Supporters of most other club must look at Marcus Law's seemingly precarious existence with a bemused eye. They would see a club with frankly rubbish facilities, small crowds, who should have ceased to exist 5 years ago. They would see a team 9th in the table and 6 points outside of the Play-offs.
These non-Poppies supporters might well look at the excessive way sections of our support demand Marcus's head after every game and shake their own heads in wonder. Just as we would be amazed at a manager under threat if the above description was given about the boss at another club. Were it not Marcus and the Poppies, we would ask how a club could possibly sack a manager with such a record. We would bemoan knee-jerk Chairmen and fans with unrealistic expectations.
Have we had a great season so far? No. Have we underachieved? Yes. Did the Manager waste pre-season? Definitely. Have we had our worse season ever. Not by a million miles! Did we start this season expecting to steam-roller the other teams in the division because we finished last season so strongly? You bet your skinny ass we did. Did we put ourselves under undue pressure by having our Chairman demand promotion before a ball was kicked in anger? Hell, yes.
Has Ritchie's bold statement-of-intent poisoned this season? The season has not been allowed to develop naturally. Rather than revel in some frankly astounding away victories, our fan base has wallowed in the home defeats. Some supporters are unhappy that the League table doesn't reflect the Chairman's wishes and hold Marcus entirely to blame for this. Others have chosen to not attend matches until the Manager is replaced, which they presume will lead to us winning every game.
But what gives us such a sense of entitlement? Why should we beat everyone? Why should we be top of the league? Because Ritchie wants promotion? Because we are the mighty Kettering Town FC? We are not a big club at this level. In fact we are a good deal smaller than some. A cursory glance at the crowds teams like Hereford and Darlington are getting shows how small-time we are at the moment.
In the grand scheme of things, we are small-fry, and the sooner we get our heads around that, the better we'll enjoy what success comes our way. We play on the worst pitch in the league, with a step of concrete around it and a handful of crappy little stands. We are attracting a couple of hundred less people than we were 2 years ago. Yet, we're still going and still challenging.
Do we support the Poppies, or do we support table-topping-Poppies? Are we real or plastic?