If truth be told, I just can’t get excited about our first league win since Wealdstone away. Yes, Mid-table nobodies 1 Lower-table alehouse cloggers 0 was three points, and at the end of the increasingly shortening day that’s all that matters. Certainly at 4.50pm that was the common phrase around KM – “it’s 3 points, end of” was typical. And on the results tally, it’s a win without conceding a goal.
So why isn’t everyone bouncing up and down? Well, when you’re expecting the opposition midway during the second half to equalise instead of putting the game out of reach, that’s why. Whether it’s incompetence or just outright anxiety, it was a repeat of deja vu. From a pretty decent first half, where their goalie made some decent saves, to the usual soiling of underwear in the second half. Why do we do it? Do we really have to be 4-0 up by half time to even remotely relax in the second half? I honestly couldn’t remember much happening for a large part after the break, except for Luke Garrard going off and Will Salmon getting taken apart afterwards.
OK, we’re not going to play well every single second of 90 minutes, but for fucks sake, learn to kill the fucking game off why don’t you? If you get a goal within 10 minutes of the restart, then fine. Better to get a third just to make sure – that’s how teams who win titles do it. Not scraping home against a side second from bottom. Yes, I know it’s a confidence thing. Yes, I know that Margate will already make/break our season (a good result will show us that we can play). And yes, I know that even a couple of weeks ago it would have finished 1-1. But there’s too much of the old shit still about for me to suggest we’ve turned a corner.
We seem like British Leyland – they were crippled by their strikers as well. A lot of people were slagging off Grazioli for not being interested. And I’m afraid TB has already fallen into the DA trap of getting players from higher up on loan (ref: R Peters) and expecting them to perform. Trouble is, Grazioli doesn’t appear interested (or fit enough) at all. He know he’s only here for a month, so why should he put himself out? To quote (roughly) a Womble after the game, my dick could have done a more effective job. Right now I can’t help feeling we’re being used by him and Barnet….
For this, I think AFCW should bite the bullet and not sign any more players who are League level, at least until we reach a division where they’ll be far more effective. With the exception of the two Palace lads who joined us in the CCL, none of them have ever worked out. Even JS and Marcus Gayle haven’t really been successful because they are/were permanently injured. It’s a bit more tricky with Conference level players – JG, Beckford and Fergie have adapted (and people are warming to Quinn now), Leberl and Hatton certainly haven’t as of yet. And at the risk of stating the bleeding obvious, transfers are a risk. We signed RB and Finn from lower levels, yet poor old ex-Fleet man Will Salmon got roasted and didn’t even get to sell his story to the NOTW.
Thankfully RB is starting to look like he’s returning to his best, although with him one injury will put him out for another six months, so we can’t rely on him. KneiÃŸl came on yesterday and to be fair we didn’t see too much of him. Is it true he’s a coach at Chelski? I should insert a comment here, but that would be too cruel, even for me. Actually, I say we didn’t see too much of him – we did, he did show a couple of nice touches but by fuck he’s unfit. And he does need to have an idea of where we pass it to etc, but that’s nothing a couple of weeks training won’t sort out. Give this one a chance, he might actually be all right.
Speaking of chances, I dunno about Webb now. Did he really storm off at the end of the game looking like he’d bought a load of Northern Rock shares? Strange, really, as I thought we started to go up a gear when both him and KneiÃŸl came on. Maybe last week’s theory about other players not wanting to pass to him isn’t quite so far fetched after all? He might be thinking the writing is already on the freshly painted wall for him – TB did say he needed a decent set of games, and yet he’s already been usurped by a still-not-100%-fit RB and a definitely-not-10%-interested Grazioli. KneiÃŸl could well challenge him, and we still don’t know whether Jolly will buck his ideas up, so perhaps he already feels the game is up? Would be a shame, but the guy has had more clubs than a Ping factory and maybe we’re finding out why.
OK, I’m a hypocrite for writing all this, considering what I said after Cray last week. Difference is, last week I enjoyed it. Yesterday, I didn’t. What I mean by yesterday is that I never hate winning, but we made it so fucking difficult for ourselves as usual. We could – and should – have put the game beyond reach by half time. Had we done that then fine, I can cope with a crap second half. But yesterday we needed to kill the game off with the second goal, and the longer it went on, the more you just felt that something bad was going to happen. Granted, it didn’t, but how are we going to cope against Rickay, or Chelmsford? Or even Margate on Tuesday? Mind you, if everyone still raises their game against us, perhaps we might do the same……?
Anyway, enough of that. Here’s….
Plus points: A win. A clean sheet. RB looking stronger and stronger. First half performance pretty decent.
Minus points: Grazioli. Second half. Nervy.
The referee’s a…………: Worms have more of a spine than this complete canine molesting arsewipe. Blew up for the easy stuff, like a little niggle here and there. Singularly failed to miss HS’s #3 smacking RB in the gob towards the end of the first half. He certainly didn’t miss same #3 jumping all over Finn then trying to start a fight with Beckford, although needless to say his arse totally went afterwards. Scared, was he? And why do I get the impression his homelife is none too dis-similar to this?
Them: Niggly cunts, weren’t they? Thankfully for us they offered nothing much else, otherwise I’d be snarling at yet more points dropped. One of their coaching staff really didn’t take kindly to some banter in the JS in the first half………..
Three’s a crowd: 2406, and crowds are most definitely not what they should be. Has reality set in? Do people really hate this league as much as we think? I know at least three people who normally go but didn’t bother yesterday, and I refuse to accept it was purely down to the toffball.
Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) Anyone else think that WUP was due out yesterday? Definitely conspicuous by its absence, especially as I thought they had enough contributions for once. I’m in it, and it’s one of my most thought provoking ones I’ve ever written. And by “thought provoking”, I mean you’ll want to burn my car with me in it. (2) What a real shame that H&R are in apparent major financial shit. No, really. Even a mass run on combs might not save them……
Anything else? Yeah. I stood behind TB’s dugout in the first half, and listened to what he was saying. When we were a little static going out of defence, he said “Don’t let them stop us playing, show some courage”. When we over-hit a long ball, it was “why are we playing too long?”. And when something didn’t come off, was it a case of telling the players how fucking useless they are? Er, not quite. “To feet – that was a good ball”, complete with clapping. A lot of people complained that last season DA sat there and either did nothing or just yelled abuse – certainly the assistant managers did similar. TB’s approach is markedly different, and dare I say positive? It proves something, but the trouble is I don’t know what.
So, was it worth it? Probably.
In a nutshell: If this is turning the corner, we’ve only just started rotating the steering wheel.
And finally: I’m in Frankfurt from tomorrow until late Wednesday, therefore I won’t be at Margate. If anyone wishes to oblige….