Another PSF, another PSF defeat. This time, we got treated to Paras 4 Civvies 1. And now the feelings of doom and doubt are upon us. Are we ever going to win a meaningless game ever again? Is the high pressure non-competititve match situation too much for us? How will we ever cope with players giving as much as 70% in the 90 minutes?
About to slit your wrists yet? Before you get the blade out, read on. This may be the worst PSF campaign since AFCW’s first ever season, but on the flip side, it’s better to get the shit out of the way now. The last time we played stonkingly before proper games began was in our last season in the Prem. And we all know how that turned out…
In hindsight, the result really doesn’t matter. If you need to know about the game itself, we went behind, Rosco D’Insane scored an utter blinder which got the Shots fans applauding, we let a goal in soon afterwards and conceded two late ones. We could have scored a couple more ourselves, and with a bit more match sharpness we probably would have.
Time to panic? Not really. All it proves is that there’s a very real gap between a full time Conference side and an amateur RP side. You almost can’t begin to predict how we’re going to do. If you’re going to try though, consider this : there’s no real vibe that everything is going to turn to shit. There’s a feeling that something is about to happen. What, we don’t know, but there doesn’t appear to be the malaise that hit us very early on last season. This could be the most interesting season in some while.
Not nearly so interesting is this…
Plus points: D’Insane’s goal. Nice use of width in places. Passing not too bad. Once we get crosses in we don’t look too bad.
Minus points: Losing. Spinal Tap drummer-esque feeling about our back line’s pace (lack thereof).
The referee’s a…….: I should make a sarky comment about him being totally anonymous, but it’s still too bloody warm to think.
Them: Look, could you please stop being so god damn nice to us? Singing anti-MK songs and saying how much respect you’ve got for us is most offputting. Whatever happened to the good old days when you went there and had half your limbs broken by the Paras? Very good hosts, typically sharp Conf team. And I secretly wished we played there more regularly..
Point to ponder: Anyone else think our change strip should be white instead of red? Although I still preferred the old green for a few years ago.
Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) Too many Chelski shirts about. Not at the game, just generally. All the new Adidas ones as well, clearly “aquired” from Sports World. Saw one fat old slapper at Tesco in New Malden with Shevchenko already printed on the back, obviously in deference to his loyalty to the cause. And hers. “Fans” like them just make me grateful I don’t support a Prem team these days. (2) Quite a few butterflies about. Reading this now, it’s quite inconsequencial, but during the second half it was a major talking point. Honest.
Anything else? Yeah. Back to their ground. It really hasn’t changed since they were known as plain old Aldershot. OK, the new turnstiles look, er, new, and not the 1930s municipal efforts they used to have. And I bet they could redevelop that CCLesque end if they needed to. But what struck me is how kewl an FA Cup or FAT game (or maybe one day, in the league) would be. Forget love-ins, I’m referring to that big fuck off terrace behind the goal, that would create one helluva racket. For those who don’t know, it’s an old style construction, with a roof that looks like it was “borrowed” from the barracks next door. Needs a dust though. In a big game, we’d probably get half that terrace. I for one am praying for a favourable draw this year…
So, was it worth it? A nice weekend in a public park? Guess so.
In a nutshell: Shot to pieces.
And finally: Today, we mark the sad departure of an AFCW legend. A player who epitomised the old Wimbledon spirit, a man beloved by all and an individual whose contribution may never be replicated ever again. Yes, eight months ago Matt Everard retired. Even now we still miss his will-to-win. Oh, and Rob Ursell’s gone.
So, what’s my reaction to Urse’s departure? Well, to be honest, there isn’t much of one. It does appear that he wanted to play more, he obviously wasn’t going to this season and subsequently left. Usual thing. At least his departure will give a ready-made excuse when we lose in future. Should Carshalton beat us, expect anguished cries of “Ursell would have changed the game yesterday. He is God. We’re now a long ball team. Anderson out etc”.
I know I was guilty of missing quite a few games last season, but post-game reactions constantly seem to suggest that RP defenders sussed him out a lot more. There was precious little “change the game” comments about him afterwards. And call me old fashioned, but if your reputation suggests that you can make something happen, it might be a good idea to do it every so often. He might have done it once or twice last season, although I am struggling to remember what games, but that’s not enough any more.
So as you can gather, I’m not massively upset at his departure. The fact that practically all the eulogies about him centre around what he did came in the R1 season says it all. OK, we all wish him well, and hope he never scores against us. But we will find a new hero before too long, and we’d have (mostly) forgotten all about him this time next year. Bit like some other bloke we once had. Kevin Copper, or whatever he was called…?