We really ought to have won it, obviously, yet never quite did enough to turn theory into fact. Not the first time and probably not the last either, and it says much about the division that we can make a habit of such indecision while comfortably maintaining a position just below the playoffs. When we take our chances, we’re capable of being a frightening side; much more often, we’re poised on the brink, unable to make the leap. That’s all right, mind: such potential, even unrealised, is a great and unexpected improvement after recent struggles. People booed this, but they’re the people who’d do the same even if we’d hit the woodwork seventeen times, had nine realistic penalty appeals refused, three perfectly good goals disallowed, forced the keeper into an endless series of miracles, and had a shot cleared from a yard over the line. With nine men. In this instance, we were some way short of that, clearly. Some way short of previous seasons’ atrocities too, though.
Tag: Rotherham United
You’d rather hope that our ambitions might stretch a little further than that, of course. Being a bit better than Bradford isn’t exactly a towering achievement, after all. But it’ll do for now, I guess. For all that the season started with fairly high expectations, not being in the bottom three seems like a useful point from which to begin again. It could be worse. And it might get better.
There have been a few more daydreams than usual this week. Since that magnificent victory over West Brom and that vital win at Coventry, it’s been easy to let the imagination wander a little. You can piece together a run of results to leave us in the playoff places, then toy with the possibilities from there onwards. You can plan a famous cup success at the Stadium of Light, then a kind draw in the quarter final…and then, well, who knows? And, implicitly, you can use all of the above to conjure up emotive, powerful images from yesteryear, both recent and beyond.
If last week’s game against Wolves had represented a ‘new challenge’, then Saturday’s visit to Millmoor represented a very old and familiar challenge. This would be the time-honoured traditional slog, no-one was under any illusions, we all knew what to expect. We’d have to be strong, determined, and bloody-minded to take points out of this one or my name’s not David Sheepshanks.
For us exiled fans, match days are a mouthwatering prospect. I mean, match days that really do mean attending a game of football, free from work pagers or a menacing family committee hellbent on visiting Ikea. As a man of the cloth, I would suggest to anyone wishing to know what a definition of hell is, to visit their nearest Ikea store. You can’t even pop out to the car for an update fron Radio 5 without having to run round the entire building.
Taken from the programme on 27th August 2001-New Division One, Watford 2 Walsall 1