Move on, now! There's nothing to see!
You know the scene, especially if you live north of Junction 11. You're
driving down the M1, plenty of time for a beer or two before the game. The
blue signs foretell your approach to Luton. The traffic slows. At first
imperceptibly, then tangibly and finally completely. You stop. Stop,
start, stop, start inching past the A505 and that fence they are
building to block the view of Bedfordshire. You round the bend under the
old railway bridge and you see what it's all about. An accident on the
opposite carriageway has caused everyone to slow down to take in the gory
details. Like everyone else, I am intrigued. I don't really want to look
but am fascinated by the details.
It's been a bit like that this summer. My views on the last few months are
well known to many. Disappointed that Ray went. Amazed by his replacement.
Unimpressed by the board's explanation of events. Uninspired by the
successful avoidance of relegation. Ambivalent about renewing my season
ticket. Shocked by the treatment of Nigel Gibbs. Perplexed by the reliance
on youth and journeymen. Amused by the appointment of a sports scientist
(Martyn Pert, though - top name).
I view the onset of the new season with strange indifference. I know we're
playing Preston North End first up. But after that the fixtures aren't
ingrained on my mind. I seem to recall we're playing Cox, Ardley and
Darlington some time soon but that's about it. I'll probably not go to the
Charlton game maybe I'll just send Alec the dosh.
The club remains oddly distant from me.
So why do I spend all the time poring over the minutiae of the close
season? Checking up on new players' squad numbers, gleaning every last
item of news from websites and newspapers. Hell, even finding a way to
access the official site and BSaD on my mobile service while in Canada*.
It's the rubbernecking, isn't it? I want to look away but can't. Life is
driving along nicely when suddenly I get a text from another member of the
Hornet diaspora saying "Gunnarsson to Reading" and I need to know. Need to
know more. Need to know everything.
I believe I have mentioned elsewhere my nightmare of turning up at the Vic
and not recognising players. I just can't do it. Can't look away. Even if
it still seems like a slow motion accident or one waiting to happen.
* What? Oh! Look them up on Google's WAP site and it renders the sites for