It seems all too familiar these days that we have a season where it comes to an end that is somewhat of an anti-climax. Last season from February outwards was a limping horrible set of events,
culminating in a managerial departure, with a vague uplift in form. It happened many a time before of course, where changing the manager a little too late has meant we just had too much to do. Megson cost us a tilt at the playoffs before Barlow and McParland nearly looked like leading us there.
Kinnear took over from Harts final season and led us away from relegation (but ultimately made no difference long term) Cotterill kept us going after McClaren. And now Freedman took over the reins of another failed manager, albeit club legend Stuart Pearce.
It’s a familiar feeling. These one if complete abject failure to achieve targets, changing the manager and seeing an uplift, but just not enough, and a little too late. Freedman led us to believe we could make the playoffs, to the point some idiots moan that he led us to the brink, but no further that he’s failed. That’s ridiculous. Under Pearce we were sliding towards another brink, relegation, and though I’m sure it would never have happened, our better players would surely have used this opportunity to jump ship. Instead we have a more positive feel. We’ve been on an excellent run and beat some good teams. We know we can, it’s just doing it consistently.
But as I say these feelings have come before, that surely now this will kick on. I fear that a couple of players will want to move on, and say what you like (and Twitter usually provides this) Lansbury is a top player for this level. Ok, form has been patchy, but when he fires, we fire. Now of course as I say, the most vocal are frequently those with minority views shouting loudest to feel vindicated, and they often target Lansbury. They will say they’d gladly sell, but frankly we aren’t going to replace with any better quality. People say get rid, but then it’s like when we replaced Williams and Scimeca with Sonner and Gunnarsson. It’s not always a rosy picture on the other side.
As much as the playoffs have provided ridiculous heart break and a number of occasions, I would still happily subject myself to that. And the fact we failed a month out from the end just has meant that these last 3 home games are largely meaningless. For instance, the Watford game tonight for me feels like a chore rather than a pleasure (but midweek games having to come from Sheffield is a bit of an ordeal) it should feel like an opportunity to see us match up against a good side.
Instead I just think is it worth the round trip for a possible hiding? With nothing to play for it barely matters. But I know despite my head saying all this, the heart will always win out, and there I will be, even if it’s a dead rubber. These whimpering ends of seasons are horrible. I want something to be cheering for and roaring towards in those last few games. Not just a feeling of c’est la vie.