These instructions only end when you run out of shampoo…
Deja vu. A small phrase, French in origin, and is described in an online dictionary definition thus: a feeling of having already experienced the present situation.
Lexicographers are already planning updates to include “AFC Wimbledon season” in the description.
I’m not sure what’s more of a surprise right now – us surrendering the lead to get scant reward, or the fact that anyone remains surprised we do so.
When we went ahead yesterday, very few people were thinking ahead to that almost unattainable victory that eludes us. Most were thinking when, not if, we let it slip.
I forget the minute we did exactly that, but it doesn’t matter. We got a point, but it still feels like a loss.
And really, it’s difficult to say much else right now, at least without sounding like a broken record. Play well for one half, play awfully for the next. You’ve heard that before.
As has anyone saying we need the second goal. Etc. Etc. Yadda yadda. Blah. Etc again.
It’s pointless going on, because you know exactly what the issues are. The remedy is blindingly obvious too – just learn to win a game or two, then the mental hurdle of victory gets vaulted over and we can finally move on.
As it stands though, any pre-season thoughts of us “moving on” are well and truly buried now. We’re back to being in a rut, mentally speaking, and you just can’t see a way out of it at the moment.
Oh, and we face Coventry at St Andrews on Tuesday. They’re top of League One. Just thought I’d mention it.
I suppose when you’ve been fighting relegation for what now looks likely to be our third straight season, you can understand the collective mood right now.
Losing to Franchise always ruins your weekend, but this past week in particular has been more negative and gloomy than I can remember for a good while.
There’s been some grade-A navel gazing, something we’re well practiced in. More often than not though, we’re too collectively introspective (SW19 is certainly guilty), and that doesn’t help matters.
Which is why it’s worth pointing two things in our favour. Which are a) it’s still only mid-September, and b) the two fixtures I’ve seen this season suggests our problems stem from a lack of confidence in seeing out games.
I should be at Brum’s ground on Tuesday, where we’ll probably get gubbed 4-0. Obviously, the longer we go without a win, the harder it becomes to get one. We’re already in the one-victory-in-however-many-games zone, though to be fair half of them were us grinding out last season.
This campaign is more defined by the latter. That we’d be second in the table if it was just based on first half results says something, though I don’t know what.
You sense that we need a good result (not necessarily a win, though that will be preferable) PDQ. Tuesday in the Midlands wouldn’t be a bad time to get it.
Imagine doing to Coventry what we ended doing at Luton at the back of last season? We didn’t win that game, but I remember the buzz off it long after the final whistle.
Of course, talking about kickstarting the season is one thing. It’s a lot harder to put it into practice.
And that’s probably why I understand a few knee-jerk reactions about the status of our current manager. I don’t agree with them one bit, but it’s expected when frustration levels skyrocket.
That said, I’m fully aware that many comments about axing him have come from those still very bitter we sacked the previous manager, and there’s a not-so-hidden agenda there.
Firing Walter will be a mistake akin to not getting rid of Ardley at any point in the last two years of his tenure. Simply because why WD has made tactical and substitute errors, I don’t think he’s quite the problem some now think he is.
It’s worth pointing out how much his hands have been tied, from having to install some resemblance of a scouting and recruitment policy to not being able to free wages by releasing some more crap in this squad.
Oh, and to do all that with the club cutting what money he did have from him. Just as well we got some dough for Sibbick.
With all that in mind, and something that got mentioned by a few in the buildup to Shrewsbury, no wonder he gives off a demeanour of not caring. I don’t doubt he does, and as pointed out on here previously he might not be the firebrand some hoped these days.
But if his job really is on the line – he’s not going to step down and miss out on the payoff. Christ, he probably saw how much NA and NC supposedly got.
Not that I think it’s a serious option right now. The club’s decision makers get enough grief as it is currently, and they will get tonnes more if they did axe him.
Plus, your editor knows for a fact that WD does play golf with at least one of Fleet Street’s finest, and a sacking could make for some very interesting discussions.
Then again, we do live in an era where yesterday a Wolves fan called for their manager to be sacked on a radio phone in. The problem with that culture is that clubs may then keep managers on past their sell-by dates just to prove they are “loyal”.
Been there, done that. Nearly paid the biggest price twice in six years because of it.
When (if?) we win our first game, such talk will die down very quickly. We need any outlet we can to vent right now, especially as this season was supposed to be “better” already.
It may well yet prove to be so. But by fuck we need to not switch off at the worst possible time…
At least we still have the security blanket of NPL to hold tightly. Imagine things right now if we didn’t have that to look forward to?
Then again, I’d be hopeful the more fundamental change within the club would have been happening right now if we weren’t holding off until next season.
And when you look at something like this, which came out this week – it all makes it feel worth it.
I think they’re the foundations needed for the West Stand, and while you can spend a few minutes looking at it all, it seems the most important update is in the description – namely, the steelworks start going in a fortnight.
This being the NPL project, a fortnight usually ends up being about three months, so don’t get too excited until there’s actual photographic proof.
When they do though, the symbolism will be just more than righting the wrong of the past 27 years. The whole thing seems to sum AFCW itself right now.
By that, I mean that you assume things are changing behind the scenes, but we’re not seeing anything of it.
Construction is straightforward – a lot of the important stuff you never see. This will be especially clear when the seats go in, it looks ready to occupy, but then you find out we still need to do things like wiring and whatnot.
When it comes to AFCW itself, part of the current black mood is feeling that things are supposed to be changing but never do. This season wasn’t supposed to be like this, after all.
But if one win really is going to make the difference, then that too becomes the football equivalent of seeing the first girder getting laid.
Trying to tell an increasingly agitated (with good reason) fanbase to simply keep being patient is like herding cats, but that might simply be the answer to our current issues right now.
Of course, if we get the first win and we still don’t kick on…