MK Dons’ love affair has been fleeting so far this season, but they’ll be desperate to avoid a TV romance with the Championship.
Everyone has sat through the formulaic TV series loosely based on the romance dynamic. Whether it’s Ross and Rachel, Leonard and Penny or Doug and Carol, it always plays out the same.
It’s like the writers have a mental block - the entire premise of the show is to get the couple together, so when they finally get there, they’re fresh out of ideas so they break them up again just when the audience is appeased.
It had taken Karl Robinson five seasons to finally kiss the girl, metaphorically speaking, in sending Dons into the second tier. And it was a kiss that came straight out of a script, with all the late drama and ‘will they, won’t they’ until the very last scene of the series.
Now they’re together though, things aren’t as perfect as they ought to be. In fact, they’re running dangerously close to that textbook break-up.
They dropped into the relegation yesterday (Sunday) as a result of a resurgent Rotherham side. Under the guidance of Neil Warnock, the Millers have gone on a quite magnificent run with four wins from their last five, launching them into 20th spot.
Few would have expected anything other than defeat for Dons against Brighton on Saturday, especially given the gulf in league positions. But few at stadium:mk will have walked away thinking Dons aren’t going to fight until the fight is over.
Even reduced to 10 men for the remaining 19 minutes after Kyle McFadzean’s minute of madness, Dons were on the front foot, and came within a foot or so of snatching an unlikely equaliser and overturning a 2-0 deficit to take their own undefeated record to four. Carl Baker’s penalty though went almost exactly to script, as he took to Twitter to utter a four letter expletive in describing his spot kick.
Performances such as the one against Brighton and indeed Hull seen days earlier didn’t just have Antony Kay goals in common, but an unrelenting desire to defy the odds and keep the girl after all.
But maybe this season will go the way of the script. Maybe the lust and desire won’t be enough, won’t be strong enough to make it last. Maybe underestimating how hard the relationship would be last summer will come back to haunt Dons in a way that will see them back in the third tier against next season.
If Dons end up losing the relegation battle in May, the heartbreak will be painful, the suffering will live long in the memories and it may even take a little time to get to a point where they can start all over again.
One thing all the aforementioned couples have in common though is that eventually, come the end, they end up together. And perhaps they won’t call it a split, maybe they go on a break.