Imp Bizkit

Yes, an update. And not just for the chance to use that headline before I forget it…

I see that absolutely nothing much has changed since I last properly updated. I’m sure you can draw your own conclusions on that.

As expected, Charlton became just another sorry statistic in this increasingly wretched campaign. I don’t need to do any sort of writeup or analysis, as the Sun did a pretty devastating job on that particular front.

I know the views of places like this and WUP get treated with a bit of disdain, but when a national newspaper starts making exactly the same points, and in quite mocking terms as well, that’s when the club’s dirty little secret isn’t so secret any longer.

It’s clearly well researched, by people who obviously know what they’re looking at, although I don’t know whether they’re AFCW affiliated or not. If they aren’t, then word about how shit we are is seeping out…

True, one newspaper article won’t make all the difference. That said, and this will send the Guardianista types into frothing dismay, I would guess a significant percentage of the rank-and-file read the Currant Bun and may have had their views reinforced.

Or changed.

Which makes quite a backdrop to tomorrow against Lincoln. It might have been one of the worst draws we could have had in the current situation, because it’s practically no-win.

If we get victory tomorrow and a good one at that, it’s be job done but won’t change much. We’re a L1 side (yes, really), and we’d have beaten somebody in the division below us. Our name is in the hat, and that’s more or less the bare minimum.

But even a scraped 1-0 win off the arse of Darius won’t really change the current mood. I think Plymouth might have done it for a lot of people, as that was a tactical kick in the bollocks once too often.

A draw? Again, name in the hat but little else. I can predict the post-game comments if it’s 0-0 already – “set up not to lose”, “dire”, “we’re doing this against a L2 side?”. And let’s face it, they wouldn’t be wrong.

And as for a loss…

What’s clear is how much the expectation levels have slumped. We shouldn’t even be thinking about draws or losses against a side in a lower division, but that’s what the majority seem to be predicting right now.

Lincoln aren’t mugs, and they’ll be sniffing blood tomorrow. Plus, they’ll probably have a large percentage of the crowd, which again highlights our current predicament.

By the sounds of it, many are voting with their feet for this game. Prices aren’t helping – £14 for OAPs to sit down is a bit steep to watch something that is likely to be pretty awful, not to mention what it is for working adults.

But even those who can afford it more, there’s a distinct lack of enthusiasm. We all know why, but while waiting at Newark airport on Wednesday, something struck your editor about AFCW at this moment.

Right now, this club feels, well, odd.

The vibe is quietly mutinous, there’s a lot of deep dis-satisfaction and yes, disillusionment. That’s to be expected when you’re as bad as we are. But on a more fundamental level, something at this club doesn’t feel right at the moment.

And it’s hard to put a finger on why, or indeed what it is. The remedy for it though could be quite straightforward – the club itself needs a change in direction, to clean out the stables.

Not just on the field, where the need to halt our downward spiral is beyond urgent, but off it as well. I won’t go into details, but there’s been a couple of incidents this season alone where the club and individuals within it have acted strangely (and not in a good way either).

When regimes run their natural course, things get picked up on more. Unforced errors get made much more frequently. The cracks, or faultlines start appearing. People don’t hold their tongue in as much, and that contributes to the all round negative vibe.

AFCW itself certainly fits that description right now, and everything is catching up with us this season. We got it in 2012/13 and we’re getting it again this time around too.

The club knew back then it had to be much more professional than it was, although it’s up to you whether you think they’ve entirely learned their lesson from that. For an “ambitious” club, we can be very slow to change.

The constant Waiting-For-Godot over the s106s for NPL don’t help the mood at all, needless to say. What should be the catalyst for AFCW making the next step seems as far away as ever, especially as there’s no tangible news beyond the usual glib platitudes.

Except we’re not even getting them right now. The radio silence over it is starting to get disconcerting, and it’s hard not to think that there are problems we’re not being told about.

Which would be typical of the way things have gone this season. I expect it will get sorted eventually, the club simply can’t afford not to, but it’s directly affecting operations right now**

** – this is a large reason why I think NA is still in his job – the club simply doesn’t want to pay out the severance, and would rather wait until the end of the season. L1 to L2 isn’t nearly as bad as L2 to the Conference, after all. Though that’s still five more months of justifying the same negative shit…

The club has based the next couple of years on simply ticking over, but the real world of football punishes such reactionary complacency. Just like it did in 12/13 too, where AFCW badly miscalculated what it needed and just about escaped by the skin of its teeth.

