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Straw Clutching Of The Highest Order

8 years ago

I once read about a famous person revealing that they discovered they were suffering from depression when they felt nothing at all, no despair, no crying, wailing or sobbing, just an emptiness and a similar inability to feel excited, cheerful or enthusiastic about anything at all, no matter how stimulating it appeared from the outset.

While obviously not wanting in any way to belittle what is a very serious illness, I believe I must be suffering some minor football related depression, as I have felt a similar numbness spread over me ever since Joe Kinnear resurfaced in the most bafflingly inept display of clueless pointless regression perpatrated by a club owner since… probably something Peter Ridsdale did at Leeds.

I’ve been on a considerable downward spiral since the horrific events of the last derby, but JFK’s return sent me into hiding almost, glad that we were free of the season and the twisted knot of fury that weighs heavy in the stomach so very often as various gits conspire to spoil your week-ends. It has since been exacerbated by zero signings (until Remy last night) and (in my opinion) a crazy transfer out in James Perch, to the point that I am dreading the new season, not anticipating it. However, it’s this element of the situation I have decided to ludicrously seek comfort in.

I have dreaded the impending season twice in recent years. In 2009-10, I feared we would not have the required gumption to bounce back from the Championship, fearing a club in disarray hamstrung by a huge wage bill would “do a Leeds” and we’d be facing decades of misery. We whipped through the Championship like a dose of salts, purged of the leeches and infused with a new fighting spirit. Two years later I feared this had fizzled out, with the talismanic Kevin Nolan foolishly sold, the huge Andy Carroll fee uninvested and free transfer Demba Ba our most notable addition of the summer. Pardew clearly didn’t have the stuff and things had gone very wrong. We went into the last day playing for a Champions League place.

By contrast, the last two summers of optimism (off the back of those heartening campaigns) have been little more than the usual false dawns as lower table scrabblings and cup disasters contributed to big fat disappointments. Shouldn’t have got carried away.

I hope then, that the cycle is set to repeat. There is little cause for optimism, with Kinnear a walking disaster. Signings were non-existent until Remy and now hopefully Gomis as well set to end that. If there are a couple more additions (centre half?) it may seem less ominous, especially with two winnable home games after our write-off opener. This is straw-clutching of the highest order, but I’m afraid it’s all I’ve got. Bring on Citeh.

You can follow Jamie on Twitter @Mr_Dolf


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