Transfers, Announcements and the Right Mentality

by Lee Cork

I saw the social media announcement re our new signing.

I greeted the rumours and subsequent signing with joy and hope. It does inspire me that we could do well this season. It shows that we do have the ambition to better ourselves and bring in players that are capable of producing yet more magic as we continue on our Premier League voyage.

But.

For me, the tone of it was all a bit petty and juvenile. Why do we need to respond to what Adrian Durham says? Why do we need to challenge his belief that we lack ambition? It’s all so small-time to do so.

Whilst I listen a lot to TalkSport, I don’t really listen when it comes to Stoke! Plaudits do though go to Durham for generating debate – he has a simple job on a radio station and that’s to get listeners – so the more insulting and/or controversial he is, the more ears he has taking in his show. Why do we continually rile at the comments? Both Durham and Savage are essentially the modern-day reincarnation of shock jocks and 21st Century ‘click-bait’ all wrapped into one easily digested parcel!

Now, don’t get me wrong – I feel that at times that the club’s communication with fans seems to mostly consist of a giant vacuum that the odd stray message emerges from like a waif of randomness. It is human nature to fill this void, hence the popularity of various social media groups dedicated to filling in these blanks – and of course the ever-growing delight of seeing a blurry photo from the ‘man in the bush’. We can also criticize the clubs seeming inability to get transfers over the line or their protracted negotiation tactics. We can carp on about a questionable transfer policy that has seen lots of players depart. It’s all hearsay and opinion to fill the void.

We do though need to have the right mentality.

We are the oldest club in the Premier League. 1863, us! We are in our tenth season at the ‘top table’, despite being hammered at and condemned to face relegation for the majority of that time. We have a proud footballing heritage – yes, it doesn’t have a glittering trophy cabinet but it is still there nevertheless. Our chairman is thought of with fond regards both by us as fans and within the football community. Yes, we’ve been let down by players and the media still hold to the perception of us as an unglamorous team. We, though, have always strived to prove them wrong in the one area that matters – on the terraces and on the field, playing the game in a way that will bring us a degree of success that every professional club outside of the top flight would kill for. We do not though need to petty, juvenile or bitter.

We are better than that!