That strange sentiment of wishing a season away

Charlie Wyke scored for Carlisle late on to deny Pompey a win. Picture: Joe Pepler
Charlie Wyke scored for Carlisle late on to deny Pompey a win. Picture: Joe Pepler
Former Pompey striker Yakubu has retired from football. Picture: Mic Young

Former Pompey striker announces retirement

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First of all, some credit to Andy Awford’s team for defeating Plymouth.

A powerful passage of second-half football paved the way for the Easter Monday victory to provide some cheer for supporters.

It’s easy to say all the right things when there is little up for grabs, but the Pilgrims win showed there is some meaning behind the plenty-to-play-for rhetoric.

But no matter how I try, I just can’t shake the feeling: I just wish this season would disappear.

Chairman Iain McInnes recently stated there is nowt so demotivating as a season meandering. It was a succinct and perceptive observation.

Has a campaign ever been as underwhelming as the one which is huffing and puffing to a conclusion?

It’s a football fans’ lot to embrace the dawning of a new season with optimism as hope springs eternal.

It happens whether it’s the case or not, but there was a justification to the expectation here this time around.

So how have we arrived at a place which saw me greet Carlisle’s 95th-minute equaliser with inglorious indifference last Friday?

It was an alien and unprecedented emotion as I walked along Southsea seafront with nothing more than a game of arcade air hockey for a competitive fix.

Not being at a game is usually like a teenager being grounded for a school disco.

Clockwatching and the gnawing feeling of missing out burns away as the match unfolds.

The reality, however, is you’re only missing out on hysterical tears and getting angry at your mate for puking on your Ben Sherman.

Ironic really, seeing as that isn’t a million miles from the emotions imbued at times by Blues fans watching their side over the past nine months.

And it’s on the outside looking in that Pompey find themselves as the season reaches the business end of proceedings.

That ‘meandering’, as McInnes termed it, is what deflates as supporters struggle to find a cause.

When the sun shines is normally when the action really starts around here, regardless of which end of the table it’s staged at.

If the talk was to be believed, the club looked as if they were taking it upon themselves to generate drama before Monday’s Plymouth clash.

The latest round of rumours over Awford’s future were circulating through the spring afternoon before the game.

Anything less than three points was said to have left his position in perilous condition. Not the first time such chat has been aired.

The game’s outcome rendered all of that redundant.

But those kind of moments arrive as a consequence of the disappointments of the season.

That, and perhaps, board worries about keeping 11,047 season-ticket holders engaged when it comes to their renewals.

It’s the supporters’ wages who have helped ensure the senior set-up has been formed on the basis of a powerful budget at League Two level.

That fact, in an inconsistent league, makes the campaign a missed opportunity.

Awford has been big enough to admit he’s made mistakes and is still learning his role.

Shuffling his pack from game to game early on and running a large squad, which can create discontent for the players not involved, would be two areas he’d like to revisit.

But then hindsight is always 20-20.

It remains for others to now decide the way forward on the managerial front.

The supporters are left to reflect on the fine margins between League Two success and obscurity.

And, I, for what it’s worth, want it all to be over.