The players believe, so should we

Just been reading through the reasons to be negative thread on the forums, and had the overwhelming urge to write this article.

Reasons to be negative? As Jim Royle would say, negative my arse!!!

Lets face it: It’s February. We’re 2nd in the league, fighting for the title. We’ve only lost one game all season. Torres is getting back to his former self. Rafa is proving how shrewd he is, and he knows what he’s doing – he is most definately not cracking up! The team, no matter the personnel, after looking so disjointed in some of our earlier performances, is beginning to gel again. Chelsea and Arsenal are 4th and 5th respectively, effectively making it a two horse race for the title this season.

And many, many more that others have already pointed out. Yes, ok, there are a few negatives from certain games, such as team selection, substitutions, results etc. The form of certain players. Injuries to key players. The Keane debacle. All the off the pitch issues.

Please though folks, do not judge Rafa or the team on individual games, individual aspects of the season. You have to look at the bigger picture. You have to look at the overall result. Of course, like many other fans, I’ve felt like crying sometimes. Yes, I feel we’ve drawn too many games that maybe we should have won. I am the same as everybody else. Yes, we’d be in a better position if we’d nicked a few extra points off Stoke, Hull, West Ham, Stoke (again) or Wigan.

But at the end of the day, the season isn’t over yet. Why harangue Rafa for a couple of decisions we didn’t agree with in a couple of individual games? Why rollock the gaffer for a few draws instead of a few wins if he gets us what we all want? The Premier League. Number 19. And if we also get a 6th Champions League in the process, then so much the better!

The positives of this season to date outweigh the negatives by about 5-1 in my reckoning. We’ve had our best season for years as far as the fighting for the league goes, even if others refuse to acknowledge it. And it’s not over yet. We’ve still got a few months of the season left to play. And we’re still in there, chomping at the bit.

Some may wonder what’s different this season. Why we’re up there fighting when usually we’re well out of it by this time of the season. What’s changed. Is it because Rafa has finally got to grips with the Premier League? Is it because Sammy Lee has returned, and with him some of the ethics and disciplines of the old Boot Room? Who knows.

What I do know is that we should stop looking back at past games. What’s done is done. We can’t change the results, or the team selections, or substitutions. What we need to do is to look to the future. Yes we can, and probably will, still criticise certain players, or team selections. It’s the nature of the beast. But in the grand scheme of things, we should be supporting Rafa and the team whole-heartedly. Get behind them 100% between now and the end of the season.

The team believe they can do it this year. We should follow their lead.

You’ll Never Walk Alone.