|Derby Down Under - Jealousy|
Sat 17th May 2008 06:52 by Daniel J Sewart
I sat down to watch the final game of the season thinking that I was over the fact we were relegated but then jealousy kicked in.
A disappointing season was made worse by players who seemed determined not to even try to give home fans something to smile about on the final day. Sure Reading was fighting for their life but the Rams not only rolled over, they adopted the foetal position.
By the time the score line ticked over to 2 – 0, I found myself more frustrated than I had been all season. The pain of a pathetic campaign finally bubbled over and I became very, very angry and that anger needed to be vented somewhere.
Last week in my article I made the claim that there would be no joy in taking Reading down with us. That statement was smashed to pieces as the insipid performance from the Rams coupled with celebrating Royals fans, found me wanting the opposition to be relegated if only to wipe the smiles from their faces.
Jealousy is a nasty thing at the best of times and it reared its ugly head as I switched the TV back and forth to the Fulham game willing them to get the goal against Portsmouth that would rescue their season and doom Reading to the drop. As both games wore on and Derby conceded more laughable goals it seemed that the only goal I desired to be scored would never come.
Then the moment finally came, I punched the air and let out a guttural scream as Fulham slotted home their ticket to another year in the premier league. Their fans were ecstatic and I returned the television to Pride Park to watch with morbid delight as Reading fans were delivered the information via the multitude of radios in the stands.
They say revenge is sweet and at that moment it felt as if revenge had been taken on those who would delight in our capitulation. Their tears and pain fed my feeling of satisfaction that those in agony would be joining us next season in the Championship.
I was angry at Derby, angrier than I have ever been at the team I love. The players had let me down on the final day in a way that seemed worse than any day that had gone before but I went to bed satisfied I was not alone in my pain.
The next day I woke and felt a guilty, saddened by the way in which jealousy had consumed me and transformed my Jekyll into a Hyde. I had been angry at Reading because they were going to escape by tearing apart my hapless team but in the light of a new day I realised I should not have ever been angry at them instead it should have been directed only at the players wearing a Derby shirt.
Throughout the season some players have given all they had to a lost cause. Moore, Lewis, Mears, McEveley, Fagan and Edworthy come to mind as players who although perhaps out of their depth never stopped trying. The one player who I genuinely believed looked the part in every game was Matt Oakley and ironically was sold for his trouble.
It’s history now. Derby has been relegated as the worst Premier league team in history. Paul Jewell now gets the chance to turn his fighting words into a reality by turning Derby into a hardened force that will sweep aside opposition next season. Can he do it? I don’t know... and frankly at the moment don’t care. Battered and bruised I am just glad it’s all over and I don’t have to endure one more night watching the absolute garbage the club has produced this season.
Jealousy is a terrible thing but wasted opportunity is even worse.
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Daniel J Sewart