Earlier in the week I drafted an article liking the appointment of Stuart Gray to the underwhelming experience I had watching the Astronomical Clock in Prague’s Old Town Square.
I wrote the allegorical tale on Monday, when rumours of Gray’s appointment were swirling and there was talk of him taking training. I wrote it on spec with the rumours getting stronger, but Monday came and went in a lapping wave of disappointment. Disappointment that Gray was seemingly our choice and disappointment that we still hadn’t actually announced anything formally even if he was. We were still dealing with what ifs.
By the time the announcement was actually made on Tuesday lunchtime, I think most people like me had actually gotten over the fact that someone as run of the mill as Gray was going to be appointed. When it was then revealed that he wasn’t actually our new Head Coach, if you stopped to think about it, the appointment wasn’t a actually a bad one. It was just a month late. So unfortunately my Prague story.
By this stage though, my Prague story seemed a bit moot and had to go back into the store cupboard. Apart from a few tweets existentially asking how we got to this point and asking if Fulham got here by luck or design, there seemed little else to say. It also seemed that I wasn’t alone. Fulham fans seem stuck in an endless purgatorial loop somewhere between utter despair and self-loathing but with a small glimmer of hope.
Well, it’s now rolled around to Brentford Eve and I can hardly remember a derby game with a more muted build up. West London derbies hardly rival those in Istanbul, Rome or Glasgow for intensity at the best of times, but tomorrow is still one of our two most emotionally charged home games of the year. Or at least it should be if we weren’t all so apparently browbeaten. When you consider that Brentford will bring almost half their home attendance to Craven Cottage tomorrow you begin to realise this game counts just a little bit more than the others.
We may not have a manager, we might not be playing that well at the moment, but we bloody well need to get our mojo back and that isn’t just down to those players on the pitch come 3pm tomorrow afternoon. Mismanagement and miscommunication should not enough to dampen the love we all have for our club. For a little while longer yet, it might be up to us to pick ourselves off the canvas. The last month has shown nobody else is going to do it.
For two hours tomorrow afternoon let’s forget Stuart Gray was announced with a big picture of Mike Rigg glaring down on us. Let’s forget the Football League have yet to announce the results of their Financial Fair Play investigation. Let’s not worry that Sheffield Wednesday only scored 17 goals last season. Let’s beat Brentford, or at least let’s believe we can.