It’s been like watching Mel Gibson at the end of Braveheart. Shot in slow motion, our hero is seen slaying foes whilst taking increasingly mortal blows from an unstinting onslaught. From the high of Histon to the shit pit of a draw with York, the final blow was the weakest we’ve taken throughout the battle, but our resistance was shot.
Shit or bust football; to paraphrase Chris Wilder, week after week. We are pre-programmed by Hollywood to believe that heroes will triumph over adversity. We applied this in desperation and hope for months. This couldn’t end badly; such effort can’t go unrewarded. History should recognize this somehow, but it won’t. It’ll be ‘that season we had the points deducted’.
There is some poetic beauty in losing this period to history. Those who were there will remember. Those who couldn’t be bothered will never know. To really understand what has been achieved this season, you have to have been there before Christmas as well as after it. In fact, you need to have been there for the last 10 years and more. There is no meaningless trinket of a trophy, just a good feeling in your heart. I’ll take that.
The response will be interesting, from both fans and players. Most of the key members of the squad know their contracts are secure. Haldane and Chapman have the warm bosom of their parent clubs to return to. Those whose time is up will probably be fully aware of what the future holds. Can we muster the effort? Does it matter if we do?