BLIND FAITH by Jimmy Flack from Issue 31

Blind Faith or just pessimistic about the Pre-Season? Don't be so silly! Everyone views the start of a new season in entirely different ways. Mutterings at Carmarthen of 'We're rubbish' after just twenty minutes by individual's who should know better, give way to serious pessimism about our chances of staying up. Well are we about to struggle against relegation or will you be dismissed as a deluding lunatic for thinking aloud "this could be our year". Why not?
That well known social commentator Mr Anthony Hughes, wrote in the final programme of last season "should we avoid relegation, as I'm sure we will, then the beauty of it is we will all start on a level playing field once more come August. Finishing 2nd this time around or even 18th, will mean nothing and it's up to us to take advantage of that."
So, it's prediction time again, and lets make sure that we prove Mr Hughes right. Top ten or another fight against relegation? FA Cup glory or just the FAW Premier Cup to look forward to? What would be our best starting XI? 4-4-2, 3-5-2, 5-3-2, wingbacks, Danny playing behind the front two, three up front, you name it, every possible combination known and a few that even Booby Gould wouldn't have dreamt of.
And everywhere, just like the first whiff of sarcasm from the terraces comes' the scent of optimism (…or for the majority of the Martyrs supporters substitute perennial pessimism!).
A review of the 99/00 season, that could be entitled 'Reach for the Stars' as you may recall turned out to be a little bit of a damp squib, the truth be told. There was the hype and razzmatazz at the start, the heave-ho of Gibbo, and the initial slow climb back to respectability under Jimmy Mullen that soon fell apart, with the nail-biting conclusion for all the wrong reasons. Ironically the financial problems of the previous few years were a thing of the past. We had a goodish FA Cup run but took a bad beating at The Racecourse. To summarise in a few paragraphs in the style of a Harry Potter meets Salman Rushdie sort of way:
"We've had big problems, and needed to re-group. The team didn't perform as a unit last season, and couldn't grind out the one-nils, but we might just surprise a few folk this year... There's talk of building a new stadium, although the decision to dispose of the youth policy needs to be re-considered. We're often seen as a big club. Sky's appointment at a time when we were struggling might prove to be the catalyst that was needed."
We all know what might have happened before the take-over, and what infinitely worse fate almost befell us. In the near future, someone will decide that, blimey he was right, they certainly did spring a few surprises, Merthyr, and what bloody fool wrote that, then?
So back to this season? We'll finish somewhere between first and eighteenth. We'll enter the Cup and the Trophy. Look as though we'll play a passing possession style football, but we will need to score 65+ goals if we aren't going to struggle and this is something that we have failed to achieve in the last few seasons with goals from broken play in the first two friendlies as rare as a winning lottery ticket!
How will the supporters cope......No comment. Just leave me alone to enjoy myself....

JIMMY FLACK

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