There she goes. Leaving on the 16.42 from Waterloo for the evening White Star steamer to the New World. It has been an emotional, enthralling few months where moments of utter joy had been entwined in frustration and, at times, despair. But now she is leaving your life for the last time. Yep, the 2012-3 campaign has decided to go without so much as a wave of a white handkerchief from the train window.
In hindsight, you’ll look back and you won’t think much of her. The final moments weren’t particularly rousing. In fact, during the final couple of weeks, she treated you with disdain. Sure, the idea of spending empty weekends underneath the glowing sun with nothing to do will take getting used to. But there will be another season, and it will make you feel a whole load better.
With complete disregard for context, let’s take a look at some of the stats about 2012-3 and ponder if we will ever miss her. The final position of 18th is the lowest Boro’ has finished since 1987-8 – the season of Stevenage’s only ever relegation. Our PPG for this season was a meagre 1.17 and, again, the worst since 1987-8. In fact, we had recorded PPG of at least 1.5 every year since 2003-4 until this season.
You might well feel entitled to call it our worst season for 25 years if you’re into comparing the third tier of ENGLISH FOOTBALL with the third tier of the ISTHMIAN LEAGUE. But, even if you’re determined to stick to that line, it says something about how awesome a club we are if we can’t even get relegated from League One in the first annus horribilis for what pundits would call a generation. Smashing!
What does the summer hold? Well, it doesn’t sound as if GW was particularly pleased with the whimper our season ended on. We haven’t scored in four games ferchrissakes! But this doesn’t necessarily mean a trip back down the Cash ‘n’ Carry with a bag of receipts and the hope of swapping last year’s fashions for something a bit more “now”. Make do and mend – we’ve won bigger battles with that attitude.
UPS AND DOWNS
The battle for survival in upstairs’ flat is coming to the boil quite nicely. Wolves are all but making derby plans for the arrival of Walsall next season given they can only stay up if the Posh balls it up and there’s a four-goal swing. It is one from six, but Millwall will be safe if they beat Palace tomorrow.
Barnsley, albeit on the GD, currently complete the bottom three and travel to ‘Uddersfield at the weekend. The Terriers themselves are still in contention, so some added spice riding on that one. Peterborough go to Palace; Sheff Wed host Middlesbrough; Blackburn are off to Birmingham; and Millwall, if it still matters, head to Derby. Wins for Posh and Barnsley would really mix it all up on the final day and make it interesting.
npower League One:
Up are Doncaster and Bournemouth, with one from Brentford, Yeovil, Swindon and Sheff Utd. Which one would you pick? Well, it’s like picking your final meal from a KFC Massive Bucket Thing. Going down are Scunthorpe, Bury, Hartlepool and Portsmouth. But then we pretty much knew that already.
npower League Two:
Gillingham, Rotherham and Port Vale are on the march upwards, along with one from the illustrious ranks of Burton, Cheltenham, Northampton and Bradford. Do excuse us as this wave of euphoria running through our limbs is bitterly suppressed. A brief mention for the League Two relegation fight – Barnet and Aldershot lost out and there but for the grace of God, go we…