Back to normality? Possibly, I can’t help thinking that O’Hare 8 Heathrow 0 has not done NE’s CV much harm, and indeed help soothe the obvious wounds that TEgate caused. 22-0 in our last three games is certainly worthy of employing him on a more permanent basis, and if he wants the job he should get it. The players seem to respond to him anyway.
As for the game? Well, a hat-trick for Scotty (wonder if change of manager has done him good?), plus Everard, JS, Danny O, Sully and Ryan Gray completing the humiliation. We are surely too good for this league.
Plus points: Professional. Kept going. Good shooting. Looking focused. Need I go on?
Minus points: Defence still looks a little bit shaky.
The referee’s a…..: Jesus fucking christ. What a complete waste of DNA. What a retard. Even the Ann Summers “Monster Kong” 12-inch sex toy complete with vibrating mechanism and lubricant was less of a complete dildo than this guy. Where did he get his refereeing certificate anyway? Woolworths? His refereeing seemed to consist of running backwards, being indecisive about what to do (especially clear in that ruck), running backwards again, staying in the centre circle, running backwards yet again (very daintily) and er, not much else. Can’t wait to get promoted, hopefully we’ll see less of his ilk.
Them: Weren’t they supposed to be in-form or something? Their manager wanted to meet TE because of something TE said about him being sacked. Oops. They started off well for about, ooh, 10 minutes, then normality ensued. In fact, when we went up a gear we just sliced them apart. They had a Celtic style huddle which was no doubt there to show the world of their us-against-the-world mentality, and how together they were strong and mighty and how solidarity can conquer all that is thrown at them. Shame it looked crap. Oh, and their kit looked like a mass order from the bargain section of the Great Universal catalogue
Crowd Control: There didn’t seem to be much obvious aggro about TEGate, in fact apart from the occasional booing when Ivor was on the pitch (and somebody saying something negative about Erik while he walked past), which TBH I do expect, the atmosphere was calm on that score and I think people just simply want to move on. There was no obvious sighting of a vaunted petition, and the only handouts was TE’s statement on WISA, which I think helped soften the mood further. While the depth of feeling in some quarters is still strong, and AFCW would be totally suicidal to ignore it or handle it without due care, I would hope the worst is over. I also wonder if the bad mood at the Sandhurst/Colne games was directly attributed to TEGate? I think TE’s departure is like when Black Sabbath fired Ozzy Osbourne, and NE has become our Ronnie James Dio. I expect the TE/AFCW reunion in 2025.
Blame it on the weatherman: Yes, I know I always say it’s cold at games (I think I have crap circulation) but so was everyone else. Actually, I wasn’t shivering which I put down to my hardcore Athletics End upbringing. Obviously, the West Bank sages couldn’t cope one bit, but I don’t think they can cope with anywhere that doesn’t have a roof.
Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) Your humble and esteemed editor entered the ground with a grand total of Â£3.01 (plus a fiver borrowed from an SW19 reader, will be reimbursed Weds sir) due to his local cashpoint not working. I think AFCW should forget minor, trivial stuff like a ground and managers and go for the real things that matter, namely a working ATM. I am sure the money will find its way back into AFCW coffers somehow. (2) Turning down a pint of Guinness. OK, so the KM Guinness tastes like it’s been fermenting in a pigs trough for 2 years, but still…. (3) Hearing Steps’ “5-6-7-8” on the PA. I know it’s supposed to be fun, but AFAIAC playing such cheesy records could do lasting hearing and psychological damage.
Franchise watch: And if the goings on at AFCW are bringing you down, just look 70 miles northwards and cheer yourself up. Losing 3-0 to Coventry, something like 16 points away from safety and 5900 in the ground. This despite a Kids For Â£1 promotion that Koppout didn’t want to do at SP. Hmm. I even heard that they closed off one stand in Frenzyville. And one of their players got sent off as well : they seem to have one sent off each game, I hope the FA show some spine for once (yeah, right) and fine them Â£1m for their vicious tactics. Though knowing the FA, they’ll probably change the rules so that they can’t get relegated and instead fine the other team for cheating the Frenzies out of their birthright.
Anything else? Yeah, I was standing next to Ginge and Matt Martin (who I didn’t recognise) in the second half. Friend of the stars, you see….
So, was it worth it? Probably
In a nutshell: The king is dead….