… not the same as the old one.
So, first game in 2018WD (as opposed to 2018AD) and we’re sitting here this weekend with a point.
It’s not three of them, of which we’ve had too few this campaign, but it’s not zero either – and we’ve had more than our fill of those already this campaign.
By all accounts, some things have changed already under WD/GH, but as the first half illustrated – some haven’t.
I guess there was a realisation amongst many yesterday after watching the first 45 minutes that there wasn’t going to be a magical transformation of a team that is, simply put, shit.
The second half on the other hand is the flip side of that particular penny dropping. Many have said this was like “old” Wimbledon, and because of that we got a point that may prove vital.
That we did it without Piggot is one thing, but we also did it without Soares, Trotter and Appiah in the second half. Q, E and indeed D.
It’s our first draw in any league fixture since Barnsley away, and that was on the 18th August. A stat that manages to be both mind-boggling and yet totally unsurprising.
Yes, we’ve been that bad.
What yesterday proves is what WD will need to do before January. Somehow, he’s got to get this lot grinding out results – which to be fair, is exactly what we did yesterday.
We would have lost this game under the previous manager, and probably under Bassey as well, but already there’s just a little glimmer of a green shoot.
Is this a false dawn? Maybe, maybe not. We’ll find out in the remaining games of 2018, of which there are thankfully just four of them. All are winnable, but all equally loseable as well.
While they’ve both undoubtedly done their homework before taking charge, and getting the lowdown off our own Tony Parkes figure, both WD and Hodger will have learnt much, much more about us now.
Apparently some of our players couldn’t cope in the end with the extra intensity expected of them now. There’s a long charge sheet already getting written for this season, but apparent lack of fitness is one of the most negligent.
That will come in time, hopefully sooner rather than later. Though we may find out the hard way just how brittle some of our players actually are.
Training this week could be interesting, because they’ll be turning up tomorrow knowing that they’ve ground out a point that they likely wouldn’t have got earlier in the season.
In itself, it would make them more receptive to the new ideas, because it’s already proven to get a result. That little bit of “yeah, we can do it” encouragement.
Walter’s post match interview was quite interesting, because he was mentioning about how he would have needed to work on the motivation side of things if we had lost.
Already, that’s a sign that while it may not ultimately succeed – getting into the players heads to begin with goes a long way.
There’s an acceptance that things aren’t going to change overnight, and that will temper some of the over-enthusiasm. We’ll find out more from WD as there’s a Meet The Manager next Wednesday.
But we’re living in interesting times now – on the field and off it too…
I asked for (and received) a copy of the notes by Erik Samuelson in yesterday’s programme, which are quite interesting to read. And no, I’m not reposting the photo, the club’s lawyers will start getting sniffy.
I can appreciate the club not wanting to rush into an appointment, with the 22 days it took to appoint WD, but then I thought 21 days for NA was too long back in 2012 too.
And while it’s not nice that there was a couple of emails to him with a threatening undertone, when you’re a high profile figure you should expect a couple. Not everyone behaves in the way you expect them to, after all.
But the whole thing about “leaks” was interesting. It’s no secret that there’s an element of control freakery at AFCW, and the club likes to keep things under wraps as much as it can, but one senses the control of the narrative was lost.
If one person leaks to interested parties, it may be considered somebody with a grudge or an agenda. Or unintentional. I note there was a comment that nearly every applicant had an agent, and no doubt the story about Nolan was put out there deliberately.
That’s something the club has to get used to. Football is not an ethical business, and it never has been.
If there was more than one individual not being able to keep quiet, that’s a different issue altogether. This may be a simple case of good old-fashioned whistleblowing, which these days is easier than ever.
Previously, a newspaper or whoever could suppress things, but the leaks involving our new manager search were played out on various parts of social media. And that’s impossible to control.
Why couldn’t certain people** (whoever they are) keep schtum about this? I don’t know, you’ll have to ask them – if you can even prove their identity to begin with.
** – this isn’t an AFCW related comment by the way, but I’m surprised just at the sort of people who are ready to spill the beans to interested parties. The individual I’m thinking of right now is a lawyer who is involved in one of the very top clubs in this country.
Is there a power struggle within the corridors of KM right now? No idea. Person(s) genuinely uncomfortable with the way the club was going about the process, and decided they needed to speak out? Maybe.
But then, things are a bit different these days. Which leads me onto the Dons Trust elections…
To be honest, like most people I don’t pay that much attention to the DT. Too much of the time, it reminds me of “proper” politics, in a parish council/residents association way. And people in politics are a bit weird to begin with, not in a good way either.
It’s only a mechanism in running a football club anyway, and if it forgets that it simply becomes irrelevant to the majority of those who go to games.
But like “proper” politics, it has its moments when there’s a (relatively speaking) surge in interest. Which is what has happened with this latest bout of DT elections.
There were a lot of murmurings about how things needed to be different. That wasn’t just social media chatter, at games too – something even the less involved picked up on.
That there’s four new people elected is one thing. That all bar one is I think younger than your editor is another (such a generational change may be even more noteworthy). And that the four incumbents were down the bottom is probably the most damning of them all.
With a result like that, the conclusion is that a lot of people have felt let down by the current (old?) DTB. Even to my untrained eye, it’s come across as a rubber stamp for whatever the FCB comes up with.
Perhaps unfair, but it’s given the impression that it’s aloof, over-bureaucratic and unresponsive.
I would guess 80%Gate has played a lot on the minds of those who voted. That managed to genuinely offend a lot of people, especially some of our older fans who really did think the club turned against them.
As they say in proper politics, look at the optics. And the perception was not good for the current DTB at all.
But then, I think it was more than that. The DTB seemed part of that all-round staleness that has engulfed AFCW until very recently. NA leaving was perhaps the biggest catalyst of the lot, because if he could depart, then so could everyone else.
I’m not sure what its role is in the footballing side of things, but when you’re playing shit with no obvious reaction (until recently) about doing something about it, you do expect a response from those saying they’re in charge.
Especially when you make great play of telling members that they can boot people out. Because there’s a good chance they’ll do exactly that.
Will this result make much difference in the grand scheme of things? Superficially, yes. But fundamentally, I dunno – if you ask most people who makes the decisions at AFCW, they’ll probably say Erik Samuelson does.
Even though it was a much increased turnout, it’s still less than a third of those who go to matches. The DT itself suffers from relevancy with those under 35, apparently.
And more people will read this very sentence than would have voted for the top ranked candidate.
But in a club that needs an overhaul in every area, it’s another step in the right direction. The days of how we’ve done things in the last sixteen years are drawing to a close, and not before time either.
Not that everything is perfect all of a sudden. After all, if it took some while to realise that Wordsworth wasn’t suspended for yesterday after all…