In the end, Big Wimbledon 2 Little Yernited 0 was the kind of workout you would expect in pre-season. Don’t think we were ever really in massive danger, I expect we’ll go at a bit fuller pelt come the first game of the season and at least TB knows a bit more of what to expect from his unit.
In other words, the heroes last year could fast be the zeroes this next season.
OK, that’s a bit harsh, it’s still pre-season etc etc and we do still have a fortnight to get sharp. We’re not as crap as Newcastle were, and unlike Man Citeh at least we didn’t lose to a pop band. But certainly in the first half, with a starting XI that you would have expected to start most games last season, you would be forgiven for being slightly concerned.
We looked out of sorts, a bit lethargic, a bit slow. Certainly Main and Kedwell were, anyway. You know how last season, whenever we played somebody of Ryman Prem level we always looked crap? I had those very same feelings of deja vu today. Granted, we’re better all round than FCUM, as we should be, but they had the penalty and we had Jamie Pullen. In fact Pullen was getting more of a pre-season workout than he should.
Maybe it’s a comedown after playing decently enough against BHA, but play like we did first half in the Conference and it’ll be Worcester away all over again (you remember, 3-0 down after 25 minutes..).
Mind you, when we came out for the second half….
Actually, I know it’s only a PSF etc etc yada yada yada, but I think we saw a little glimpse of what we can expect at times next season. The second half XI was for the most part the new signings this season (bar Wellard in the first half). On came Derek “Dougan” Duncan, Luke Moore and a new guy called Callum Willock. Basically a big fucker, looks a bit John Gayle or Carl Leaburn like, but with more skill.
And you know what? We looked all right.
In fact, we had more life and looked much more likely to score. Elliott Godfrey (another half time sub) ran like somebody rammed a poker up his arse. He’s somebody with a point to prove next season, and on these early showings could well prove it.
But this is what is good about the upcoming season – we will be able to change things round when it’s not going so well.
If today was a proper league game, you would have been cooing that TB put on Moore and Rapson which unsettled the opposition. I don’t doubt that DK and JM will kick into life once the season gets going – but if they don’t, we suddenly have a couple more players to replace them with. Last year we virtually crippled both of them as we had nobody else to back up/replace them. Remember Kezie Ibe? Or Chris Sullivan? Or Belal…?
Anyway, I expect the last two PSFs will be more the sort of starting XI you expect against Luton. Got to say it’s come round pretty quickly, and I still think we should play one more – in fact, TB has mentioned elsewhere that he’ll be using the North Greenford game on 3/8 as some kind of final PSF. That’s a fixture where you would have expected the reserves to be playing.
The game itself? Well, we started off OK, showing why we are a Conf side and FCUM aren’t. Think of how Torquay looked against us in the FAT back in the day. Then for some reason we stopped playing. It wasn’t as though it was boiling hot either. The visitors sensed it, took it to us and got a penalty. And thank fuck for Jamie Pullen. It felt a bit like that Weston Super Mare game. Come to think of it, the two teams that day and today were pretty similar
As for the second half, what a contrast. Players going for the ball, wanting it, looking lively. Once the first goal (low free kick, everyone missed it bar Ben Judge) went in, that really was that. But people like Moore, Godfrey, Willock and Peter Rapson (so young he wasn’t old enough to have a shirt number) really could have made a few more goals. When Moore crossed in low for Rapson to finish off, it was the least we deserved. Seriously.
None the less, it was a nice day out. Just think, the next Saturday game at KM will be Luton Town in the Conference proper….
Plus points: We won. Clean sheet. Looked good second half. Rapson. Moore. Derek Duncan. Willock showed promise. Godfrey. Defence looking reasonably strong, especially in second half.
Minus points: First half. Playing like some of the worse games in the BSS. JM and DK looked totally ineffective.
The referee’s a…: Did he have a Bryan Robson annual when he was a kid? Would explain a lot if so.