Tomorrow might be a watershed moment if we lose, not for anything to actually happen but for what the collective expectations are for the rest of 17/18. If there’s no obvious sign of improvement, then more people will simply pick and choose games – at KM as well.

Familiarity breeds contempt, as somebody said while I was out of the country, and there’s an increasing amount of the latter right now.

Of course, we might win 4-0 tomorrow. And that might be the biggest cup upset of the lot…

49 thoughts to “Imp Bizkit”

  1. AFC Wimbledon 0 – 1 Lincoln City – Billy Knott (ex-loanee better than anybody we have in midfield)

    By the way Akinfenwa has 9 league goals so far this season – shame we do not have anyone who can head in our crosses or corners.

  2. I have nothing but admiration for what Neal Ardley has done for the club, and saving us in the 2012-13 from certain relegation, although looking back we were comfortably sitting in 16th place with 6 to play. 3 defeats on the spin but us back in the drop zone which led to that nerve wracking game against Fleetwood. We should have been safe by then! There does seem to be an underlining fact that Ardley tinkers too much with players and formations. If you have a winning system don’t change it! He continues to concentrate on the opposition too much and should concentrate on letting our team do their thing on the pitch without all this defence first business. Ok we may lose a few, but at least we’ll win a few as well. The football served up at present is dire and so unlike Wimbledon teams of the past. I know times change but the team needs to go out and be free from these negative shackles.
    We struck it lucky with the playoff run and will be forever grateful for Ardley getting us promoted but this season has shades of 2012-13 again where the recruitment in the summer was poor and besides we look like we can get a little run together with what we have and Ardley sets the team up negativity once more.
    I want to see Ardley make a success but cannot see where the next good result will come from. I don’t buy into this low budget issue either, it never affected Wimbledon teams of the past. The desire and hunger is not there due to how the team is setup which has been filtered down from the management staff. Its concerning how top goalscorers from other teams join us and cannot hit the back of the net but as soon as they move on start hitting the target which indicates we setup negativity. COYD

  3. Having just read this post as well as the comments section of the previous post it does feel like the club is divided off the field between Erik, Ardley & the Ardley in people and then the Ardley out brigade.

    Can’t help but think Erik coming out and explaining why the club hasn’t sacked Ardley would do some good overall. As much as he & others work hard on NPL, the football side of the club is the most important thing as it drives the club forward. I’d like to know why Ardley keeps getting rewarded with a job yet in 2017 his management has been diabolical.

    The thing that worries me is the arrogance from Ardley and some of the higher echelons running the club. Maybe it’s getting to the stage where more than just the manager needs the boot.

    As for tomorrow – It’s not going to be a surprise if we lose. Lincoln have a good manager who is taking his club in the right direction. Feels like a long time since we’ve been able to say the same.

    P.S. – Chesterfield were in League one this season & are now bottom of league 2. That could happen to us the rate we score goals. That’s why retaining Ardley whilst nothing seems to change is a problem. It could get much worse.

    1. Quite. All we get is endless turd polishing of our dismal form through our official channels and unctuous interviews with Neal and Neil, cherry-picked stats and all.

      The heads-in-the-sand propaganda only serves to further distance officials from fans, most of who are all too aware that Ardley is past his use-by date.

    2. There are some good points but you cannot seriously expect anything more from the club in support of Ardley than what you are getting: “confidence in his abilities”, “expectation of turning it around”, “key players coming back”. Erik isn’t formally going to say that we are screwed financially or something even more sinister is happening (pace REPD’s hints).

      It is odd that there is such a disjunct between fans and club but we can’t even get enough people to stand for a DTB, a group very supportive of the status quo, to have an election. Some of the previous incumbents were trouble makers but often you need a trouble maker to stir things up, I don’t think we have any.

  4. A very fair enough sum up of current situation at our club. However I’ll now go one further and say this…we are no longer a strong unit on and off the field. There are persons far too comfortable or set in their ways…I believe the strong link between us the fans and those in higher position’s at club has been on slide for a while now. And what grates the most with me is I feel we are being taken for mugs. I also believe regards no improvement on the pitch any other club would have at very least has crisis talks with NA. It will all eventually come out in the wash. But as things stand. .all I can see is a long long frustrating and tired season…and eventually NA will go but it will be far too late and we’ll be grounded to bottom of League 1. Very sad indeed as it could be fixed…least an effort to be changed. But it needs it NOW.

