Waving the white flag?

Another game, another surrender to Franchise…

There’s a reason why I practically blank out all bar smartphone updates whenever we play them, and this past 24 hours has reminded me why.

No, I didn’t go to the game (obviously), nor did I watch it on telly. I had a very nice time up that London browsing around a big record fair. And not for the first time this season, I had the better end of the bargain.

So I’m going to take peoples’ word about how we played, especially in the first half. Which is going to level a charge of first-degree hypocrisy later on against me, but I have my legal team standing by…

I guess Walter naming an Ardley-esque starting XI, and backfiring when they scored, set the scene for the day. In what alternative universe is Will Nightingale a midfielder?

Our previous manager lost his job in part because he wasn’t as clever as he thought he was. I hope our current one isn’t starting to do likewise.

Mind you, and this has gone unmentioned – I wonder why McDonnell played instead of Tzanev? Not that I’m complaining, the latter needs a season on-loan somewhere, and it’s now that those plans get finalised.

Sadly, nobody wanted Appiah, and his name got mentioned in dispatches a lot. Usually along the lines of “Forss should start ahead of him in every game from now on”.

Which if you’re looking for positivity right now, you might have it. Mr Championship-Quality got shown what actual Championship quality is.

Given that him and Sanders only arrived Monday, I can understand why they came off the bench. By all accounts, they changed the game when they did, and we might have saved our season with them.

No sign of Wordsworth on the bench though, he was doing co-comms with WDON. We’ll need him back sooner rather than later, too.

I could go on, but yet again it’s another fixture of a good 45 minutes failing to repair the damage of the other half.

Certainly Walter’s honeymoon is now over, and just as Ardley got blame over negative tactics our current manager can get it too.

A few are already calling for his head, although unlike our previous boss one wonders if WD will be more attuned to what fans are saying to him?

I was going to update this last night, but decided to hang on until this morning, and it’s just as well because it seems a few mongoloids decided to have a go at him in the car park.

As somebody said when I was writing this – if only the players had shown the same passion three hours earlier.

OK, you could ask why our manager travels separately (he was seen in a pub after the game at Shrewsbury last year too), although that’s not as unusual as you might think.

But maybe, just maybe, this incident will finally shake us from the cowardice we have over them.

Simply put, AFCW has a complex when it comes to Franchise – we continue to have no idea how to approach playing them.

That’s been the case after the first game at KM, where we finally pushed our luck too far with the EFL who neutered** us afterwards.

** – and as said on here before, we should be thankful we got away with it as much as we did for that…

We’ve stunk of shit against them in the two games this past four weeks, which is bad enough as it is. But this has been the case since your editor’s one and only game against them – and more proof our issues haven’t suddenly come about.

Just as the scales fell from many eyes that night, the reality check for many today is starting to sink in.

Those who wanted “old skool Wimbledon” may feel even more deflated than usual right now, because this wasn’t supposed to happen with the current guy in charge.

But Walter knows the game has moved on.

The fantasy of lunging into their players, WD to swing a punch at Tisdale, leaving a turd in the changing room that isn’t called Appiah – it was built on a myth that was never there to begin with.

And that’s because old skool Wimbledon is dead. It’s been dead since the middle of the OGEM era in the 1990s, when we were still WFC.

I don’t want to get too nostalgic for those times, but the whole Dublin Dons thing was the start of what ultimately led to 28/5 and the formation of AFCW.

Looked, I enjoyed the 1980s as much as anyone who experienced them, but that was 35 years ago. Of course WD has changed in that time, he would be out of football full stop if he hadn’t.

If I had paid attention back then to those who talked about the early days of the Les Henley era, I would have thought they were old duffers stuck in the 1950s.

Yet this will make anyone from that era feel very old – my first game was in 1984, and Henley took over in 1955. That’s still a shorter period than from WD making his senior debut to today.

Why should players understand the feeling those who experienced 28/5 did? Most of them were just starting school when it happened, and it won’t be too long before many will not have been born.

Something that applies to our fanbase, too.

Sure, I expect a minimum of effort from them, just as any supporter of any team does, and we failed on that score yesterday. Walter’s tactics didn’t help, and I hope he got the message.

But when you consider the buildup to yesterday from the club, which has been very low-key in previous fixtures, no wonder we go into the game without a spine.

Not mentioning “MK Dons” in the buildup is a symptom of that. Sure, that’s done not to piss off our own supporters, but the club isn’t shy doing that other times.

And no, nobody from AFCW has contacted those over Seatgate, as far as I know. Still not forgotten.

The approach before that cathartic first game at KM can never be repeated – that was a once off, with a unique set of circumstances and emotions. Like the Crazy Gang from the 1980s, it’s history.

Our current attitude costs us morale-boosting wins, because it makes us timid and go into our shell.

And yes, this is where the charge of hypocrisy is going to get leveled at me – I’m having a go at AFCW for not taking this fixture by the horns, yet I won’t even watch the highlights afterwards?

Fine, guilty as charged, your honour. But the difference is that I’m merely one supporter. There were quite a few with my viewpoint yesterday, including one who decided to sleep in all the while it was on.

But the club has to face up to those fixtures because, well, it’s the club.

It has to be bolder now in approaching it these days, because we’re seeing the alternative and it sucks of shit. And just adds to the growing disillusion that’s occurring again.

Instead of barely acknowledging it, fire people up in the buildup. The OS could easily do a “We won in the JPT at Stadium:MT, let’s repeat it” montage beforehand.

Yeah, that might piss off a few of the “never surrender” brigade, but their attitude isn’t helping us any more.

Nobody wants to play this fixture, but yesterday 560 went to Stadium:MT to see us shit the bed at the worst possible venue. They’re the ones who bothered to turn up in the flesh, and they have a far stronger stomach that I (and others) have.

If nothing else, do it for them.

The argument about not turning up to the FrenzyDome ended for the first FAC game there. While there’s an element of our support that lectures others on what games they should/shouldn’t attend**, most of us accept it’s an individual choice.

** – the comment that managed to annoy me most yesterday was in fact somebody who suggested the 560 should have put money into Seedrs instead.

Barring the inevitable FAC draw against them in November, the next time we face them will be in April, in perhaps the penultimate ever game at KM.

Maybe we’ll have grown a spine by then? It would be nice, especially as right now that could be a relegation decider for us.

And if Franchise could send us down that day, will the club wave that white flag beforehand? Sadly, you wouldn’t put it past them…