Sunday, 28 October 2007
Sunday's game will have more bearing on Wrexham Football Club's fate than any derby since, well, since we played them last season actually.
That bald fact illustrates quite neatly how we've lurched from one crisis to another so constantly in recent years that, like those twins in Big Brother, it's hard to tell where one ends and another begins. What worries me is that defeat on Sunday could pitch us into the deepest trough so far, a fact I've divined from reading the signs in my own home!
Last Saturday I missed my first league game in over a year as I fed my lad's addiction to monster trucks by taking him to see them in the Millennium Stadium. The cynics among you might suggest watching awkward giants lumbering calamitously around the pitch should be familiar to me. Shame on you!
I've done my parental duty, ensuring that while Ben's teachers tell him of the Tudors I've taught him about Jim Steel, as they've told him of the growth of the Victorian Empire I've filled his head with the conquests of Arfon Griffiths' side.
Therefore he was thrilled as we wandered on the pitch prior to the show and I pointed out the spot where Juan Ugarte flicked in the opening goal in our LDV Vans triumph. Trouble is, he started watching Wrexham the season after that, so to him that victory's an abstract historic event, set far in the past, just as Ugarte's merely an historic name. Sadly his perspective is becoming every Wrexham fan's.
His introduction to watching live football has been a season of mediocrity followed by an horrendous flirtation with The Conference which never seems to end. Maybe this is a good thing, as his character is built up by constant disappointment. He has certainly learned an important lesson in life; don't get your hopes up unnecessarily! However, our poor performances are having an inevitable result.
Naturally his faith in Wrexham is waning. He has a season ticket and goes to all the home games, but he's not totally sure whether he wants to go to the game on Sunday, even though the alternative is his worst nightmare; being dragged around clothes shops by his Mum!
It's understandable that a child might get frustrated at never seeing his team win; there are plenty of adults who are feeling the same way. It just goes to show how important it is that we turn things around, and quickly. I'm amazed by how well our attendances have held up considering our poor form, but it can't last forever.
The fact that Sunday's game is a derby match will mean we get a decent turn-out again, but a poor result and I dread to think how many fans will turn out next Wednesday for a mid-week game in winter when there are Champions League games to watch on television instead. We might be approaching the point where the dam bursts. Even a nine-year-old can see it coming.