Them: I wrote about them earlier today. Nothing really changed my opinion of them, although one of their banners said “Dad and Lad – together”. Which I suppose is going to be their main selling point – a club where you can go and watch them without paying silly money. Manchester is as much red as it is blue, after all.
The biggest irony is that they could be one of the most unambitious clubs in non-league if they finally get their own digs. If they want to keep the no-shirt-sponsor-Saturday-at-3pm-no-Sky-TV mantra, something will have to give. That said, their trip to Korea didn’t seem to do them many favours – apparently, FCUM don’t/can’t/won’t pay the money for better players so they have to entice them via these trips to Korea/Germany/Sweden/South London.
As asked earlier, what is their long term aim?
Their team? Well, they played pretty well considering their exploits in Korea (oh, the irony…) although there was a clear gulf in class and ability. Their goalie was quite gregarious to the TE in the second half, willing to discuss certain things. He’s got to be a sociable type, he needs to be with his shit haircut.
Followed by about 400 pissed up boisterous Mancs, who seemed to enjoy themselves. Although it seems down on their last visit, and certainly down on the visit before that. A couple of them were seen beforehand scurrying around the iDons stall…
Point to ponder: If today is any indication of the season ahead, could we see a further dismantling of the BSS title winning side even as early as January? We’re in a position now where previous reputations count for jack shit, and suddenly the likes of Main and Kedwell do have competition.
What this proves is that not for the first time, you shouldn’t get too attached to the players from last season. It’s possible that the likes of Main and Kedwell don’t make the step up to BSP level. Obviously, you want every player who puts on the Y&B to make their mark, but it doesn’t always happen. Chances are, at least one or two of the players who started today won’t be here by January – quite possibly one or two shock departures as well.
Incidentally, after the game, Noel Frankum was seen in the dressing room area (still looking quite fit, BTW). Remember him? We managed to get over the breakup of the CCL side well enough…
Meet the manager: Or more accurately, Safari Terry. Christ almighty, what was he thinking off with the Hugo Boss fawn/khaki look? There’s an endangered species even more endangered this evening thanks to our manager. Anyway, when he eventually came out from killing rhinos his office (1 hour after the game had finished), here’s what he said:
TB talks about FCUM – click here
Hope this new method of streaming audio works. You can also download the file directly too. Anyway, it seems he was thinking much along the same lines as we were about that first half performance. Interesting about his views re: Willock signing – seems like he was impressed with him, and the player seems happy to be with us. Suppose we’ll wait until Wednesday until we hear anything though.
Following on from that, it does seem that we won’t be making any more signings now (bar Willock, if he joins), which does seem to go a little against TB’s comments that there will be lots of players available in July. Perhaps he feels the squad is good – and happy – enough not to dip in? Either that or the budget really is stretched…
Three’s a crowd: 1772. Again, as I wrote earlier today, I don’t think this fixture means so much to us as it does to FCUM. Obviously, FCUM sing loads, and their tune to Anarchy In The UK is still genius. But I don’t think we (the supporters) were really up for it that much today. Probably a bit like the players – saving it for Luton.
Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) Flying Ant Day. Little fucking bastards swarming about. Why can’t the little cunts fly off in the middle of the night when I don’t have to put up with them? Also might distract the resident fox at SW19 Towers enough to stop getting into fights. (2) Following my comments in the previous post about the Bucheon tie-up, what did I see as I walked in? An AFCW/Bucheon banner. Said “We will be your friends forever” on it. Excuse me while I vomit. (3) Why did the Sky Sports News ticker put our result in the South/West section of the Scottish ALBA Challenge Cup? Have we been secretly bought out by Hamish McWankelmann?
Anything else? Yeah. The SD Cup is now called the Co-Op Cup, so it’s our second bit of silverware in the last week. Me, I’d love to win the FAT, LSC and even the Slurrey Senior with our under-8s this season. Anyway, with new sponsors of this trophy, does this mean that each player gets 50p off their next purchase of Co-Op 99 tea and 20,000 free Dividend points as a prize?
So, was it worth it? Yeah, why not?
In a nutshell: More like Terry’s Toddlers than Busby Babes…