When you go to a football match, why is it that you do? Is it out of dedication to your club – a club that has become an integral part of your life? Is it out of a love of football? Or is it, simply to be entertained? Whilst many hardened fans will point at the former, ask yourself why you fell in love with Peterborough United football club in the first place. It wasn’t because it was engrained in you. It was because you were entertained. You wanted to see it again. You wanted to come back. It is because of this the addiction starts. It is an addiction that is impossible to get a release from. It is an addiction that keeps you coming back. Even in the hard times you feel compelled. Compelled to try to get that emotion. That indescribable emotion that comes from very few things in life, but that can be felt through following your football club.
With one of the biggest games in the club’s history impending the successfulness of our season will be measured on whether we win at Old Trafford. 90 minutes that will define our season. This squad was designed to achieve promotion. MacAnthony will tell you anything less and this campaign has been a failure. Ferguson will echo these sentiments. Not making the Championship will mean we say goodbye to key players, it will mean our budget will be cut, it will mean that next season may well be one spent in mid-table.
Yet, this season has not been a failure. Regardless of the result on Sunday, this season has been a glorious one. This season Peterborough United have won fans. Not necessarily fans that will turn up at London Road but people have gained affection to this football club. People have sat up and taken notice of our little team. Our little team that had been barely recognisable before has began to capture interest.
Proud To Be Posh
This season Peterborough United have created an identity. Everybody with any interest in football knows that we have scored goals. Indeed, they know we have conceded them too but that much is irrelevant. All of a sudden there has been interest in us. Sky came once; they wanted to come back again. And again. They got the same feeling that we did. They were entertained. And isn’t that, ultimately, what football is about?
We now live an era where football is defined by how many trophies are won. Everything is about silverware. People aren’t worried about their club’s style, their club’s ethos, it is a win at all costs attitude that fans are fixated on. Would Real Madrid have accepted Mourinho’s tactics in the 1980’s? Would Arsene Wenger, a man who has transformed Arsenal football club, be under pressure in the same time period? The simple answer is no. Football has become a sport that isn’t about entertainment anymore, the exact thing that made it so popular in the first place; it is about winning matches and nothing else.
We seem to have broken the mould in this respect. We have employed an attack at all-cost strategy that, whilst meaning that we are particularly vulnerable defensively, has led to a season that should be remembered for a long time. We may never again score this amount of goals in one season again. 106 league goals. Yes, 106 league goals. We are the top goalscorers in Europe. This season has provided us with more memories than many teams will get in 5. Every neutral that has come to London Road this season has invariably described the game as a thriller. The 4-4 draw against Southampton. The 3-3 against Bournemouth. The 5-4 against Swindon. At London Road these scorelines are more likely than a 0-0 draw. We are the entertainers.
It is simple. Sunday is important but if we are to lose we should take a look back at a season that has already provided so many memories. One more would be great, but, if we aren’t promoted we should still be proud of what this team has achieved. Because it has been brilliant to watch this season. And, after all, isn’t this why we all started loving football in the first place?