Opinion: 'Football is never more exciting than when everything hangs in the balance'

Fan's voice

Susannah George

Many a Norwich fan will recall May 1985, and even those that don’t may have inherited a grudge against Everton - already Division 1 winners - owing to their surprising defeat to Coventry City which saw the Canaries relegated. Everton had already won the title before heading into that final fixture, and it’s hard to escape the allegation that the Toffees were suffering from classic on-the-beach mode. Norwich City once again being ever so slightly hard done by.

Whilst many of us would strongly prefer to be heading into this weekend having secured play-offs, the fact that we are going down to the wire has somewhat of a wholesome feel to it. Whilst all teams must technically field a full-strength squad, the underlying mentality or make-up of the subs bench can never fully eradicate potential bias if a team ends up with nothing to play for on the final day.

Aside from being wholly unsportsmanlike, not to mention ever so slightly disrespectful to the opposition, for Norwich City fans especially - who felt the keen sting of 1985 - such an attitude should be entirely unpalatable.

Football is never more exciting than when everything hangs in the balance, it is in those heart-racing, adrenaline pumping, breath-holding games that victory feels all the sweeter.

We are well placed going into the weekend, however Birmingham have plenty to fight for and we would be silly to underestimate their hunger for the three points, but for the reason above, I am glad that this is how the season will draw to a close, and in front of full-house away support no less.

For the match-pickers who selected Birmingham (A), of whom I know there are a fair few of you – my dad included - I can only assume that you are the die-hard faithful, the hopeless romantics and optimists who had faith that we would be ending the season with promotion, or potentially play-offs.

Let’s not forget, these match-pick selections are made pre-season before the die are cast. One may be slightly disappointed if the narrative of the season had concluded prior to this stage, depriving those faithful supporters of a potential full-force celebration.

To those supporters, the Birmingham (A) match-pickers – Bravo! I hope your belief rubs off on the players on Saturday and beyond. I am sure that the lads will put on a fantastic display to show you what your faith has purchased. As for the last-minute bid to secure play-offs… am I worried? Of course not, after all, never mind the danger!

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