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ETU, Brutus

Am I supposed to be this fucked off this early in the season? Three games in? And with a new manager and new team in tow? Well, after ETU 1 ETA 0 I don’t think I remember being this fucked off after any game last season. Whether that’s a good sign or not I don’t know – certainly expectations are higher this season, and maybe it’s just a reaction after a performance which TBH we were due.

I suppose it’s because defeats this season will count more like six points dropped rather than three. We can’t rely on people like Chelmsford to keep dropping points (although I certainly don’t share the attitude one or two of our fans have already have about them – fuck, I hope they never do a teamtalk) even at this early stage. That said though, this is the third game of the season and we still have a good eight months of football still to play. Titles can’t be won at this stage, and they can’t even be lost.

Writing about the game could be a bit too depressing right now, so I’ll sum it up as best I can. This was bad. Too many poor passes, not enough movement, not enough urgency even. Ball spent more time in the air than my neck could take. Whatever happened to the decent passing we showed on Tuesday night (second half)?

Even so, we had two goals disallowed and perhaps that’s what did us? This was, in short, the kind of Ryman league game your mother warned you about. If this had happened under DA he’d been slaughtered and rightly so. I guess it’s because generally, people accept that this is a bad day at the office, we can do much better and most probably will.

When we went 1-0 down, I considered it a test of our character. Today, we failed. Today, you could say we went a step backwards. You could also say it’s part of the learning curve of this new setup. Personally, I consider today more of a blip than a crisis. I’ve watched enough football to know when a team just has a bad game and when a team is shit. We are most definitely not the latter, although pre-season concerns about our firepower seemed more than justified at this stage.

That’s not to say I’m not fucked off. Christ, I am – I really fucking hate losing. I fucking hate listening to the oppo players celebrating like it’s the FA Cup final whenever they do us over. I really fucking hate officials like the ones we had today (see below). I really fucking hate coming away and finding out other teams have gotten three points. Yes, I’m a bad loser, and it’s not an experience I want to have too much this season. At least Monday should help get this out of the system,

Speaking of bad losers, a sadly predictable aftermath today. One of the Chav Army decided that he’d had too much beer and attempt to have a go at their goalkeeper. I mean, literally, have a go at their goalkeeper. I was by the dugouts, but from what it appeared said chav ran onto the pitch at the end and launched himself at one of their players. Cue a bit of a mass bundle. Said chav was then literally dragged back by one of our own fans, and it appeared that one or two of our players had to restrain him as well.

Initial thoughts: if we don’t get a fine and/or point deduction out of this, we can consider ourselves very lucky. Certainly there is no excuse whatsoever for this cockmuncher to be allowed into our games for a while. If we weren’t skating on thin ice after Bromley, we certainly should be now. And as usual, a pattern emerges – relaxed atmosphere, precious few stewards, alcohol on open sale in sight of the pitch, you can guess the rest. I have to say now that we have to make sure that NO alcohol is served during the game at ANY of our games, be it home or away. It’s happened too often, and it’s clear that a minority of our fanbase are incapable of acting like adults.

Which leads me to a question. Is AFCW in control of these people? Today, said invader certainly could be picked out by a lot of people in an identity parade. I know the club has quite a sensible policy over such matters, but now I’m wondering if it’s enough. We certainly don’t have nearly as much power over them at away games as home, and which will always continue to be a problem unless special security is always laid on. Presumably at our expense.

Again, many more of these sorts of incidents and we will have the book thrown at us. Let’s face it, the Ryman won’t hesistate to do us over and we won’t be able to get Jim Sturman to bail us out this time. In addition, if our fans get whiff that all away matches will be attended by chavvy kegheads who feel it’s their duty to be pricks then attendances away will start to drop.

As for the individuals themselves, well…… After the game, I saw what I believe was the invader outside basically acting like he couldn’t give a fuck. He had certainly had a drink anyway, and I’m not joking when I say I hoped at that stage somebody would have glassed him there and then. No, I shouldn’t say that sort of thing, but hey – if they don’t give a fuck about the consequences they could give AFCW, I couldn’t give a fuck if somebody gives them a well deserved shoeing.

Indeed, not giving a flying one seems quite de rigeur from that sort of element. A little while ago, I had a post on the SW19 forum from somebody I’m led to believe is involved within this little sphere. Here’s the thread in question. Their mentality seems to be, I can do what the fuck I like, I’m a club owner, it’s the fans club and anyone who stops me and my mates is a spiteful traitor. What am I doing wrong?

Sad, isn’t it? Actually, it isn’t. The constant bleating they’re being picked upon, that it’s their god given right to get pissed and act like cunts is just sheer tedium. As said, they don’t care about what damage they do to AFCW, so AFCW shouldn’t care what punishment to give out.

And how come we never see them act the hard man at places like Wealdstone and Ramsgutter?

Enough of that, here’s……..

Plus points: Jason Goodliffe.

Minus points: Everything else.

The referee’s a………….: New season, same old shit. “Are you Styles in disguise?”. Disallowed two goals of ours, blew up for any little bit of physical contact, refusal to play any advantage etc etc etc. Got so bad that the bloke behind me yelled to the lino “Stage a coup, lino, you can do better than the ref”. Changed his mind later to include said lino in all round abuse, and not for the lino’s Jens Lehmann-esque hairpiece either

Them: Got their goal, played for time after 1 hour basically. We need to learn how to beat these sort of teams if we’re to go up, because there will be a lot more like today this season. Even despite today, and despite it being in West Aaaaaam territory, I always enjoy going to ETU for some reason. Maybe it’s the oil refinery…

Point to ponder: I stood near TB today, and here’s a thought – how much of a clue has he got? And I don’t mean that in a bad way either. I noticed that while he could be frank – “Win the ball and don’t play poncy football” to Sam Hatton after he miscontrolled it – he was also first to praise players who had done well. I believe this was a big criticism from last season, so there’s a major difference right away. Seems a better atmosphere in the team, certainly. No, it didn’t come off today, but most of this season we will play much better. Sometimes, it’s not always the manager’s fault….

Truth is stranger than fiction: The weather. What is this hot spheretical bright yellow orb called “sun”. Is it a message from the gods? Could it be witchcraft? Whatever it was, it’s turned my pale skin lobster red and has devoured most of my energy. And people say sunny weather is good for you.

Anything else? OK, I’ve calmed down a little bit from when I first started this report. In the grand scheme of things, today was a little trip-up and nothing more. Even though we were shite today, had just one of those goals been allowed we would have won. As it stands we have more points at this stage of the season now than we did last time out, and a win on Monday will render today almost a footnote. I said “almost”, although I will say this : for a long while, AFCW were incapable of winning the really big games (ie Wallingford away, Thurrock FAC). Then suddenly, we scraped past Eastleigh and then put Chelmsford, Gravesend and Aldershot to the sword. Right now, our achilles heel are the scrapfests we came across today. We didn’t get it right this time, but I would like to think next time will be ever-so-slightly-different……

So, was it worth it? Bank holiday weekend in Essex? Hmm….

In a nutshell: Suddenly, Monday looks a lot different.