Out of the Ashes

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I’m trying hard to imagine what I would have wrote back in 2005, no doubt I would have tried to tie the fortunes of Latics to those of the victorious Ashes team tried to point to lessons in the way that England approached that series for the way that Latics should approach their first tilt at Premier League survival. In fact, without looking, I know that I will have.

I will have because the one thing that you can guarantee sports fans will do is try to tie their teams and their players to more successful ones, either by comparison or by coveting them. That’s why Stuart Broad had next to no chance of waking up this morning as anything other than then new Andrew Flintoff and why we’ve spent the last 20 odd years saying that we need to be more like the Aussies.

But the biggest lesson in this Ashes victory comes for the fans. There’s more than one commentator who will have had a slice of humble pie with their celebratory champers last night and the man on the street is no different. After Cardiff you’d have thought this was the worst England team in living history, Edgbaston, the best and after Leeds, well we might as well have abandoned test match cricket all together.

And what do we end up with? A final test that could swing things either way, a battling performance from two sides desperate to prove they are better than their critics paint them and ultimately an Ashes series that will live long in the memory of both countries and will, hopefully, go a long way to disproving those naysayers who reckon the long form of the game is dead.

You get my point? Judge teams too earlier or on isolated events and you ‘re almost guaranteed to have egg on your face at some point in the season. Panicking before things have hardly got going, let alone before they start to draw to a close is only going to cause you stress and add fuel to the fire.

You’ve not got much choice other than to sit back, relax and let the season take shape, it’s less stressful for all concerned and, who knows, it could turn out that the rollercoaster ride is just in your head.

p.s. I wrote this away from the web this morning, this is actually what I wrote back in 2005. Oh, and congratulations to Andrew Strauss and the boys. Keep off those pedalos.

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