Bollocks, bollocks and thrice bollocks. It wasn’t supposed to be like Same Old 1 Same Old 1 this season. It was supposed to be stuffings each and every Saturday and Tuesday. It was supposed to be teams withdrawing at the last minute lest they got a battering off us. It was supposed to be joyful and merry and it wasn’t a case of if, but when we would lift the RP. March? April? Maybe even late February if we receive the run of the green.
Let’s face it, we’ve gone backwards, or at least it feels like we have. We have a new manager with decent ideas, a new enough team etc etc etc….. hang on, I’m sure I wrote that recently? Well, if I have, or even if I hadn’t, I’ll repeat it again. See, for the last three games we haven’t been all that in truth. I missed Ramsgutter, but I saw us play shit in the first half against Wealdstone, shit in the second half against ETU and shit for a great deal of today’s game.
Is it me? Probably. But I’m more perplexed than anything (well, I’m actually more pissed off but I can’t be quite so angry in my old age). Why does this seem like a step back into the 2005/06 season, let alone the 2006/07 one? Why can’t we keep a lead? Why is it harder for us to score than it is for John Prescott to be an MP after the next election? Why do we just launch it each and every fucking time? What happened to the decent passing of the Wealdstone (second half) game? In short, why is it deja vu all over again?
That’s something TB will need to start earning his money for. See, last year the reason was that DA wasn’t full time and couldn’t devote himself to sorting stuff out. We have no excuse now, and to be honest I don’t think TB will start hiding. I believe he was still “having words” a while after the final whistle. Certainly in the last two days we’ve had our character tested to the full and we haven’t come out at all well. One point from two games? You can add your own comment for that.
Yeah, I’m telling myself it’s only August. But August can quickly become September, then September becomes October. Continue this sort of thing until then, and not only can we forget automatic promotion but the playoffs suddenly look a bit iffy. Today was supposed to get ETU out of our system. Instead, we just retoxified ourselves, and now Saturday’s game takes on too much importance already.
Is it us? Are we to blame? Well, perhaps we are. See, I noticed today that there was an air of disappointment that we weren’t stuffing Staines out of sight. Are we, as AFCW fans, expecting far too much from a new side and manager? Yes, we want out of this poxy league ASAP, but we still have to learn. We still have to get a battling mentality, because for much of the second half today it seemed like we’d bottled it big time. My pre-match prediction of 2-1 to Staines was getting a bit too real, put it that way.
And let’s face it, if we can’t do that on a bright, sunny August day at a relaid KM, how the fuck are we going to cope in December at Ramsgutter? Bottom line is, we’re not. At least not without getting rid of that panicky mentality that has already – and worringly – set in. Yes, we did show some glimpses of what we’re capable of, after about 91 minutes. Perhaps doing that for the last 20 minutes instead of the last two might win you a game or three?
OK, enough bitching I suppose. Although we haven’t made the best start, and we can’t even say we’re unbeaten. Though I wonder how long it’ll be before somebody calls for the return of DA and mean it. But even today with better luck in front of goal we could have run out 3-1 winners and nobody would complain. Yes, this side will get better, and TB’s track record whips all of the opinions that have and will be expressed over this combined.
But fuck, I didn’t want it to be like this again by the end of August….
Plus points: We didn’t lose. Will probably lower expectation. Chelmsford and Billy Rickay drew.
Minus points: We didn’t win. Conceeding a goal in predictable circumstances. Trying to lose the game between 55 minutes and 89 minutes. Playing Plan C without giving a thought to Plan B, let alone Plan A.
The referee’s a……..: Compared to Saturday’s excuse for a human being, he was pretty good. Certainly let the game flow for the most part, sometimes even forgetting to blow up. Also forgot to play advantage for us a couple of times….
Them: Took the game to us in the second half, and quite honestly if they’d won it I wouldn’t have complained. No, they weren’t the Chelmsford/Billy Rickay level, although thinking about that has made me feel even worse. Lewis Cook still has a shite haircut BTW.
