OK, I admit it. I’m strugging to write Eastenders 2 Car Crash Telly 2. I attempted to write something resembling a match report on the tube returning to SW19 Towers but it came across as incoherent and not being able to make its mind up what to think. And anyone who sneers “no change there then” can do a Richard Jolly.
So instead, I’m going to rehash old stuff and put it into current context. Here’s what I wrote on the Other Site only last night:
TBH the problem is this. Last season, everyone agreed that we underachieved by some margin, yet even so we were going to places like Leyton and without playing brilliantly won there. Last season it was 5-2, season before 2-1, that sort of thing. Right now, we’re not even doing that – if we were underachieving last season what are we doing now? Granted, a couple of teams have improved, but not all of them. The current frustration is knowing that we have gone backwards, in terms of results and indeed performances………
This certainly sums up what I think right now. People who think we played better than we have recently are missing the point. We should have taken three steps forward yesterday – we got rid of Jolly totally, we’ve bought in Graz for this month, put in a couple of others. And even with all that we still took one step forward at best.
Yesterday, had we not got two penalties and Leyton not been totally shite in front of goal, we could have been looking at a very embarrassing scoreline. Our defence was absolutely nowhere for a lot of the time, and Leyton had at least two occasions where they should have added. And yes, so should we (Fergie’s powder-puff shot when he was clean through just summed it up).
“But wait” I now hear you cry, “we crossed the ball a bit better yesterday and with a bit more luck we would have won 5-2 again”. Yes, but that was against a very poor Leyton side. To me, it’s a sign of how backwards we’ve gone when a 2-2 scraping against a bottom side with two spot kicks (and one of them was a little bit iffy) is seen as a better result.
So, as at least one guy in the stand was suggesting, Brown out? After the game I couldn’t really disagree with him that much. While much of it isn’t the manager’s fault, he still has to take the ultimate responsibility. And the thought constantly in my head was “DA was slaughtered for less than this”.
On cool reflection, and after a night’s sleep, I think TB will be here for a while, even if we take current form into January. There’ll be too much egg on faces for a start, least of all many of our fans who were openly pleading for TB to take charge. Secondly, it is early days still, although that shouldn’t be used as an excuse. By the time the next league match comes about, it will be the middle of September and we’ve still only won twice without a open-play goal in the second half. Yeah, yeah, give it time etc. We’re still shit, in case you haven’t noticed, and already my patience is running a bit thin.
But I do think TB needs to accept that some of the players he’s brought in have let us down. It was very interesting to note that Sam Hatton was benched yesterday. You have to wonder what Leberl is thinking, and whether playing for your favourite club can be the worst thing for a player. Ask Vaughan Ryan. We can’t rely on RB/Gayle to be fit and to play the whole season. Webb will either get one goal and then go on an RBesque Damascus conversion or he’ll remain the AFCW version of Carl Leaburn.
However, is it just loss of form? Or something more sinister? Already we’re getting the first Chinese whispering campaign. No idea how true it all is, but let’s head it off anyway : if the players already don’t want to play for us, then do us all a favour and fuck off. They’ve helped contribute to a season that’s already ruined and I’m becoming more convinced they’re only here for the money.
If they really don’t think TB is up to it (as has been suggested a couple of times this week) why did they join/stay in the first place? Presumably they came to AFCW to soak up the adulation, play half-arsed each week, blame everyone but themselves when it ain’t going so well and pick up (I presume) a nice little additional paycheque to boot. And we have a go at Chelmsford.
While I did feel some of the attachments to the CCL squad went a bit too far, at least they were shit-but-honest. These lot aren’t shit, but I get the impression they’re taking us for a ride. With the exception of Gayle, Frankie and to a lesser extent RB and JG, how many of these players would you consider heroes? How many of them can you count on to take things by the scruff of the neck right now and shake them till they bleed? In short, they got us into this mess, so how many of them will get us out of it?
In addition, I wonder how many people are going to bother putting themselves out to watch games in the near future? OK, we’ll still more or less get decent crowds at KM, but away games could really slump regularly below the 500 mark. Even though we’re paying under Â£10 for just about every game, it’s still getting a bit of a wedge going to away games, and if the impression is that we’ll be treated to a bunch of mercenaries “performing” why bother?
To me, the current sour mood isn’t so much that we’re playing badly, it’s the very real feeling that we’ve been taken for mugs. And worryingly, I can’t see it improving any time soon.
I suppose I’m quite glad we’ve got next weekend off from the RP. Whilst Cray clearly have to start as favourites, and while we can afford to go out of the FAC next Sunday, because it ain’t our priority, it’s a good distraction. It can either bring out the best in us or the worst (think that W&H pile of shit a couple of years ago). It might be a kick-start or it might be yet another illustration of how shit we are right now. One thing I can guarantee 110% right now, I’m happy my week won’t be ruined by yet another so-called “performance”…………….
And while I don’t really feel like continuing any further, I’m contractually obliged to, so I’ll perform. Unlike our players….
Plus points: Well, we didn’t lose.
Minus points: If you’ve read this far without twigging what I’ll put in here, your ADD is even worse than the editor’s.
The referee’s a………: Again, another referee who I can’t really complain too much about. OK, he disallowed Graz’s goal, but he did give us two penalties. Christ, we must really be shit if the guy in the middle gets an easy ride.
Them: I like Leyton. Dunno why, but they have a really hard time offending me. Even the fact their ground is probably one of the most trickiest to get to they just can’t piss me off. I suppose I admire the way they get about 60 people normally yet somehow survive. They’re not the best team in the division but might have actually caused us massive ructions if they were a bit better.
Point to ponder: Is there one right now that hasn’t already been made? Apart from wondering just how long this will last? Perhaps Ramsgutter and the second half at Wealdstone were the real blips in the season? Clearly, we ain’t allowing that to happen again…..
Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) Getting out at Leyton tube station, seeing people milling about in football garb and realising it wasn’t for our match. One day, Orient’s opponents will be us in a league fixture. Trouble is, that day is fast becoming one in 2110. (2) Actually, by the look of it, I might have been better off going into Brisbane Road instead. Mind you, the cheapest seat there was Â£20 – and they wonder why crowds are still low? Although putting it into context – Â£20 for a League One game involving the leading side, or Â£8 for a Ryman Premier game featuring two lowly outfits. There’s something not quite right there. (3) Our first goal in the second half all season. And that was a penalty kick so it doesn’t really count.
Anything else? Only to quote “This is the best five minutes since Ramsgutter” after we managed about 3 decent crosses (of course nobody got on the end of them). And people still think we haven’t gone backwards…..
So, was it worth it? Of course it was. I got to see East London again.
In a nutshell: Champions in 2008/09 by the looks of things. In Ryman One.