Saturday, 28 February 2009

Crikey! He does know Wotte he's doing

The worst thing about relegation in 2005 was the hope that preceded it. After a miserable season, there were moments towards its end that suggested survival was possible, that we could repeat the miraculous escapes of the 90s. The death-knell sounded by Ruud Van Nistelrooy's cruelly simple headed goal on that fateful May day was all the harder to bear given the previously reborn dreams.

Today's victory against promotion-chasing Cardiff served two purposes: it secured their first back-to-back wins all season; and it rekindled hope that survival is possible after months of despair had led to the death of hope. If Saints are to disappear into League One this season, this result will make it all the harder to take. For hope is reborn.

Saints 1 - Cardiff 0

Make no mistake, relegation is still odds-on for Saints this season. A series of excellent results for their fellow strugglers means they are still three points adrift. However, Mark Wotte has achieved twice in three games what Jan Poortvliet could only manage once in fourteen. His home successes have offered Saints fans the tantalising prospect of survival and the oh-so-dangerous taste of hope. If he can continue in this vein, Saints' seemingly inevitable descent into footballing oblivion may yet be averted

In the event, David McGoldrick's tenth minute penalty proved enough to separate the sides. With reports in today's papers suggesting Saints have a 50-50 chance of going into administration in the next fortnight, this brace of results may have come at just the right time to rally the club into reversing their apparently bottomless fall.

It seems perverse to take such pleasure from a team that has dispensed misery in such volume this season but I am guilty of such perversion tonight. I admit to being excited about the forthcoming dog-fight, a good old tasty relegation battle to infuse the senses and rally the troops.
I know there is pain to come (maybe much of it) but I will enjoy the highs while they come and forget the broader toils of the club. All we have is now, and now is the time to fight for the red and white, the time to get behind the boys - now is the time for hope.


Anonymous said...

Good post, but also you need to wonder whether the recent results will actually hamper Rupert's decision making. It would have been so much easier to put us into administration and lose the 10 points this season if we were already doomed. Now he has the problem of that 10 point deduction being the very cause of our relegation! So then we'd be able to hold him responsible for two relegations!!

Bill said...

I agree. I think it is interesting that even Mark Wotte is now talking openly about staving off administration.

However, march 1st was the deadline for such a decision. If we were to go under now the 10 point deduction would be carried over to next season (the rule is in place to prevent clubs waiting until the last day before doing it, as Leeds did 2 years ago when their relegation was all but confirmed at half time and they went into admin then so it would not take effect next season).

I don't think Lowe would have had the guts to do it before march 1st, even if relegation looked likely. As recent results have proven, anything is possible and the club must focus on staying up this season to safeguard its future.

Anonymous said...

No, 26th March is the decision date, by which time we could be out of the drop zone and looking good. Hence the concerns about whether Rupert will then put his own concerns above the football clubs and stick us for the 10 points (probably then guaranteeing relegation again!).

Anonymous said...

Bill said...

I bow to your superior knowledge, I mis-remembered the date.

However, I maintain that unless it is totally forced onto the club by the bank Lowe would never take such a step if any hope for survival lingered. In a way, our resurgence has made the decision easier as it has given us a real hope of survival and thus would make such a decision look cynical and overly-pessimistic.

Hopefully we can pick up more wins from our forthcoming home games and put the debate beyond question (the Blackpool game is huge). I don't think Blackpool are infallible tomorrow either. COYR!

Which team will fill the third relegation spot?

Four games left. Will Saints survive?

Would you be in favour of a return for Rupert?