Point to ponder: Just how much do we rely on Jason Goodliffe and Fergie right now? Fuck knows what will happen if either of them get injured. Oh, and why was I non-plussed over Robin Shroot?
Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) Speaking of JG, nice to see him giving a very public dressing down to the rest of the team in the post-game warmdown. Actually, this is better than last season. Not that that’s saying much though (2) One of our top safety bods wearing a whistle and flute. Why? (3) And in this age of sobriety, is Phillo applying for a job with Radio Three? I can’t help noticing that he introduced Micky Haswell and Dave Sergeant as Michael and David, which seems terribly formal for an association football contest, don’t you know? I look forward to him doing shout-outs to the Royal Circle posse during a live performance of Wagner’s TannhÃ¤user und der SÃ¤ngerkrieg auf Wartburg……….
Anything else? Yeah. Had a little read of the programme, and noticed the meeting between the Ryman and AFCW. Actually quite interesting, although I think too many peoples’ views of them are permanently damaged. Perhaps by the time we finally leave the RP, relationships would be thawed out a bit – and judging on today’s performance us getting promoted won’t come until at least 2012. What did interest me was how a lot of clubs think we’re “too aggressive” when it comes to safety. This does tie in with a comment an H&R fan made last season which suggested we were just simply too big to deal with.
I hope other Ryman fans and club officials read this site, because I wish to address this. Here goes : the AFCW fanbase is effectively a league level fanbase. A mere seven years ago a very sizeable percentage of people now at AFCW game were watching Man Utd v Wimbledon. Make a trip to Old Trafford, or Cashburden, and then compare it to the setup at a Ryman ground. No BBB, just do the exercise.
Now, imagine coming from watching games at Old Trafford to watching games at, say, ETU. It’s a culture shock, especially when you don’t perhaps get as many stewards as you would expect. And if you get sold alcohol on the terraces, well….. You can probably gather that we would prefer to be back watching league football, and you’d be right. There is still a massive dent in our fanbase’s psyche which TBH will never fully heal. Asking any of us about the ins/outs of AFCW, why we want Franchise dead (not as a rivalry, but actually dead), why we take more away these days than our fanbase did in the Premiership etc is one thing. Getting us to stop is another.
Our “aggressive” demands for safety are simply so that we don’t get incidents like the cockmunching cunt who decided to rugby tackle the ETU goalie each and every week. It’s dangerous for everyone – players, staff and supporters, and from a purely selfish viewpoint it doesn’t half blacken our name.
Ask anyone who was at THAT Coney Hall game what would have happened if there’d been double the amount of stewards (ie two) at that game. I don’t doubt that all safety stops would be pulled out if a Ryman team drew, say, Brentford in a cup tie. Why then do the rules change when we come to town? Why the naievity?
Yes, I can well imagine dealing with us is an absolute pain in the arse, even if every single supporter behaves themselves. Although it’s worth noting the Wealdstone chairman was proud of the way that they handled both us and Watford’s games there (even if he did admit it was very hard work). Remember though that we ourselves have to do it every other week, and get it spot on, and like every other club in the Ryman we’re allowed a tie-up with a local league side for backup stewards if necessary (last year it was Chelski, this year it’s Brentford).
This is from an AFCW fan who has seen his side play both at Anfield and at Ash United. I honestly found places like Sandhurst, Merstham and Walton Casuals better to go to than some Ryman clubs. Granted, people like Chelmsford and Margate seem sorted, but why is it 100% our fault/responsibility? It’s not ideal for any of us, but that’s the way things are right now. If we have to pay for our own security (which we did for a time in the CCL, and that mostly worked OK) so be it. If after this we still slagged off for wanting more security at our games, I really, really have to openly question what the agenda is…….
So, was it worth it? What a fucking waste of a bank holiday
In a nutshell: Never underestimate football’s ability to piss you off