Yesterday saw two big stories involving Championship clubs
looking in opposite directions.
We had Roy Keane taking over at newly minted Ipswich, slagging
off his former team-mates
and detailing his plan to get the Tractor Boys into the top flight within two
Then we had Southampton
slapped with a 10-point penalty that, in all likelihood, will be imposed at the
start of next season thereby compromising their hopes of escaping League One.
What both clubs have in common, apart from a shared
appreciation of Russell Osman, is their history in the top tier of English
football, and their belief that their true place in football's pecking order is somewhere above their present
Whether it is upwardly-mobile Ipswich or beleaguered Southampton, both clubs feel that they really ought to be
in the Premier League.
Keane is perceptive enough to recognise this, even if he
doesn't know what division Leeds are in or what the top flight has been called for the last two seasons.
He said: "There
are lots in the Championship who feel they belong in the Premiership - Nottingham Forest,
Leeds, Sheffield United. Look at Charlton now.
That was Sunderland three years ago."
He's right, you
know. Look at the Championship table - pretty much any club's fans can and do claim that they 'belong'
in the top flight, whether it is based on history (Forest, Ipswich), fanbase
(Sheffield Wednesday, Birmingham) or the fact that they come from a big city
that really ought to have top-flight football (Cardiff, Bristol City).
In the entire division, ED would guess that only Doncaster
Rovers and Plymouth
would accept that the second tier is the right level for them. The other 22
clubs (plus Leeds, Leicester and AFC Wimbledon from further down the ladder)
all believe they are a Premier League side in exile, and it is a matter of time
before they return to their rightful level.
The thing is, most of them are wrong. There are 20 invites to the Premier League party and close to 50
teams who feel there is a goody bag with their name on it.
The consequence is that over half of them are going to end
up looking and feeling like chumps when they turn up at the door in their
Village People fancy dress and are told to kindly bugger off.
This is the problem of an aspirational society; everybody
thinks they are better than they actually are.
Living in hope is one thing, in fact it is often the only
thing unless you support one of the tiny handful of clubs that actually win
But the problem is not that these clubs want to get into the
Premier League. It is that they have a sense of entitlement.
Visit the fan site of nearly any Championship club and you'll see the phrase "back where we belong"
bandied about liberally.
Sadly, most of these fans are as deluded as a bloke playing
the spoons who says it is his destiny to win Britain's
The modern world teaches us to aim high, it tells us that no
dream is too big, no goal too outlandish that we cannot achieve it, just as
long as we try ever so hard.
But simple mathematics tells us that cannot possibly be
true. Take it from ED; we cannot all be high achievers. We cannot all be
special - if we could, it wouldn't
be very special, would it?
A life of crushing mediocrity is what awaits most of us. And
until the Premier League is expanded to 80 teams, that is the reality for the
vast majority of football clubs.
So there you go. Happy Friday, losers.
- - -
QUOTE OF THE DAY: Roy Keane on how a Swedish supergroup and a massage can tell you
a lot about the content of a man's
character: "It wasn't that they
were playing Abba but that the masseur was choosing the music instead of the
players. You go about leaders, but if I was a player and the masseur was
playing Abba, I'd not let it happen."
FOREIGN VIEW: The Germans are nothing if not thorough, and
this Teutonic commitment is all too apparent in a 16-stage slideshow that shows
Franck Ribery kicking Bayern team-mate Luca Toni in the, er, undercarriage. All
in jest, you understand.
YOUR VIEW: We finish with a cracking rant from domc882000: "Hahaha - I've just
realised why the smug and pointless 'ED' team
attract so many smug and pointless people to post. Its because no matter what
the story, they will smugly take some b**ch slaps at Man U no matter how
stupidly they need to engineer it in. I think I'd rather watch loose women and
take them seriously than read one of your gay little b**chy articles
is honoured even to come a close second to Loose Women. Although maybe you could explain how an article, with its complete lack of gender and
reproductive organs, can be gay. And why, if it somehow did defy medical science
and develop a sexuality, that would be a problem. Actually, don't. You're an
- Roy Keane