The thing about writing a football blog is that when everything is going well for your team there’s absolutely nothing to write about… so there’s some positives to be taken from the past three home games – I finally have something to write about again!
There’s been a lot of comment coming out the club over the past few days about the importance of the fans in the final few games of the season, which in turn has sparked the #SingYourHeartsOut campaign, that you will hopefully be seeing a lot of over the next few weeks. So how have we got into this position?
The simplest answer is, Salopians love to moan (and I am as big a culprit as anybody when it comes to this). We’re 2nd in the league, have the best goal difference in the league, almost took Chelsea to penalties in the cup, and stand a great chance of automatic promotion. Put a dead ball straight out of play twice in a half, however, and all that is soon forgotten…
It would be foolish to say that this is the sole cause of the decline in atmosphere though. Part of it has to be put down to the nervousness that the players are obviously starting to feel as the chasing pack aren’t letting up, and this is transferring into frustration in the crowd. We know how well this team can play, so when they start making unforced errors a lot of fans react in a natural (but pretty unhelpful) way.
This hasn’t been helped by the fact that teams have actually found us out at home. It’s Northampton’s fault really, they had the audacity to pressure and press us all over the pitch and force mistakes. Cambridge and Oxford obviously did their homework (or university equivalent) because they came to The Meadow and did exactly the same. This in turn got the crowd on the players backs, which made them look even more nervous and so on and so forth.
So what’s the answer then? Well the simplest answer is get behind the lads and #SingYourHeartsOut. Put down your phones, your pies, your sweets and drinks and clap your hands, stamp your feet, sing a song. Whoever came up with the phrase “the silent majority” had obviously seen a Salop home game this season.
The only time the crowd got an atmosphere going from kick-off this season (Chelsea excluded as we had a few extra followers in that day) was against Stevenage, and that was mostly down to that absolute moron they call a manager. Imagine how much more confidence we could generate on the pitch if the fans actually got behind them from teh first whistle!
Now obviously there’s the argument that the play on the pitch needs to be good enough to get the fans going, and I can see that point of view. But answer me this simple question, if there was something you could do to improve your teams chances of winning a game… WHY WOULDN’T YOU DO IT?
But then again, that would leave us Salopians with nothing to moan about, and we do like a moan…
Keith the Shrew