It's not the winning, its the taking part

The fact is, Gary, the opposition came out early, took us by surprise, and put us off our game. We’ve gone on the defensive, and the fans are saying “what’s going on here, I don’t recognise this team any more.” They’re not playing the kind of game that made the fans support them in the first place.

To be fair, Gary, its the attitude that’s all wrong. Some have said that its better to get a result, than to play the game in the way its meant to be played. Now that attitude might go down well with some fans, but for the majority that excuse is just not going to cut it. The fact is, Gary, the opposition came out early, took us by surprise, and put us off our game. We’ve gone on the defensive, and the fans are saying “what’s going on here, I don’t recognise this team any more.” They’re not playing the kind of game that made the fans support them in the first place. Maybe you’ll get away with it if you’re playing school-boy stuff, Gary, but not at this level. The fans deserve the best.

At the end of the day, Gary, the manager is not handling this right. For the team to play so badly frustrates the fans, and for the manager to say “everything is fine” is just insulting. At the start of the season, Gary, the manager can, when all is said and done, rely on the fans to get behind him and the team, and if they slip-up once or twice, then they’ll take it on the chin and say “well, OK, this is our team, and they’re bound to make a few mistakes, but at least we’re trying to play properly.” And the fans have got to appreciate that mistakes might get made, its not going to be 101% right, 101% of the time. But when the manager says that everything is fine, but the fans can see for themselves that this is not quite right, well, you’ve got to question the manager’s judgement Gary. He can’t just say “trust me, I’m the manager” and do nothing, because the same mistakes are going to be made again. At some point, the fans are going to stop supporting the team, and when that happens, the opposition wins.

And then there’s this talk of a new manager. The fans don’t know who to look to Gary. You’ve got players going on press conferences and not knowing what to say. They don’t even know if they’re going to be in the team next week, or what position they’re playing. That’s not good for the side. Its not good for the fans. Its not good for the game.

You can’t simply say that we need to win this at any cost, Gary. This game doesn’t work like that. If you cheat, as we’ve seen some players do in the last few games, then the whole game gets devalued. The fans at home are going to switch off. Winning is important Gary, but you have to win right, even if that means going to extra time, or a replay. Its a beautiful game, Gary, but by the time we declare “mission accomplished” we want to be worthy champions. In spirit as well as letter, Gary. At the moment, I’m just wondering whether any fans will be left in the stadium to watch us lift the trophy.

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