I guess we have to face facts. It will now require an unlikely combination of results for us to get promoted this season. There are now four teams above us for the final play-off spot and we will need them all to screw up. It just isn’t going to happen and a win for Ipswich – or defeat against Barnsley – would seal our fate.
I’m not bothered about Palace. The Premiership authorities demonstrated last season with the Tevez debacle that they are quite happy to throw any rule book and any sense of acting properly into the bin if it suits. So having set the precedent there should be no problem coming up with reasons to deny them a place in the top flight whatever happens during the rest of the season. It is after all possible that the Premiership acted as it did last time around just to get at Warnock. It’s reasonable to suppose that similar sentiments are still in place. Of course for us there would be no problem. Palace could be docked points just for being Palace, or if reason were needed they could be denied a Premiership place on purely aesthetic grounds, or quality control if you like. Perhaps the powers that be would just decide that it will bring their league into disrepute to have a club with a chairman whose name is synonymous with outsized mammary glands.
I see that Jordan wants to relocate Palace away from their current inadequate, charmless and run-down ground. There are plenty of possible alternative venues, although none can be considered far enough away or horrible enough to deserve having Palace thrust upon them. But it is to be hoped that they do move, just so that Charlton fans can get the contract for the demolition of Selhurst Park. Honest Simes, we will do it for nothing.
You might get the feeling from the above that this isn’t the best of days. It isn’t one when you want to shout at the moon. There are no grounds for anger or a sense of injustice. Rather a second consecutive season ending with a whimper and failure makes me just feel like a cantankerous old git. Plus ca change some may add. Whatever the arguments I still felt upset when the BBC page switched from L to FT and it was confirmed. The radio made a good deal of QPR being the only Championship team yesterday with nothing to play for. Not quite, by the sound of it. To read a QPR fan’s assessment of the game in the paper today, with Charlton described as ‘dire’, just adds to the bad temper.
So the selfish prats on the bus who decide that they are entitled to two places by sitting on the outside seat were just that bit more annoying than usual. It was only to be expected that the gym would have no hot water. The telly’s gone on the blink. And there’s a long way to go before the day is out. I think DIY is off the agenda today; I’d either burst the pipes or sever an artery.
So who else deserves to be slagged off? Well, Chelsea and West Ham fans obviously have something in common with some of our own. From now on, in tribute to the old Carling Black Lable ads, every time someone acts like a spoilt brat, as if the world owes them a living, and/or suggests that they have a ‘right’ to be moronic, I’m going to have in mind ‘bet he boos at football matches’. Poor old Curbs sounded like a lost child with his plea to be appreciated. And just as Fergusson, Wenger and Grant have gone down in my estimation (that’ll have them losing sleep) for their unjustified whines, so along comes Benitez. Seemingly insulted by Warnock’s comments regarding his integrity, this man from the land of the matador, where macho is still prized, responds by threatening to call his lawyer.
Enough of this nonsense. What is left to look forward to, aside from season player ratings and discussion of who should stay and who should go? Presumably the kids get a run-out for the final two games. I’m still going to dash across town (after landing at Gatwich at 12.30) to get to most (I hope) of the Coventry game; a wedding in Lille gives me the excuse to pass on a trip to Barnsley. Just how the club manages the lap of honour remains to be seen. They have managed to botch it even in good times.
I don’t care who goes up from this division. West Brom deserve it; the rest don’t but by default two will succeed. I still have the climax of Lyon Duchere’s season to look forward to. It’s gratifying to see that the French still have that balanced approach to life such that nobody has yet bothered on a Sunday to update the sites with yesterday’s results. Do they not know that an Englishman needs to know?
There is one more thing we should watch out for. Yesterday was additionally disappointing as Carlisle lost at home to Southend. They are still second, with a good chance of automatic promotion to our division – and are assured at least of a play-off place. It’s just that if there’s one thing that will put my in good spirits thinking about the next campaign it would be a fixture list showing us away to Carlisle in the final few games of the season. Then we would know that we have nothing to worry about, that we’re home and hosed.