Well, I told you so. Sorry but I had to say it, seeing as I was ridiculed by some non-believers.
I was certainly in the minority last year when I said, before the season started, that we would win promotion. The reason behind my correct prediction was based on the fact that you have to believe you can achieve something in order to compete. That mentality is exactly what Sean Dyche has instilled in our band of brothers. The Club tweeted a picture of him recently stood next to a sign entitled state of mind which goes on to say that if you think you are beaten, you are.
The key to our success last season was that the lads never gave up. The manager never gave up. The coaches never gave up and we never gave up.
Of course all the pundits are immediately saying that we will return to footballs second tier. But who cares what a former player, whose sole career highlight was winning the League Cup, thinks? Not to disrespect the League Cup, I’m actually a fan of it and think we will win it in the next five years.
But I don’t care what anyone thinks. We ARE there and be that for one season or more we play Chelsea at Turf Moor tonight. Not Leyton Orient. Not Stockport County. Not even Wolverhampton Wanderers but Jose Mourinho’s team of millionaires.
I don’t care that you could buy over 1000 Michael Duff’s for the price of one Diego Costa. I know which one I’d rather have. Don’t get me wrong, I am excited about the fact that we are going to see these fantastic world class footballers playing in our town. But I’ll be far more excited when Duffo dispossesses Eden Hazard on the edge of the box. I’ll be jumping for joy when Kieran Trippier skips past Cesc Fàbregas and I’ll be doing summersaults when Danny Ings nutmegs John Terry and slots the ball past Petr Čech.
It is eleven men against eleven men and the opposition cannot possibly have more desire to win than we do. We have to put an air inflated bladder between two sticks and into a net. Nothing more and nothing less. Why does costing £32m make you better at doing that than costing £30k? It doesn’t. Money doesn’t make players any better. Training, effort, practice, coaching and above all else a desire to win does that.
I’ll be honest we are not going to win promotion this season I’m sorry to say. But we still have to set out to win every game and if we do that we’ll be Champions of England for the third time, an achievement only held by 14 other clubs. In fact we rank seventh in the all-time league table. We have a tradition that is as great if not greater than more than half of the Premier League never mind the other 72 clubs. Of course we deserve to be there. We are founder members of the football league. We have won the FA cup twice. We have won all four divisions of English football and now we begin as equals in arguably the greatest league in the world.
So as we start this new season there is no reason on paper why we can’t win the league but even I maybe think that is asking too much. Last season we had worked up to promotion and this season we only need to finish 17th. So if we are aiming 16 places higher who knows what can happen. However, I do think that a European place is a real possibility. You heard it here first.
Mock me at your peril, remember as Dyche says:” It’s all in the state of mind.”
Up the Clarets.