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Monday, November 13, 2006

Tail End Charlies

Monday morning, and of course, the usual irritating conversation with the prat down the corridor when he asks, "How was your weekend?" No, its not worth it, look breezy and smile through those gritted teeth.

And don't pick up the papers, they're fill of how Reading beat Spurs 3-1 yesterday to end the Londoners 10 match unbeaten run. Scoring midfielder Sidwell did it again, scoring that is, so, apart from Martin Jols's "disappointing, frustrating day", its not good reading.

Of course, we're not the only bunch of fans having a crap season. There's others in the same boat, rocked by wave after wave of depressing results, struggling with their belief in the helmsmans' ability to steer the best course and staring towards the horizon desperately looking for some sign of rescue and at the same time leaning over the side and throwing up.

Miguel Lotina, the new manager of Real Sociedad, bottom of the Spanish League without a win after 10 games, has just been given a page long interview in the daily El Pais and gives everyone hope for the future by saying that "I believe that with these fans its impossible to go down." Seems they were heard clapping last week at their teams demise from the Kings Cup ( spanish for FA Cup) over 2 legs to 2nd Division minnows Malaga. And no, they don't do cynicism in Spain or even irony.

Well, good news there then. I'm sure all the Real Sociedad fans can sleep easy now. One wonders why Monica doesn't do the same.

So what to do? Keep your head down and try to ignore the world? No, think positive. When you've got a problem you join or you start a Help Group. Sharing your problems is what its all about. Getting those things off your chest, talking to people who really understand. So I'm starting a "Help Group for Tail End Charlies" and not with the likes of Southend ( how strange that they are also in the LC Quarters ), Leyton Orient or Macclesfield.

No, no, we want people in the same boat so it has to be them foreign johnies. So its Chievo Verona, Bochum, Real Sociedad and Monaco for us. OK, I stretched things a bit, its called poetic licence or something.

Chievo Verona are not really bottom in Italy with Florentina and Reggina currently below them but as these two giants are playing catch up after having -15 and -12 points deducted due to "financial irregularities", they definitely qualify. Chievo have only managed 3 draws from their 11 games and enjoyed a resounding 3-0 defeat away to Sampdoria over the weekend. Tell us about it, boys.

And Bochum aren't bottom either in Germany but remembering an Iron Maiden concert that I enjoyed back-stage several years ago at their stadium, I have rather a soft spot for them. Over the weekend away they managed to let slip a 3-1 lead and finished up drawing 3-3 (sounds familar) away at Hertha Berlin to be 17th out of 18 with 9 points from 2 wins and 3 draws from 12 games. How's it feel to drop them 2 points, Herr Johan?

And down in Spain Real Sociedad, despite all that clapping, also let slip a 1 goal lead at home to Espanol and finished with a 1-1. And are still bottom with 3 points to show from 10 games.....Come on senor, tell us about it, we understand.

And the 5th member of our little group, Monaco? I'm not sure they really qualify for this Help Group really. There's always one who doesn't belong and I'm afraid its them. And they showed it really with a 4-0 away win under their belts on Sunday. Get out of here imposter, we need to talk to fellow sufferers...where's that Monsieur from Sedan?

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