I promised myself recently that I would make some fundamental changes to the way I supported Coventry City. Not because I believed anything I did would make a difference to the fortunes of the club; it was geared more towards finding a way of managing my disappointment.
- I pledged never to get over-excited if we won a game, if that result meant nothing immediately. (I’m still allowed to get a bit happy if we get to the FA cup final or something).
- I pledged never to get over-excited if we were top of the league after a few games. (Quite pertinent).
- I pledged never to get disconsolate after failing to win, without genuine reason. (E.g. Losing 5 – 0 at home to AFC Tesco or something equally as shoddy).
I devised these pledges to stop me from losing my rag whenever Coventry lost, or conversely, to prevent me from getting too excited if we won a couple of games. Basically, I had to find a way of controlling my expectations against our inherent “Coventry-ness” and focus of the bigger picture. If at the end of the season, we finish with bugger all to be happy about again, then I’d feel entitled to a bit of a grumble.
Fair? I think so.
Feasible? Not a chance.
We went into the game last night top of the league, and I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t anything but a serial offender of pledges 1 and 2 already. But surprisingly, aside from a minute long tirade immediately after the final whistle (it doesn’t count, honest), I’ve yet to succumb to the lure of breaking pledge 3.
Yes it was disappointing to be outplayed so convincingly, and yes losing our 100% record and top spot isn’t the best, but my new-found appreciation for the bigger picture shows that we ground out more points and are still unbeaten. 7 points out of 9? That’s got to do us.
The one thing that being a Coventry supporter has taught me is that you can’t predict how we’re going to perform. Last night, we didn’t really turn up as an attacking force, yet somehow escaped with a point. Who’s to say which team will turn up on Saturday? That’s the real test – how do we bounce back from a poor performance?
It’s a bit early to be making judgements, but the game against Swansea is already looking to be key. A win and we’re still joint top, and everything is rosey. A loss, and the pressure is on the players to show what they’re made of, lest there be rage.
And a draw? Well I’ll be forced to write another juiceless blog like this one, on account of pledge 3 and its need for relentless understanding.
Damn you, pledge 3.