Skip to content

Tales from the Orient

Just think, in exactly one month’s time it’ll all be over….. today, whilst others went to the training ground (more later), I went to watch Leyton Orient vs Chester (my original plan was Kingstonian, then Brentford, but I opted for East London instead).

Checked on Matt Lockwood, he looked pretty good, crossed very well, though the Orient fanzine reckons that he’s inconsistent. Hmm. The thing which struck me was Chester. They are, or were, rock bottom of the league. They took a large following, and sung for the whole 90 minutes. There was no chants for the managers head, even though their position is much much worse than ours is.

What their individual fans think, say etc was not apparent – they know that it’s only giving the team 100% backing that will help them through this. They went 1-0 down, and instead of getting abuse they got support. Result? They pull back to win 2-1.

This is a lesson for EVERYONE tomorrow – if you’re going to go, then either sing up for the team (I admit this can be difficult in certain sections of the stadium), or if you’re not willing to support the team in that manner then just say nothing. Any moaning, calls of Drillo Out etc will cause as much harm as anything that goes on the pitch, probably more. Even if you don’t like Drillo one bit, and wish that he was gone, just leave whatever ill feeling you have at the turnstile when you walk in. Will we get some resemblance of support? I would like to think so, however I’m not going to hold my breath……

Right, rant over, there’s some seriously promising news coming from our new ownership. BRG is talking very very positively about a certain site very near SW19’s ARMY Towers previously mentioned here for our new training academy. So serious is he that he’s talking about it being “signed next week”, saying exactly what’s going to be in it (proper training facilities, restaurant for the players, etc etc).

Now, whilst previous experiences with SH have taught us that we should we wary of anything involving WFC until it actually happens, the way that those who have talked to BRG within the last day or so say that it’s more or less a done deal. If so, it proves that the new owners really ARE serious about making this work : the fact that he’s talking about a new stadium and “becoming a Premiership force” in more or less the same vein should give any Womble worth his salt good heart.

If we did go down, then what about all this? Well, according to BRG, we will lose £6m if we go down, but a loss adjustment will account for this, meaning we won’t be fucked financially. He seems as though it won’t be a disaster if we go down because we’ll still be able to keep all our best players (assuming they want to stay of course).

Now, this is more good news, especially at the moment, and at least it shows that like in any good business, a sound contingency plan is clearly there. The one thing about all this, many Wombles believe that if we went down, we would plummet like a stone. This is something I’ve never agreed with at all, even before the takeover : one, a lot of the players probably wouldn’t move if we went down, many of them being first division standard anyway.

Secondly, judging by what I’ve seen in the lower divisions, I reckon we could survive pretty comfortably in the first division even without half our top players. If us going down was to kill us, then it would have killed people like Norwich and QPR as well, but it hasn’t, and although they probably won’t come up for a while, it hasn’t killed them off in the same way as people predict that we would. Of course, if we went down we stand a much better chance of going up the next year or so, simply because there is a contingency plan, and besides, we’d still get £3m from Sky…..

That all said, judging by today’s results, we are still in a good position, and although Sheff Wednesday are creeping up nastily behind us, if we start getting some points on the board (which I firmly believe is well within our capabilities) then we should be all right for this season. Besides, Derby ain’t exactly out of it.

BRG continues, and he reckons that we’ll need to keep about 6 of our top players to build around – he names two, Ben Thatcher (who according to It Must Be Dons says that he’ll willingly sign a new contract providing somebody gives him something to sign) and Carl Cort (who has been very quiet about wanting to move recently – maybe Leeds told him to fuck off?).

So, name the players. Well, Maggie and Cort are two, I would say JH and KC are another two, but who are the others? Doubt if it’ll be Sully, I think he’ll go anyway despite nobody coming in for him. Double H and Trond? Possible. Jason Euell? Now the club themselves (read : Reg Davis) have hinted that he’ll be out in the summer, admittedly he tried much harder against Wednesday than he has for a long time, but I put that down to not having a relegation get-out clause in his contract 🙂 Michael Hughes? Doubt it, not after recent events. So who are the other two? Dunno. Unless we haven’t signed them yet, which may tie in with Drillo’s claim that he’s going to buy a few players over the summer. Be funny if it was David Suker…..

Some positive words – and much needed words too – from one Kenny Cunningham :

”As players, we have to hold their hands up and accept our share of the blame”.

Boy, that is music to my ears. True, KC has given praise to Drillo even when nobody else in the camp seems to, but these are the sort of words you need from your captain. He continues :

”Ultimately the manager knows that the buck stops with him but it’s unfair for the fans purely to vent their frustration on him. “

Careful Kenny, you’ll get booed next…. He does however, offer this olive branch :

“It’s understandable when the fans see the club potentially slipping into Division One. In many ways the fans have been very patient all season”‘ .

Nice, I’m considering making the guy my POY just for those comments alone (that and the fact that no matter where he’s played in defence, he’s looked our most solid player). The next comments are a gem too :

”We’ve taken points off the big teams but that won’t be any comfort to us if we’re relegated. First and foremost we want to stay in the Premier League. Ultimately, that’s what will give us satisfaction. Everyone has been disappointed with this season because of the calibre of players we have at the club. We feel we’ve under-achieved as a squad.

We went into the season with high hopes. We’ve had a change of management but that’s not the only cause. The turnover of personnel in key positions hasn’t helped because it takes time for players to develop an understanding with each other. We’ve been inconsistent and that’s something we have to remedy. We haven’t had back-to-back results. Just when we thought we had turned a corner, we have taken a step backwards.” .

True, the player unrest (as illuded to yesterday) doesn’t help, but it’s nice to see the captain trying to unify the team (and indeed the club). Some say that KC is too quiet/too much of a defender to be the captain, but then it didn’t do Dave Beasant any harm.

REMBE’s internal bleeding was not caused by him having convulsions about not playing in the first team, or swallowing razor blades (as SW19 eroniously pointed out yesterday), instead it was a nasty kick to the stomach during the game. Now, I’m no medical expert, and I haven’t seen the kick which is supposed to have done it, but that’s got to be one helluva hard kick to cause something to burst inside of you. And no, I promise to refrain from any bitchy jokes about REMBE not having the stomach for it.

Finally, back to BRG again. He’s trying to organise free coach travel to the Bradford game, he wants about 30 coaches. If he does manage to persuade the admin department to do it (and risk a massive political problem with Carole Tilbrooke and the Official Supporters Club), then I hope that as many people as possible take it up. As my dad says, “you can’t buy goodwill”. No, but you can make a sizeable contribution towards it.