Supporter Matt Pegg ponders what could be in store for the Robins as the season approaches.
The unprecedented, unapologetic and rather uncomfortable heat of England’s boiling summer has taken its toll on me.
After a fortnight break in the Canary Islands, I was anticipating coming home to a rather chillier climate. However, the sun cream, straw hat and flip flops are still out and are being used in abundance.
Maybe the sun has gone to my head but it got me thinking…it’s only in England that we complain when the weather is bad and yet complain even more when the weather is good. It seems that there is just no pleasing ye olde British public.
However, there shouldn’t be many happier at the moment than us lot here in Cheltenham. With new signings already making an impression on the team and the new season just around the corner, the confidence feels high around the club. And yet there are still some murmurs of a drop in talent in the team and budgetary constraints taking their toll. Is there no pleasing football fans either?
What would make Cheltenham fans happy this season? Is another season in the play-offs enough, or do we need to claim a spot in the top 3?
The last 2 seasons have been brilliant as a Robins fan. Games against Spurs and Everton, a trip to Wembley and a whole heap of TV coverage considering our League 2 status really made for a rollercoaster 24 months down Whaddon Road. However, the agony of missing out on promotion by the skin of our teeth, twice, was wholly disappointing.
So, third time lucky means that we have to go up this season right? The general consensus from the fans on Twitter indicates that anything less will be unsatisfactory. Making steady progressive steps is all well and good but there needs to be reward come the end of it. That reward for both the club and fans is League One football and considering the talent we have on our books and the standards that we have set in our league, it is not a far fetched idea.
Budgetary constraints and the loss of one or two big names hasn’t stopped a club like Yeovil from progressing up the league ladder. Huish Park will be hosting the likes of Blackburn, QPR and Birmingham this campaign. While games against Newport, Mansfield and York seem to pale in comparison, there should be no reason why we can’t follow in the Somerset clubs’ footsteps.
While it may seem that our play-off pain will never end, I don’t think anyone can say that they wouldn’t snatch the hand off the person who offers us a place in the top 7 come the end of the season, especially with the squad as it stands. Granted, our 2011/12 squad was probably one of the best collective groups of players that we have had in a while but the wealth of experience that has been added to the team this summer (Jamie Cureton and Matt Richards anybody?) would stand us in good stead should we have to face a Crewe and Northampton-like drama all over again.
As the summer temperatures continue to rise and people continue to vent their frustrations at the glorious British sunshine, I wonder if we Cheltenham fans will be moaning come the end of the season. By the looks of the squad this time around, I doubt it…