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Sniper fire

Michael Hughes has stated the obvious and has said that he wants to leave (be honest, it was the worst kept secret at WFC). Now, why does he want to fly the nest? It’s because :

“We just have different styles and different thoughts about how the game should be played”.

By “we”, I mean Hughes and Drillo. I think that the critique that Drillo gave of Hughes’ defensive performance may well have struck a raw nerve,

“My friends and family read what he said, players read it and other managers read it. I just hope people don’t think it’s fair. I don’t care what he thinks or says because I know what I am as a player”.

The thing is, Drillo did actually praise his defensive contribution after the Arsenil game, which makes me think that the hatchet between the two didn’t get buried deep enough. This gets confirmed later on, when he says :

“If you ask any other player at this club how many times they’ve been up in his office I’m sure it would be double figures. That tells a small story as far as I’m concerned. “

Funny, I thought that not being seen by your boss was a good sign? Oh well. He continues :

“I’m someone who has played two games in the last six months and for him to come out and drop the blame on my doorstep, it said it all to me”.

Like what, exactly? That he gives the ball away too much in midfield (he did that a little bit on Saturday)?

There are two schools of thought about reading this, either a) Drillo is being too harsh, or b) Michael Hughes can’t take any sort of criticism. You could say that a) applies here, but when you hear a comment like

“When Joe was here I was always in the team, whether I played well or badly.”

You start to wonder just a little. Now, I don’t have anything to complain about Michael Hughes for, but I’m starting to wonder if he’s starting to show the same sort of attitude that apparently got him dropped from West Ham? Witness :

“My first choice would be to stay here…..but only if I’m going to be given a chance to play in the team. If not, there’s no future”.

Translated, that means he expects to be in the team no matter what, and regardless of how talented a player is, if they have that sort of attitude then it ultimately does nobody any good. He’s in the team now, isn’t he? What more does he want? The one thing that worries me most about this article is the feeder line of the article – “Michael Hughes says he will quit Wimbledon if manager Egil Olsen remains in charge”.

Now, don’t you think that’s further antagonising the currently fragile situation? There’s too much back-biting and nastyness around the moment as it is, without those sort of angles. WFC support is too polarised for its own good at the moment, the last thing needed is something to further it to the point where things could implode beyond repair.

The bottom line is, do we need him? On current form, an automatic “yes” would be the answer. Long term, however, I’m not so sure.

Why? Two words – Gareth Ainsworth. Granted, Wild Thang has had awful injury problems, and may not be reliable enough, but then the same applies for Hughes. If and when Wild Thang gets fit again, it becomes less and less likely that Hughes would be a first choice player anyway – anyone at Newk away this year will testify that Ainsworth can change a game as much as Hughes can, plus from what I’ve seen of Ainsworth, he certainly appears more consistent than Hughes : remember, at the beginning of the season, Hughes was awful, he slowed the game down beyond belief, and a lot of people who now cheer his name were questioning why he was playing.

That and the infamous strop at Old Trafford…. He was especially shocking against Arsenal at Highbury, where he was given more or less a free run to do what he wanted. The SW19 line is the same as it ever was – if a player doesn’t want to play for WFC, let them leave. Even if they are amongst the most talented at the club.

Fash is jumping on the “bash WFC” bandwagon, albeit he does have much more feeling for the club than others who ply that trade. Sky Sports quote him as saying

“The club’s current predicament is a a disgrace. Wimbledon are in the bottom five and I’m very disappointed with that.”

You’re disappointed?

He continues :

“I’m very distressed by what I see from the players there now.”

Hmm, wonder who he’s referring to? Makes you wonder if he sees comments from people like Cort, Euell and Michael Hughes and thinks “that would never have happened when I was around”. If he does think that, he’s 100% spot on : could you ever imagine somebody playing in the Fash heyday era coming out and wanting a transfer request before an important game? He could be referring to the Norge population at WFC – he hasn’t said anything like this before.

But then this may have something to do with it – part of Fash’s job is to get Nigerian players into English football. Now, Fash has constantly had problems with SH turning down Nigerian players for WFC (a fact he clearly stated on Radio 4 a couple of months ago), so maybe he’s figured that with new ownership coming in, now is the time to re-lay the lawn, so to speak, and get some of his own men in. Fash touting for trade? Oh come on, you’re being cynical…….

The Milton Keynes story won’t really go away, but the “proper” media sources are suggesting that it’s Luton who are linked there. Bearing in mind that any quote from Luton comes from their Chief Executive, and any quote from WFC comes from a “source” could say everything. Even more interesting, Luton refuse to rule it out, calling it a “last resort”. Now, if you say that something is a “last resort”, then frankly it’s unlikely that you will get usurped (or gazumped for those who use modern words) by somebody else.

So, what about our ground situation? Well, we have reportedly been approached by a rugby union club – either London Irish or Harlequins – about a joint venture. Sounds logical, and it’s not a new concept – Watford and Saracens, QPR and Wasps etc show that it’s a viable business venture. Don’t discount the fact that we were going to share with the Irish at Sunbury…. the key is, where to plonk a new stadium? I wouldn’t disregard Harlequin’s ground, The Stoop at Twickenham, even though it’s an utter pain in the arse to get to, though redevelopment around there could be fun. The fact that both clubs have even considered approaching us makes you wonder if somewhere is in the pipeline. Surely?