In my current state of confusion – this is what the constant pain of gout does to you – I managed to miss the fact that Bristol Rovers game at Newport kicked off at what posh people call lunchtime. So, when I switched the telly on to Soccer Saturday, I found that the Gas had already won! Happy days are here again!
Rovers now have a heady and irresistible combination of a lot of things now. In no particular order, they have a fine young manager,a fine young, confident and hungry team, they have new owners who, unheard of at Bristol Rovers, know what they are doing and some of the best supporters in the entire world. Oh, have I missed something? Oh yes: momentum.
It is not luck that has propelled the Rovers into an automatic promotion position because luck generally evens out over a long period. Darrell Clarke did not assemble a footballing jigsaw, throw the pieces in the air and see them, miraculously, fall into place. That required ability and hard work. The players do not win games because they score lots of lucky goals. It’s – yes, you guessed – ability and hard work. And if you look to the terraces and there is a sea of blue and white willing and roaring you to victory, what could possibly go wrong? Well, lots of things can go wrong, but right now I am not thinking about things going wrong.
I was privileged to meet some of the Rovers players last week and what a refreshing experience that was. No big time Charlies posing and posturing before the adoring masses: good, honest professionals trying to do the best they can. Feet on the ground as opposed to head in the clouds. No wonder Darrell Clarke is so admired. Give this man a pay rise.
It would be a foolish man indeed who said Bristol Rovers will gain automatic promotion so please allow me to be that man. My foolish prediction is based both on my head and my heart, my head providing rare logic on the basis of the arguments given above and my heart based on the irrationality of a born again Gashead.
The Al Qadis, the manager, the team, the fans and a chairman, Steve Hamer, who actually has the decency and courtesy to reply to correspondence, unlike…oh, let’s just leave it. The old guard has gone. Best to just let them go, fade into the ether, goodbye Nick, hello Wael and Steve.
I wasn’t late tuning into today’s game: I missed it altogether. I guess it saved me a bit of stress too, especially learning much later that the Gas were a goal down early doors, so my incompetent time-keeping was not all bad news.
Another three points AND Plymouth lost too. Happy days and now you’re gonna believe us!