Just before I start – SW19’s ARMY is now officially Windows 2000 compatible. And I’ve now got a 17″ monitor (Sony triniton, just to rub it in). Will wonders never cease?
Anyway, onto WFC if I must. And confusion is reigning all around. Firstly, the “big” story today is that Paul Robinson, who was touted as our new Â£1.5m signing from Newk, isn’t coming. Apparently. Something to do with the price of houses in London, supposedly, although the original source of the story (the OS) published the story then got rid of it quick. So, what’s going on? Some sources say he’s already signed, others say the deal is going to go through this week.
And TB at the Meet The Manager (see below) thing said he’d signed. Confused? Yeah, me too. The Merson situation is again weird – WFC have spoken to the player, claims that he’s interested (again, in full public), and then Merson says that he’s never said such a thing. So is WFC lying? Is Paul Merson lying? Hell, this could get even more complex before it gets sorted one way or the other. Also add Michael Thomas to the weirdness list : apparently he’s not playing for us because (a) he hasn’t accepted our terms, or (b) his international clearance hasn’t come through from Benfica yet. The first one is self-explanatory, although given his problems with Benfica it’s a little bit weird. But the second one puzzles me – he’s from England, he’s playing for an English club, and he can’t play for them? Go figure.
Two people who have signed – Mark Williams, CB from Watford, and Des Byrne, LB from St Pats in Dublin. Both for “undisclosed fees” which means they were either obscenely cheap or obscenely expensive.
And so onto the first pre-season game of the, er, pre-season. 1963 Amateur Cup Losers 0 1963 Amateur Cup Winners 1 and what a humdinger that wasn’t. OK, I’m being un-necessarily harsh, and to be fair this is probably not the same team who will take the field against Tranmere. Though given the shite last year it probably wouldn’t hurt.
Many of the youngsters took the field : Damien Francis, Rob Gier, Alex Hawkins, Patrick Agyemang and Ansah Owlusu (who scored) took the eye. Sadly, I didn’t think much of either Gayle or JH, guess they still think they were playing last season. Mind you, playing in last year’s shirts didn’t help. Ian Feuer also played – fuck me, he’s tall. And he’s not bad either, he can handle well. Guess the Boston Celtics dipped out on him.
Meanwhile, after that game, the long awaited Meet The Manager event. And actually, I didn’t think much of it, certainly compared to last years anyway. Trouble is, TB isn’t going to do any major ground-breaking statements – nothing he said there I hadn’t heard before).
We all know that it’s going to be difficult next season, we all know he’s going to bring the youngsters through, we all know that only those who want to play for WFC will be given the shirt, that selling Maggie was good business etc etc. It was interesting though to hear him hinting that he felt that we were too one-dimensional (and he wasn’t referring just to last season…).
I think he did seem a little bit taken aback by our opinion of Euell and Cort, though to his credit he wasn’t going to lambast anyone in public just to get some cheap heat (wrestling term, can’t beat it 🙂 ), he was getting enough of that already. More interesting was the stuff from David Barnard – you all know that we’re taking over the Scope shop in Wimbledon. But better still, a ticket outlet is being hinted at. Also, there will be merchandise available at SP, in the old travel shop, though given the amount of people who don’t buy stuff at SP, I can’t really see the point of it being a permanent fixture there except on WFC matchdays. Still, it’s nice to be back in the swing of things again….
Just one more thing – Newk played in a friendly against DC United at Washington over the weekend, including a certain player who cost them Â£7m. Now, this player played, and was dubbed “ineffectual”. My opinion? Sorry, I haven’t stopped laughing…