SW19 is (sort of) back

A day or two earlier than I’d anticipated…

Your editor is currently typing this from gate C108 at Newark airport, having had his early morning flight to Heathrow cancelled thanks to – wait for it – lightning striking the plane at the gate, rendering it unflyable.

Can’t wait for that on Air Crash Investigation. And also can’t wait for some crappy Canadian actor to play me…

So, as I spend my sixth extra hour in New Jersey, I suppose it’s a good a time as any to fire this up again and wonder what has happened in the last three weeks.

And, erm, quite a bit. I think.

I’ll write more in the upcoming week or two, but for now a quick summary – hello to our three newbies so far. Goodbye to James Hanson.

A warm welcome to 2019/20 and an even warmer “fuck off” to drawing Franchise in the Carabao Cup.

We do have three new players, don’t we? I’ve lost track, but we’ve definitely added Nathan Trott and Adam Roscrow.

One from the Welsh Premier League, and the other is another “highly rated” youngster.

To be honest, while I can understand those who were hoping/expecting somebody with more impressive Wikipedia entries – aren’t we simply doing what many have been crying out for for a long time?

Roscrow was a bit of an eyebrow raiser, even if we do need to bolster our forward line. Though it seems his move into the professional game was down to him wanting to complete his studies first.

As for our new goalie – his name will scare many an over-sensitive Womble. It’s OK, he’s not some hybrid mutant of two of our our less revered players.

I reserve the right to change my mind when he drops a clanger against Rotherham.

Actually, he seems to be legitimately well regarded in east London, and there’s some positive comments from Ammers fans about him on various social media outposts.

Which is more than one or two of our fans have been, to be honest.

There’s likely to be more announced in due course. Contracts officially expire on the 1st July, and it’s possible if not likely that the ones we’ve announced already are the low hanging fruit.

In other words, the ones where you don’t have to wait for other clubs to complete their own dealings.

As for whether our current signings are good enough, we’ll only find out when the first proper competitive fixtures kick off.

We might be seeing Walter’s preferred transfer policy already. If you’re honest, you probably haven’t heard of any of our new signings until they joined us.

And if they’re young too – well, so what? It was our thumbsuckers who helped us remain a League One club (and yes, it’s still good to write that) last season.

It’s the more “established” players who have let us down too often over the last few years. Look at the ones we’ve kept on and the ones we’ve jettisoned.

True, we do need one or two older heads, but not if they’re wage guzzlers.

The alternative to our current approach has been tried already, and James Hanson was an excellent example of how that failed.

To be fair to Hanson, he played a part in our survival, and this move is as much a reward for him as anything (as in, he can be near his family up North again).

But when you have to wrap him up in cotton wool and hope he didn’t get injured when you removed it was always going to work against him.

Not to mention his alleged wages, which was another example of the fuckwittery of the previous manager’s transfer dealings.

Still, I think everyone will wish him well. I doubt he wanted to be injured every time he drunk a glass of water, and maybe he would have been a useful asset if we’d signed him about six years earlier.

Who else is likely to come in/go out remains to be seen, but one thing we can safely say – the 18/19 campaign is now officially last season.

From now on, all talks of “this” season refers to the nine months of crap excitement that come after the pre-seasons come about.

We know the fixtures, and unsurprisingly I got nowhere near with my predictions from the last update.

We also have Franchise, and to be honest I’ve found myself increasingly non-plussed about drawing them.

True, you can’t ignore them, and it’s a bit of a circus, but it illustrates what the wider footballing world thinks when it hasn’t even been selected for telly.

No, it’s not a normal game and it can never been normal. But it’s more “normal” now than it ever has been.

And really, that’s about it for this unplanned update. At least I won’t have to write shitloads when I eventually return to SM4.

One final thing – I notice we’re already playing a PSF in Wexford this Saturday. Which is a bit of a surprise so soon after the players return, although presumably there’s a good reason for it.

Unless you’re physically on the left side of the Irish Sea, it’s a fixture most won’t get to. Which includes your editor, although given my luck with planes today, I may have an unexpected stop there after all….