Would I choose to win the league in this way? No. Am I happy about it? Kind of. But we’d have won it anyway, so I’ll take it.
So, thanks to votes and the calculator (and choosing to be top when the world went to shit), Coventry City are back where they belong* – the Championship. Fair play, that last bit is brilliant and has been my own focus ever since we dropped out of it eight or so years ago. But it’s really hard to feign too much excitement about how things have come to pass. This is plain weird, even by Cov’s standards.
*I actually started this blog back in 2009, furiously demanding promotion back to the Premier League at the time, so while the last decade has been a desperately sobering experience, I refuse to see the Championship as the hallowed end goal.
Let’s be clear though – I am delighted we’ve been confirmed as champions and I feel absolutely no guilt about the end verdict. We were the superior team in the league and would have pissed it given the chance to finish the job. It’s just hard to conjure up the requisite enthusiasm about a promotion that’s been concluded in such a way. It’s the real-life equivalent of nipping on holiday in Football Manager. It’s gets you to where you want to go and basically reflects the quality of your team at the time, but you miss out on the journey – and isn’t that what we’re all really in this for?
This is going to sound trite and potentially a little ungrateful, but I’m guessing some of you are feeling the same. We’ve been robbed of that big moment. That moment in football all fans crave. The Biamou vs Notts County. The Grimmer goal in the final. The moment that confirms the very result that you’ve spent all your emotion and energy hoping for. That final release of unadulterated joy when you finally achieve it.
Sure, there was no other way to get it done. It was a mad situation that has required an equally mad resolution. But after so many years watching our team appear incapable of sustaining themselves over a full campaign, this feels all too “Cov”-like. Trust us to choose the year of a global pandemic to finally get our shit together. It is literally incredible.
That’s the greedy side of this blog over with. The one thing I will not do is allow the circumstances of the season’s conclusion to diminish the performance of the team throughout. We played every game away from home for crying out loud. We only lost 3 games. We were unbeaten since yuletide. Robins developed a team that was dominant and it’s only right that they have been rewarded, even if that couldn’t be in the conventional manner.
So, now we celebrate. Because we’re a Championship club again and this is where we can really start to dream. Thank you, Mark. You did it.