I suppose most football fans are the same and think the media detests them and they favour other teams much more than their own. Essentially we will hear what we want and there may be some pundits who don’t like your team and/or are very annoying. Also as a fan of one team you can not have a perspective on other teams because you can’t really pick up the nuances of barbed comments on opponents, let a lone care.
All that being said I do think that the continued success we have had sometimes underplays what we have actually achieved. It is very easy to dismiss it all as down to Romans magnificent contribution to the club. There is not doubt that spending as much as we have means we should be doing well but that is not a guarantee of success (sixth place) but more of that later. When we won the league in 2005 the media were in love with Jose, he was indeed the special one and he was lauded. The team less so but that was an amazing team which perhaps in the shadow of Jose have never really been fully appreciated. It set records one of which stood until this season. The following season , we were a machine and so it was perhaps boring for the media as we started off like a train and didn’t really slow down. The challengers were intimidated and ultimately blown away.
There was then a period of no league titles and several managers until the magnificent Carlo arrived. Free flowing entertaining football, a tremendous title race won on the last day of the season. We then went on to clinch the double. An amazing achievement for a club like ours. It had only been done a handful of times before although in the modern era both Arsenal and Manchester United had done it. Personally I think we got very little by way of credit. It happened without much comment. Maybe it was just before a World Cup and things got a little “lost” but I really do not think that we got anywhere near enough praise.
In 2015 we led from start to finish. The team ran out of steam but we won a League Cup as well. The attritional second half of the season meant the praise for winning was guarded. It was just Jose winning it again. Our fourth title in 10 years and so that was expected, especially with Jose at the helm. Yes Eden got player of the year and was rightly celebrated but not much more. It’s fair to say that JT got his fair share of plaudits for playing every minute. The general feeling was underwhelming. Maybe that is what Man U fans felt during the Fergie era. They kept churning them out and perhaps they felt equally “unloved”.
So to this year. A magnificent win, completely unexpected. A top four finish and champions league was a realistic ambition. We would have beeen happy with that as the Manchester juggernauts slugged it out. A hope that whilst that battle was going on we could sneak in under the wire. That wasn’t to be the case, top of the league for most of the season and a massive turnaround from the previous season. Tenth to champions is special but we were in a false position last year but there is no doubting the change in our style of play and resilience has been spectacular.
According to some in the media however we are not as good a team as the runners up. Their points tally of two seasons proves them to be the best team. Wrong! Look in the newspapers, the two best teams this season and last were Leicester and us. It doesn’t matter how you dress it up, the competition rules are very clear, the team with the most points after 38 games win the league how difficult is that? Then we have Pep. According to him, his team are the best in the league. Again I think you will find, they are not. They were after about 6 games but the season doesn’t end there. Its extraordinary stuff.
So we have had a lot of credit this year, it has been constant praise. The praise for our manager has been universal. Well almost. One journalist has picked Pep as the best manager. The excuses were interesting but ultimately made no sense. Watching MOTD this season has been enjoyable again and the post semi final meltdown of Jermaine Jenas a highlight.
So I do think we have had the right amount of praise for our performance this year which is why the JT show yesterday was in some ways regrettable. Personally I had no problem with what happened. It killed the game for about an hour but it was a celebration of the man. What I do have a problem with is our magnificent season should have been celebrated yesterday and this morning , instead we have the media obsessed with the 26th minute substitution. We broke a record for wins yesterday but lets talk about JT instead. We won our second title in three years (hardly mentioned) but lets talk about JT . We won our 5th premier league title in 12 years but lets talk about JT. You get my drift.
Yes as a club we have spent a huge amount of money but so have others but we are the leading trophy winners in modern times. It’s about time we got some credit.