Since I closed Often Partisan last year I’ve felt far less pressure to write articles about the club. I don’t feel so guilty if I go a few days without writing anything – but I look back to the OP days and I can certainly empathise with those whose job it is to churn out daily stories.
It’s a strange situation around the club right now.
For example, there has been a real dearth of player interviews – so much so that I think there has been unfair criticism in some quarters online that we’ve not heard from the squad and that reporters aren’t doing their jobs properly.
Yet when those player interviews appear, the cry is “don’t tell us, show us!”
Likewise, I find myself struggling to write articles about the club because I’m having to balance my own feelings of doom and gloom against my need to not be a voice of doom and gloom. I don’t want to write things that make people feel worse about the club but I also don’t want to be a happy clapper either.
I think what it comes down to is frustration.
Frustration that we as fans have no power over what happens on the pitch – and that no matter how much we want players to understand how much we are hurting and to show they understand that, it’s what they do on the pitch that counts.
Likewise, off the pitch there is no one person to be able to point the finger at in blame.
While they didn’t talk much to the press Peter Pannu and Carson Yeung were both easy to castigate and blame for our woes back then; these days Blues owners are more faceless and I think a less obvious target for blame.
I think all of this is a large reason why I don’t like international breaks. While the matches are coming thick and fast it’s much easier to focus on what is happening on the pitch – when there are no matches for a fortnight then it’s harder to have new discussions about the club without re-treading over the same old ground.
For what it’s worth, I think we’re about to enter an important phase of the season. Between now and the New Year Blues play nine times – including what looks like tough games against Sheffield United, Wolves and Leeds United.
If Blues can pull together and start playing with more purpose, and get more positive results on the pitch all the time spent thinking about what is wrong will be forgotten – and we can move on towards the future.
However, another two months like the ones we’ve just had and 2018 could look very scary indeed – and that frustration I’ve spoken about will probably turn to real anger.