At the moment of putting first finger to keyboard it is precisely two weeks since Stan witnessed one of the most pathetic capitulations he's had the misfortune to witness in all his years as City fan? and let's face it we've all watched a few. Ultimately it was a fittingly wretched end to a hideous, and at times, very dark season
Such was the nature of our ultimate slump into the bowels of the Third Division that a sort of fuggy disbelief has hung in the air since that fateful, indeed shameful performance.
A sort of footballing coma has befallen Stan; indeed one he expects to awake from in the rain at Yeovil in November!
It feels right to describe the fateful day in pained tones and to talk of tears and silent journeys back to the motherland, but to do so would be an untrue.
Instead, once the supposedly worst side in the Championship (with nothing to play for!) had strolled into a 3-0 lead without so much as having to ride a tackle, some of the finest gallows humour Stan has ever heard surfaced.
Upon reflection it might have been inappropriate, but it still seems infinitely better than the potential spectre of seven grown men getting caught on Sky Sports blubbing like babies!
Presumably because the inevitable was.. err? inevitable, long before the trip to Charlton, and possibly because Stan just couldn't identify with 11 yellow-shirted 'players' purporting to be a City team, the pain just didn't cut as deep as have so many disappointments previously faced. Considering the gravity of consequence of Sunday 3rd May this seems a bit odd.
The post match wake in a Charlton fan filled pub, in arse-end of SE7, felt like the raising of a glass to a long-suffering, and now thankfully passed on, old friend. We all reminisced and smiled and drank? and drank.
Indeed upon most recent text correspondence Eddy 'The Dog' Potter was still in there dancing the Macarena with a Barbara Windsor look-alike!
The strangely accepting, if somewhat bewildered, bonhomie that initially enveloped the boys has been in strong contrast to the venom, vitriol and vainglorious posturing that has enveloped the Y'Army subsequently.
The general consensus on the journey home was that if one positive was to come from the disgrace just witnessed it would be that Gunny would accept that we were a million miles from what was needed, or expected, and then gracefully hand over the reigns to a more experience man.
Instead, as he has done in the face of professional and personal calamities previously, he stared us all squarely in the eye and told us that was never going to happen; Bryan Gunn doesn't do quitting. In honesty having watched and known the man for so long it's exactly what we should have expected, and in so many ways it's huge credit to him.
Upon reflection Stan honestly doesn't see Gunn's managerial retention as any more high-risk than the appointment of many other names being bandied about.
As has happened so many times previously, young, up-and-coming managers so often follow a successful initial tenure with a belly flop as they dive into their second post.
As he did when Roeder departed, Stan would have loved to see Rioch return to put right pretty much the only blemish on his managerial record. Failing that a Coppell or a Curbishley would have warmed the heart, but let's be honest here, we're broke and in the third division, and it's just possible that their ilk may get better offers!
So, unless a whip round happened at St Andrew's Hall last Thursday and NCISA now have funds to buy out the Smiths, on we go, with Gunny & Co leading us into the unknown. And best of British to them all, because considering the present climate and our parlous predicament they're going to need it.
Stan fully understands the rawness of emotion out there, however what he doesn't understand is the sheer hate that has filled so much air-time and chat room space.
Fair enough if those taking the flak were a bunch of criminal, wife-beating drunks, but they're not, they are, by and large, decent people who care passionately about the club.
Saying this doesn't make Stan a Delia apologist because, let's face it, the scale of the mistakes made are there for all to see, however what Stan would like in all this is a bit of perspective?
Please everybody, CALM DOWN, it's football we're talking about here!
Clearly change is needed, money is needed, new direction is needed; Stan doubts there is a person alive who would disagree, but the chances of this happening get slimmer with every brickbat thrown. Anyone who was at this year's AGM could see how desperately the Smiths want out of the club.
It wasn't anything they said but it was totally apparent in their demeanour. Why on earth would you want to pour any more of your hard-earned personal fortune down the drain whilst all around you people pour scorn on every word you say?
Doncaster's head has been delivered on a platter. Roger Munby, who is an absolute gentleman, has headed for a bit of well deserved 'me' time and imminently (they have to legally) new arrivals will come to the board.
Hopefully, amongst these new personnel will be the seed from which our club can regenerate. The City and the county of Norfolk deserves better than this, however what we don't have is a divine right to it.
If there is one certainty at present it is that unless the acrimony dissipates we have no hope of dragging ourselves out of this sorry position. Change on all levels will happen only if we start pulling together in the same direction again, and at the moment that seems some way off.
We all want success, we all have opinions of how best to achieve it, but for now let's all lay down our cudgels, go and watch some cricket and return refreshed and ready for the fight. You never know, there may even be the first signs of the new dawn.
Right now, where was I? ?..That's right, I better give Eddy 'The Dog' a call and tell him to get home, his missus will be worried sick!
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