More Play Off Misery for the Royals

Posted on May 31, 2011
?My third trip to a Play Off final ended in despair once again as Reading FC maintained their unenviable 100% heroic failure rate at this route to promotion. Football is a cruel, cruel game sometimes, it makes you feel like packing up being a supporter, but the truth is, you can change your car, you can change your house, you can even change your wife, but once you are attached to a football team you can’t just dump them and go and support someone else. I don’t why, but you just can’t. If it was that easy, I would have given up supporting Reading many years ago and turned my attention to Manchester United or more recently Barcelona, who took United apart bit by bit on Saturday evening in the Champions league Final.

In fairness to The Royals, they took an alternative route to glorious failure this time as in previous finals they have taken seemingly unassailable leads before capitulating in front of my eyes. This time they reversed the trend by going three goals down in the space of twenty hideous minutes before launching an astonishing come back that nearly lifted the roof off the stadium, only to see a Jem Karacan shot that would have made it 3-3 cannon back off the post. At that point with a whole thirty minutes to play Swansea were suddenly playing like they had only just met each other, it was there for the taking as the noise from the Reading fans reached a crescendo that would surely spur the hoops to one of the most thrilling victories seen at Wembley new and old.

But, alas, it was not to be, the inevitable never came and Swansea were allowed to gather themselves and regain a semblance of control as the game evened out before they gained a penalty after a needless and clumsy challenge from Andy Griffin. This enabled the Swans to edge themselves towards a comfortable two goal cushion and they played out the remaining minutes in relative comfort. As John Cleese once said, it’s not the despair, I can handle the despair, it’s the hope I can’t stand. From being in a state of bewilderment and desolation we were taken to near ecstasy before being deflated once again. Good God it was an ordeal I could wish on no one else, except my son of course, who I forced many years ago to become a hereditary supporter of a football club that apparently salivates at the prospect of tragedy partnered by perverted black comedy.

Where Reading go from here remains in question, there is no money of note at the club, but the few million received for reaching the final plus the funds from the sale of Shane Long, Jimmy Kebe and one or two others will give them a chance to re-invest whilst bringing through youth players at the same time, it is a critical time at the club, but a potentially exciting one too. I would love to see some of the local boys breaking through to the first team, even if it does mean a period of consolidation, but Reading need to heal the wounds quickly and put this behind them, failure to do so could be the start of a downward spiral similar to the one after the Bolton disaster in 1995 that I finally recovered from about ten years later.

Once the season begins it will all be okay, there are some cracking games versus Southampton, West Ham, Leeds, Brighton and Portsmouth to come and it is nice being in a league where you know you have a chance to win most of the games you are involved in rather than fearing the worst week in week out in the Premier League whilst being patronised as being “plucky” and a “breath of fresh air” by Alan Hansen. Yes it’s the Championship for me every time, I don’t want any of that Premier League nonsense with it’s namby pamby over paid diving players and whingeing managers, they can keep it to themselves. In fact I am glad they lost and that it is Swansea hosting Manchester United and not us, give me Doncaster Rovers on a wet November Tuesday night any time. Their 26 supporters will create more of an atmosphere than these poncy Premier League prawn sandwich eating supporters any time and you don’t get to go to Barnsley away in the Premier League do you?

See, I feel better already………………….Bloody Hell, if only that Karcan shot hadn’t hit the post!!!!!!

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