With the season opener less than a month away, football fans across the country will be counting down the days, hours and minutes until the season Kick-offs.
But why do we put so much emphasis on one game. A game that brings excitement and nerves in equal measure, not only for the players, but also for the fans in the stands.
A game steeped in pressure and expectation, especially for the town faithful. A set of fans that care so much their emotions transcend through the seats onto the pitch and sometimes into the players.
Until more recently the impact of the fans, I believe, often had a negative impact. Iould like to think that I am footballing purist, keep the ball on the deck, pass and move, so I would consider something as simple as a back pass to the goalkeeper was nothing out of the ordinary. For years I sat in the stands surrounded my men, arms folded, foul faced, so tense with anxiety that they could not hold back an outburst of sheer panic whenever this occurred.
I can’t be angry at these fans, they were raised on the long ball game, in more recent times fans seem to have bought into playing “football”, either that or their blood pressure became so high medical advice no longer allows them to watch football.
In reality this game is no different to any other over the course of the season, or is it? Weeks and months of optimism and excitement may add some level of expectation. Fans will have spent countless hours imagining that new striker scoring a hat-trick and so on.
The nature of football means we will lose games, so why does it matter if it’s the first one. I don’t mind losing, but what I do mind is how a defeat can so easily throw into light the fickle nature of the football fan.
How can 90 minutes, a goal difference of -2 and no points on the board condemn a side to relegation, I guess you need to ask those “experts” who leave the ground and suddenly become a pundit.
Well to those pundits, I remind you of those famous words spoken by the legendary Alan Hansen “You can never win anything with kids”. So eagerly proclaimed after Man Utd suffered an opening day of the season defeat to Aston Villa in 1995.
Surely positivity breeds confidence, and couldn’t you argue that confidence brings success. We call ourselves fans, supporters, and followers. So shouldn’t we live up to our title!
Ooh to be a…