I have been a season ticket holder at Swindon Town for coming up to Twenty years now and this season the club has gone in a different direction in playing a game of possession based football and finished the season in 8th place behind Sheffield United. Swindon pushed Peterborough to the second from last game of the season for the final playoff spot but a defeat away at Notts County quashed the dream of a chance of playing at Wembley.
I moved seats a couple of season ago from behind the goal to the Don Rogers stand which is the opposite stand to the dug outs and in the month of February and early March the atmosphere around me had changed. Swindon went on a miserable run where they failed to pick up a home win in over six weeks which caused the fans to turn on the team.
I noticed something during the Crawley home game which was a re-arranged after the New Year game was called off due to bad weather. Fans around me turned on the players back in the first half especially on young keeper Tyrell Belford who came in for the injured Wes Foderingham who got ironic cheers from the fans in the townend after he played the ball forward after a he decided to play out from the back. I thought that was a bit harsh as it was the player first league home start and it does dent the young keeper’s confidence. It also didn’t help in this game that Swindon squandered the chance to win
the game by conceding a late goal in the game.
During the MK Dons game earlier in March, Swindon took a 1-0 lead into the second half and sat back a bit too deep and was suckered punched in the last minute wondergoal from MK Dons right back George Baldock to give Karl Robinson side the three points. Once again the atmosphere turned very sour around me, you couldn’t do anything about the goal, but some Swindon fans can turn on their club in a heartbeat and are very fickle which is a horrible sight to see. There were boo’s at the final whistle which I thought was a bit harsh and even some chants of Mark Cooper to be sacked by Lee Power and the board.
A home game at Wolves where the league leaders made very little work in the first half by racing into a 3-0 lead and showed their class and showed why they are top of the table. There was chants of “what a load of rubbish” and boos which dents players confidence. But Swindon rallied in the second half and gave Wolves a game but lost 4-1 when Leon Clarke scored against his old club. The players were applauded off by sections of the crowd which included me.
I was in attendance at Ashton Gate on Saturday and witnessed a brave and spirited performance from Swindon and the travelling support got behind the players which helped in a battling 0-0 draw. It was good to see fans getting behind the players after a difficult month. Then the fortunes changed for the team when Swindon went on a good run at the end of the season and pushed Peterborough for the final playoff spot but it was in vein as the failed at the final hurdle.
I went to Italy in the middle of May and went to watch Roma final home game of the season against already crowned Champions Juventus, it was a brilliant atmosphere and the Roma fans got behind their players but Juventus won the game in the last minute of added time thanks to a goal from ex Roma player Pablo Osvaldo. If this happened in England the home fans would be booing and leaving the ground but the side of the ground I was sitting and the fans in the Curva Sud got behind the players and applauded and roared them on. It was something good to see by fans of a club who this season have got behind Roma after a troublesome couple of years.
Football fans are the most fickle fans of them all and with the introduction of social media in the last couple of years it has got worse. Fans troll players and give them vile stick which is uncalled for. When the supports team they are the best team in the world and when they lose they are the worst team ever and they manager should be sacked and players should leave. I think some Swindon fans need to take a reality check and with the club going in a different direction and finishing the season 8th after getting tipped for relegation and having a squad overhaul, it wasn’t a bad season overall.