunderland will certainly be regarded as a turning point. Today is a day to be proud, regardless of how our season has unfolded up to this point. The boys in blue should be proud of pulling themselves clear of the relegation zone. Steve Cotterill should be proud of of his resilience in the face of adversity and the fans should be proud of their unwavering support which may have been critical at times, but was never lacking in passion or attendance.
Onwards and upwards to Sheffield on Saturday where we will hopefully see a repeat performance. Then we have the honour of knocking Huddersfield out of the FA Cup on Tuesday before being treated to N’Doye kicked ten tonnes of s**t out of Paul ‘Prima Donna’ Pogba and Alexis ‘Spits His Dummy Out’ Sanchez in the next round
Keep the faith and Keep Right On!
By Mark Watson