  5. Interesting comparison with Chesterfield. Think I am right in saying they have sacked two managers already in 2017. Doesn’t seem to have done them much good.

  6. Welcome back Rob.
    Think I read somewhere Lincoln are also struggling to get goals ….
    Not going tomorrow as no discredit to Lincoln but you excite me; I usually miss such games for credit points with the missus for other matches; I have planned things to do; and finally at present are you really that enamoured to go?

    This is an occasion where if you wish you can evoke that memorable power we had after 2002; we withheld our £!
    That will make those off pitch sit up and listen.
    More difficult with season tkts but there’s always discretionary spending in bars etc. that can be capped

  7. I actually think we had quite a good summer transfer window and probably have one of the strongest squads we have had to date (I include the talented youth that are available at the moment), albeit without the 4th striker/target man. If a couple of results had been more positive (I am only referring to points on the board here and not entertainment value!) then we would be sitting just below mid table and where we realistically should be aiming.
    The Plymouth game is still irritating me and not so much the result but the way the team was set up so defensively at home against a struggling team at the bottom of the table. Having said that I definitely think we are strong enough to stay up this season if the team is allowed to play, players playing in their actual position etc. etc.
    I am very surprised that some fans are almost resigned to thought we will be L2 next season. There is no way we should be thinking like this at the beginning of Nov. It could take us years to get back out of L2 and it would be such a shame to waste all the hard work it took to get to L1.
    If NA is too blinkered to see that his way does not work then he has to walk or be pushed before it’s too late (I have always been a big NA fan by the way). Something has to change and I don’t think a shuffle of players in the Jan transfer window is the answer.

    1. Someone somewhere within the club has to at least raise the point we all made about Plymouth which encapsulated our season so far. If Erik et al do not feel qualified to ask that question get someone in like Dave Bassett to ask on their behalf. Or better still one if the current team question it and say its been discussed. The silence is as deafening as it is on the Government’s Brexit position!

    2. I think people are resigning themselves to L2 already, not because these players are capable of staying up – they are – but because of the very real issue of being shackled for too many games.

      Rotherham and Plymouth may have highlighted our problems in a nutshell.

    3. It makes zero difference to the outcome of the season whether some supporters are resigned to relegation already. If things are that fragile that a few people’s pessimism is crucial then they are right to be resigned.

      I think the current management team and squad spells relegation and experience suggests a change of management is as likely to produce worse results as better. I’d prefer to be in League 1 but I can watch League 2 football if necessary, I just want to be entertained at at least some of the games, which is why I’m tending to the Ardley out camp.

      1. OI
        But at the moment it appears to be a do nothing strategy which currently is producing failure on the pitch. That I think we can agree upon.
        Yes a change of manager is a risk but if the chances are as much a failure than a success and we already are on the road to failure is it just not a matter of timing.
        I think the evidence suggests if you get a bounce it really only lasts about 12 games or so before you revert to type.
        I sometimes feel I want to stand in front of NA and give him a slap – he needs to wake up, smell the coffee and at least TRY a change. Then if it works shackle him away from the team until the next time it goes wrong. Then we might have a chance….

      2. “Experience suggests a change of management is as likely to produce worse results as better”

        We debunked that myth for you on one of SW19’s threads a few weeks ago Old Is by looking at the relevant info regarding League 1 over the last 5-7 years and not on the Premier League focused study you looked at.

        1. Anyone can pick a period that proves their case. In general in football management changes are roughly neutral, so I will stick to the formula “as likely to produce worse results as better”.

          You clearly disagree. Fine.

          1. You wanted some evidence, got it – ignored it and reverted to opinion (which goes against the grain of you always wanting “facts”). I’d take what is current and happening in this league over the last 5-7 years as about as accurate barometer as you can get. Pious old twat!

