Date: 9th May 2012 at 11:33am
Written by:

Good morning.

We’re four days away from knowing what the entire season was all about. Of course, there are those that will step lively to remind me that we already have a good idea, as we’ve finished above the Blue Racists for the first time since 1896 1996.

For better of worse the game has changed. The Champions League has devalued everything that neighbours it. Dalglish took Liverpool to two Wembly finals and won a pot; yet anyone impressed by this is treated like someone who points at aeroplanes. It’s Champions League or bust.

This season fans found themselves doing a constant series of double takes as their beloved Lilywhites kept ‘inexplicably’ being mentioned as a side. Being referred to as that fixture that ‘wouldn’t be easy’. And now,  same as it ever was, we’re down to the wire. Champions League or bust.

. Cuddly, square bonced, John Player Special chomping, husky, musky big Martin Jol. A man for all track suits, a tracksuit for all seasons. 

Much will be made over the return of the ex. But the reality is this is only a factor alive in our minds and maybe Martin’s. There have been to put it mildly, extensive changes in personnel since the Dutch Napoleon and Clipboard Chris were fired out of a cannon over the West Stand and out of the stadium that dark stormy night. 

So with the ‘mystique and intrigue’ stripped away, let’s examine some actual facts. What cannot speak cannot lie so let’s first look at form points from both team’s last six games and goal difference home for us and away for them…for the whole season.

Fulham’s last 6 away games  have earned them 9 points. For the whole season an away goal difference of -6.

Our last 6 home games have earned us +10 points. For the whole season a home goal difference of +20.

The purpose of these figures is to remove from the equation the ‘ Factor’. All our numbers were generated – love or hate him – with him at the helm. With Bale chasing his dream down the middle and with Kyle making largely pointless 200m dashes into opposition corner flags. All that jazz.

So we can do it.  If we can resist the urge to say, ‘well, yeah, but he’ll make a bollix of it!’ this takes all of that angst into consideration. Despite all the bad stuff we can still very much do it.

What we might actually do with Champions League football when we catch it – I’ve made the analogy of us being a dog chasing a car only about twenty seven times now – is anyone’s guess. But achieving it is vital.

Those who want to point to the past are doing just that. You’re pointing to out of date information. If an email goes missing, you don’t say, ‘ah yes, but when my great great grandfather was a lad a telegram took three weeks to get from Mitchum to Margate!’ You throw a fit because times have thankfully move on.

Nobody cares that this is the best season anyone over the age of 83 has ever witnessed. Trust me, nobody cares. It’s the 21st century and we’ve some real talent on the books.