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Waste of a Tuesday

Looks like it was a good job I wasn’t there on Tuesday either, if this kindly submitted report was anything to go by.

I’ll let you read it, then I’ll come back at the end.

Was it me, or did none of us (fans, players, officials et al) want to be here Tuesday night?

Perhaps it was a hangover from Saturday, but I should have realised when we failed to sell out of Golden Goal tickets that it was gonna be one of those nights.

Bleak, cold, soulless – and that was just the team. We started poorly, got progressively worse to the point where the description of ‘shit’ was complimentary! At least shit has function, form and purpose, removing waste from the body.

This was dire towards the end, even for the most ardent optimist. An older fan by me who is usually so quiet I had not even noticed he was there was joining in with the moaning, albeit under his breath because of age. The only saving grace to slitting your wrists was the queue of Ashford fans in front of us waiting for their turn of the razor blade. I mean they had one decent shot on target (in 89th min) that they scored from was due to an air-kick by our defence. At least one team will be below us in the league then.

So what’s wrong? On Saturday we fans felt frustration. Tonight we say confidence – total lack of it. It is so shot to pieces within 80% of the team; they turn to jelly if the ball comes near them. About 3 players seemed interested last night and 2 of them scored the goals. Otherwise Suburbanites 2 Townies 1 could easily have been a gore bore – fans impaling themselves on any sharp object!

I lost it a bit on the night. The inability of an AFCW player, without an Ashford player within 30 yards just hoofing the ball away in blind panic was too much. Hell Leamington Pete’s under-10s could do better. So it was a good idea I’d not offered to write this prior to the match.

A bit calmer now, I still have difficulty in working out what to do. And from comments elsewhere I think most fans too are becoming totally perplexed how they if they were manager would change things. Of course, Anderson gets some credit for bring on Barnes who immediately scored with his first touch: but what had he done at half time? The team was totally demotivated when it came out such that it barely got out of its half for the first 20 mins. And then he takes of Shroot, one of our livelier players who was suffering and exhibiting the early signs of ‘Darlington Avoidance Syndrome’ in the 2nd half. Why is this break in play so damaging to us?

A better side than Ashford (TA anyone?) would have 0-4ed us; little comfort can be taken from that. It was an insult at times to the paying fans. And Anderson has a lot to answer for, because fans are beginning to really question why with the resources we have; the apparent pedigree of the players we have; and the investment in the team that they cannot produce a performance that is at least ‘professional’ for this level of football.

So closing with:

Plus points: We won. End of.

Minus Points: Team is totally shit scared and show no signs of getting it together soon.

The Referee’s a …: A friend let me in on FA Rule 13b: Never give a decision to a player in blue …

Them: Very poor. Lots of running, though a lot of it seemed to involve their mouths – 2 booked for dissent!

Point to ponder: What has killed the confidence and is creating the panic? Injuries? The management? Or maybe even the fans? Good players don’t become bad overnight, do they? Something is very wrong.

Truth is stranger than fiction: We won this game?

Anything else: Do we need anything else to go wrong at the moment?

So was it worth it? I suppose so as we won, but the patience was severely tried.

In a nutshell: Saturday could be embarrassing …

Really doesn’t make for pleasant viewing does it? OK, perhaps the lack of interest on Tuesday could have been down to yet another game against Ashford Town (Postcode), but even so, reading that the confidence is drained is enough to require a change in underwear.

Right now, we take on the impression of a car that has given us good service, and will still get you down the A3, but has now lost its guts and its bite. You wonder whether a new car is needed or whether a change of spark plugs and maybe a new gearbox will do the trick. Ultimately, a new car will be needed, yet it would cost a lot to purchase and would make a big dent in your finances for a while. You don’t need to call out the RAC every time you go out, but it just doesn’t perform the way you want it to.

A lot will depend on our next two games, Worthing especially (replay notwithstanding). Put in two decent performances and we’ll treat this as a blip, like we always do. If we don’t, you can guess what will happen.

Then again, it is rather strange that we’re talking like this after a win. Maybe we have deeper problems at AFCW than just team performance?

In another not-totally-coincidental bit of news, I received my “Why aren’t you a season ticket holder this year?” letter from the club this morning. For those who don’t know, apparently 800 people in total haven’t renewed since 2002, and needless to say the club wants their money support, so they sent out a questionnaire with a nice pre-paid envelope. The questions are quite straightforward, and I suspect many people haven’t renewed simply because of changing personal circumstances. And you can give the club a few ideas back, which SW19 may well take the opportunity to…

That said, there is a rather intriguing option of “Style of the team’s football”. With everything written from the past week, this should be interesting. With luck, we’ll get some indication of what people replied in the form of the club’s actions in the relatively near future. That said, I wonder how the club will deal with people so pissed off that they don’t even bother to reply?