    4. I’m not jumping on any ‘sack NA’ bandwagon though I can fully see the time has come for something big to change. If we do nothing the big change will be L2 football come August. Where I have to disagree with you Ben, is that when the pre-season horse-trading was done I was filled with a sense of doom due to one fact. We won’t score enough goals to stay up. I have a close mate who supports Middlesbrough. When they reached the Prem last time we agreed that they would go straight down as they would not score enough goals. The defence was quite sound but where were the goals going to come from? They went down. Didn’t score enough goals. Too many 0-1 results…. anything sound familiar? Maybe we did buy well, although I can’t see it. Also I am a bit biased in my feelings as the two games I’ve seen at home this year were Shrews 0-1 and Plymouth 0-1. I’ve never seen AFC play with so little spirit as the Shrews game. At least the last 10 minutes against PA reminded me of Plough Lane. Regarding the Cup game today a defeat won’t surprise me at all. Hoping for a win though!

  8. NA has built this rod for his own back by his arrogance and patronizing approach to fans.

    The silence on the s106 is now a major issue, by Christ we need some good news. I stand by my precious pits that I simply don’t see how Erik and the DTB can take on the sacking of a manager when this is probably so all consuming.

    And for all the perpetual whingers on here like YW surely NPL has to be the priority. And no Erik and the club right now don’t he time to do both.

    So right now I’m cutting the club some slack re this whilst they get the s106 over the line. Remember Erik has literally devoted many years of his life to this for free so some respect there would be nice.

    Once this is out of the way then NA can be dealt with. I think he’s beyond saving now. It happens. Managers reach their use by date. He may well have had a gutful and is just staying on until the s106 is signed as well as a favour to Erik, we just don’t know.

    Even if it means string relegated because we deal with NA too late I’d still like the s106 to be the focus right now as there’s simply a limit to how much can be taken on right now.

        1. Paul – Am I really? Lovely for you to say such kind words. Wide of the mark and untrue..but lovely all the same.

          1. It’s been said too often & by too many people about you YW for it not to have some element of truth. Maybe if you didn’t treat other’s views so contemptuously & dismissively you wouldn’t attract comments like that…. especially as Paul actually appears to be agreeing with you regarding NA, but raises the perfectly plausible point that the hugely lengthy, protracted & above all critically important issue of the new ground/S106 might have hit a delay or snag, which could hypothetically explain why there’s not been an update in that department for a while…. what’s blinkered about that?

      1. You are much better in pictures than word YW. I enjoyed that 9 years forum and would have been genuinely interested to hear your views on the adequacy of our scouting network.

  9. 24 hours until kick off for our FA first round proper match and tickets are available for all sections of the ground – that in itself should be a massive concern for all at the club. Surely if we don’t win tomorrow Ardley needs the boot? Love the guy and he’s been great for the club, but we can’t keep going on like this.

  10. Plymouth really was the turning point for me and, I presume, many other fans. To burst the balloon of hope, after a couple of decent performances, with such a paranoid defensive team set up, was soul destroying. I doubt the board will act, so I hope the shaming by the Sun, will finally see the penny drop for NA. The relationship is probably beyond repair now though. Up for the cup.

  11. I wonder when the ‘Head in the sand, wait for New Plough Lane Brigade’will finally wake up.

    NPL will be a side show if we wake up in the Conference in a couple of years time.

    The irony of this is, that accepting the journeyman midfielders, we have more than a decent team, just consistently grossly mismanaged.

    1. NPL a sideshow, are you fucking serious? I am sure 99% of fans would take a return to plough land over a relegation any day.

      I’m not saying it should be one or the other and clearly I have turned against NA too. All I am saying is that just right now the Board has to put the noise of NA to one side and get the s106 over the line before it deals with the management situation.

  12. Paul
    First off would you kindly refrain from using expletives in your comments and stick to constructive debate.
    No one appreciates it.

    The board taking their eyes off the playing side of club business will be at their peril.

    Take your eyes off the fundamentals of any business and your business will suffer as a result.

    1. Calling NPL a sideshow is hardly constructive to be honest.

      As long as we are fan owned and at Kingsmeadow we will always be financially strapped and staying in League 1 will be over-achieving. At the moment we are a League 2 level club that has punched above our weight. It would be nice to continue to do so but 10 years from now, getting NPL sorted will seem of far greater importance in our history than staying in League 1.

      I think Ardley has reached the point of no return but I doubt a new manager will save us this season. A new manager might (a) play more entertaining football and (b) better prepare us for stability in League 2 and then a promotion push.

