Saturday 14th July 2005
The one thing they fail to mention to you in Football Manager school – assuming that’s where everybody goes to get their coaching badges – is that the higher you climb, the harder it becomes to continue and stay successful.
Making small changes to see bigger gains is easy enough. But making even smaller changes that shift the margins in your favor? The same margins that can define the difference between a win and a draw or a draw and a loss at the top level?
At least that’s what it feels like. And if that isn’t actually the case, then maybe it’s just me. Maybe it’s Rotherham.
We ended last season in 16th place, five points clear of 17th placed QPR,` although it was also off the back of a five match losing streak.
Relegation was avoided with two games to spare, primarily because of the points we’d put in the bank in the final third of the season.
That being said, the board were so concerned by our form that they requested a meeting immediately to suggest potential transfers for the club and what we could do to lift the form.
Fucking ridiculous. I rejected the meeting as the season had ended. No point crying over spilt milk, only to try and put it up with a fucking single piece of toilet paper.
But what I will say is that what we have done this season is a true miracle. Our wage expenditure is the lowest in the league. We spent just shy of £24m. We made the least in revenue. And yet somehow we survived.
Considering our finances, we had no right too, especially with the media expecting us to finish bottom.
I’m proud of the lads. They’ve done the club proud. And despite the form at the end of last season, the players have really started to come into their own at this club.
Crouchy has come on leaps and bounds and finished as our top scorer; Samba’s training intensity has increased and he has started settling into the team, even if his form is still wanting.
Ameobi has found his feet at the club and started looking like the player we thought he would become. Richie Wellens has become… erm, an important member of the squad, even if he doesn’t play every game.
But this summer has been a real slog.
Our main transfer target, an 18 year old brick shithouse of a player Scott Dann, decided to sign a new contract with newly-promoted Bradford instead of accepting our contract offer.
I suspect it’ll cost three times the amount 12 months from now, unless Bradford get relegated, which I fucking hope they do, after winning promotion from the First Division.
Southampton wonderkid Gareth Bale has no interest in what we have to say, even though his team are a division below us.
We were hoping Danny Murphy would come over to us from a relegated Crystal Palace; instead he opted for Aston Villa, who finished 12th. His work rate, experience and flair is something the lads would have benefited from.
And to top it all off, the entire world and his wife are making clowns out of us by lowballing bids for Crouchy – who’s suddenly become a hot commodity for both clubs home and abroad – as well as Michael Carrick, John Terry and Liam Fontaine.
Even Joe Hart started attracting interest from Chelsea & Arsenal, but the prospect of breaking into the first team for the new season and a bumper new pay deal means he’ll probably be with us for a while.
Either way, the crux of the truth is this; it feels like no one really wants to play for us, and no one likes us.
Should I have actually had an interview with Deportivo La Coruña when they came calling? Should I have left Rotherham, the toilet bowl of Yorkshire? Maybe I should have listened to what the people in Bilbao had to say instead of signing my allegiance with this shite part of the England and its horrible little club.
The only players that seem to want to come to us play in divisions below – probably because if they come to us, it might be there only chance of playing Premier League football in their entire career – whilst players that we want in our division think we’re gonna get relegated and have no interest.