I sometimes wonder whether it’s time for the country to start thinking about its retirement. We’ve been very successful, way more successful than our size would indicate.

The recession did it for me; I decided that I’d had enough of trying to keep up with roaring house price inflation and buying the biggest fucking car someone else will finance for you at an astronomical APR. Instead, the attraction of a quieter more localised happiness grew ever more compelling.

On Tuesday night we sold out the away end at Cheltenham whilst at Chelsea, Stamford Bridge was noticeably empty for their Champions League tie against Marseille.

Let’s face it, there were still a lot of people watching Chelsea, but this is a club and competition that anjoys blanket media coverage, whilst Cheltenham v Oxford is an early season local skirmish of two mid-table teams. Pound for pound, Cheltenham v Oxford was a more popular gig on the night.

I was at home but couldn’t be bothered to watch the WORLD’S BIGGEST CLUB COMPETITION. It wasn’t just the distraction of our game. I couldn’t be bothered to watch Manchester United the next day either. And, judging by the empty seats in Valencia neither could many others.

Perhaps it means nothing; but perhaps it means there’s shifting sand. Maybe people are fed up with trying to be absolutely humungous and, instead, are looking at things that make us happy in a more modest, but ultimately more rewarding way. Perhaps seeing a team working hard and being rewarded in the surrounds of Whaddon Road makes us happier than the predictable pantomimes of the so-called best.

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