      1. Swear by all means – I do, but I don’t swear at others individually on here. This is a forum of opinion and it’s been brilliant because of that. I don’t agree with everything everybody says on here but I don’t call those I don’t agree with stupid names accompanied by swear words aimed directly at them.
        The main argument for months now has been about NA – whatever the opinion about him, it doesn’t need certain individuals picking a fight over it by swearing and cursing at them. Most of my moaning is “fucking Nil again; fucking lost again, fucking stats again” etc. If others don’t agree, I respect their views but see no reason to get personal with them. Just agree to differ and get on with the debate!

  13. As an aside, I for one, DO appreciate expletives and I think there should more of them on SW19’s Army. The wider use of the English vernacular used to be so much better on here. If it’s good enough for those mighty wordsmiths William Shakespeare, Geoffrey Chaucer and Roy Capell, it’s good enough for this website.

    So in that spirit let’s get Abdou-fucking-lutely cunted on Saturday, get behind everyone and roar the team to victory.

    1. Really did LOL at that – Roy Capell (RIP and much missed) ranked alongside Shakespeare and Chaucer, brilliant. Hello my love, you caaarrrnt!

      Thankfully I’m away this weekend so won’t have to endure the Lincoln game. Hope I’m wrong and we manage a shot on goal at least. Not too much to hope for, surely?

  14. £24 to watch utter shite. No thanks.

    If we lose tomorrow the club simply has to sack Ardley.

    They won’t of course and we’ll be stuck in this rut all season

  15. Lincoln are big ugly bastards who will go long so I think Tuesday might give us a clue how we’re going to set up. A back 3 possibly including Robbo to counter the aerial threat and Harry, Barch, Egli and Lyle all out there to try and play round them.

  16. Lads, lads, lads…..Panic ye not ! I’ve looked at the Runes, and found ye old Arithmetic progression:::::::::
    In August we managed just 4 points in the League,
    But by September it went up to 5 points
    Then October the dizzy heights of 6 points..
    Projecting that through the following months 7,8,9,10,11 to 12 points in April…. we will end up with 71 points….Heck that could mean the play-offs again !!!!!!!!
    So we’re going to be alright !!!! We love Neil Ardley

    course we’ll still be playing shite.

    And that doesn’t cover the FA cup so we’ll lose again today Damn !!!

  17. I fully expect us to lose today but I’m going anyway as I’ve never seen us play them & am meeting an imps supporter from work. I won’t be changing my opinion on Nil Ardley regardless of the result as after Rotherham & Plymouth a 10-0 win today would still see him change to a 5-5-0 formation against the Posh.

  18. I have not posted on here for quite a while but I have to agree REPD that something does not feel right with the Club at present. There’s no information from the Club about NPL and I wonder whether the repayment of the £1m Grant is causing some problems. If it is, I expect the Management would be hoping for a good Cup run to put some badly needed funds into the coffers. If this doesn’t happen I cannot see NA surviving.
    As for the this disappointing season I have I’ve lost all faith as it doesn’t feel a good place to go to at present. It’s the same old, same old on the pitch and off the the pitch. Even the music selection is coming out the same old record box.
    I will not be at game today (can’t be asked) because it’s hard to show support to people you cannot support.
    I’m a season ticket holder and don’t miss many matches at home but even next week I might decide to watch the Peterborough game on TV from the comfort of my arm chair. At least I can bale out at the push of a button.

    1. I think that it is entirely down to the funding issue that leads to the club’s inability to make the appropriate decision relating NA.

      The compensation (in the event if NA is sacked) might be the lingering reason why the management hesistate to take. This does not include the appointment of his replacement. I know that there are few able candidates who can guide the team up the league table. I am of view that it will be worthwhile for the management to make this decision. However, I doubt that the management is extremely unlikely to make such decision due to the funding issue. If this is the case, should the management be responsible if the club gets relegated this season? I don’t know. A lot of much consideration has to be noted in particularly the club’s ability to stay profitable by adopting the shoestring budget.

      Has the club management taken the necessary action to operate the club on shoestring budget? I believe so and think that the club management will not want the club to be wound up in view of the sad demise of the old Wimbledon in 2002.

      I believe that the above-mentioned information are points which I feel that it is worthwhile pondering.

      Regardless of what happens, I think that the most important thing is that the club maintains a prudent financial approach. Through such approach, the fans still has a fan-owned club to look forward week in week out through the years.

      My two cents worth of opinion

      Ben

    2. I thought the only issue about the grant was if we built a non-compliant stadium, i.e. one with standing. Are there any other possible problems you are aware of?

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