“To the aesthete it (football) is an art form, an athletic ballet. To the spiritually inclined it is a religion” Paul Gardner.
“My ceiling’s broken, my car’s got a puncture and we’ve just lost two matches. But I’ve got my health and I’ll ask the big man upstairs why he didn’t give us a point.” Ian Holloway.
With battles fought and wounds bandaged the faith have struck down the false prophets and begun the traditional period of meditation before the start of a new campaign. It was all meant to have been so different.
Here in Austria, in the centenary year of the club, the false prophets had promised the league title. Alas the gods conspired to reveal these untruths and ensured that through strange referring decisions at some of our games and even odder incidents in opponent’s matches, that the Austria Wien faithful would have to be satisfied with European qualification. Whilst many simply saw the wrath of the gods in this outcome, more sagely heads suggested that the team had thrown it away with a run of poor results during late
February early March.
Meanwhile in England, the Blue Army of the Leicester City Foxes had also had hopes raised by false prophesies from those who said the nirvana of the Premiership was within reach in the first season of the reign of the blessed Sven Goren Ericson. But again the gods would not be held liable for the false selling of dodgy prophets and the faithful had to be satisfied with the blessed one ensuring mid table security and the start of the squad rebuilding programme. Again wiser heads suggested that as Sven had taken over part way through the season, with the team at the wrong end of the table, it wasn’t a bad start.
But hail and praise to the true gods and their enlightened new prophets. As the summer draws on the faithful both here and in Leicester will return to the fray with prophesy and hope restored. In the case of Leicester fans such belief will, to the outsider, appear in the form doom and despondency, but this is just an ingrained tradition amongst the fans. Even in the midst’s of celebrating winning a Premiership title (should the glorious day ever occur) your true blue Foxes fan will still be heard to say “they could have played better”, “it won’t last”, “we were better in the sixties” and of course “it was more fun when we were in the Championship”.
For Austria Wien fans the period of mediation and reinvigorations is much shorter than their Blue Army counterparts. The season here in Austria starts on the 16th July and there is also the little matter of getting through the qualifying rounds to make it into the group stage of the Europa Cup.
So we come to the new prophesies. The gods have ordained¹ that under the guidance of the blessed Sven Goren Ericson Leicester City will progress with skill and style into the promised land of the Premiership next season. Along the way they will put the faithful through the trials and tribulations that is expected by the fans of any Leicester team. They will restore the traditions of the club by progressing to the later stages of the League Cup and being knocked out of the FA Cup by one of the Premiership ‘big’ clubs following a doggy refereeing decision.
As for Austria Wien, they will progress quietly through the first half of the season in both league and cup. Importantly they will do well enough to be able to take the title in the second half of the season, but not so well that in the winter transfer window they lose their best players. The gods will test the faithful as the team will for a few weeks play with the style of the Arsenal and then suddenly resemble a Sunday Football pub team. After the winter break the team will march forth and conquer all in front of
them. For the true prophets have said “it is not at the death of a century that glories will rain down but in the first
year of the new”
¹See previous posts for full disclaimer by the gods of all prophesies’ – unless they happen to come true.
Postscript: The gods have been particularly challenging to the faithful of First Vienna who are about to kick-off in their first leg relegation play-off. As I write the wind driving the rain which is accompanied by bolts of lightning and the roll of thunder.