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Hat’s the way to do it, continued

Some post-Luton/pre-Oxford thoughts…

– 48 hours or so after Luton, and I sense a distinct lack of getting carried away with Saturday. Maybe it’s because we knew we rode our luck a little bit, or whether we’re still in shock is unclear.

I do suspect though a large part of that is due to us playing tomorrow at Oxford (snow permitting). As TB said this morning, beating Luton doesn’t mean a great deal if we don’t do ourselves justice at the Kassam.

What makes tomorrow so intriguing is that we don’t know which Wimbledon will turn up. We’ve seen in the last two games both sides of the team – on the one hand, we’ve seen the resolute outfit that can go to two marquee venues and come away with undefeated. Yet we’ve also seen the bunch of strangers who can’t even pass water after 15 pints of lager. Both in the same game.

But as I mentioned in the report yesterday, it’s stuff typical one should expect from a tough league campaign. Which is what we’ve strived for this past seven years…

– With all this in mind, who here is really upset that we don’t have a game this Saturday? Certainly my wallet is glad for the weekend off – I just worked out that these three games (assuming I go tomorrow, and there’s no guarantee I will) will cost me the equivalent of six games in the Conf South. It’s a price worth paying (literally) of course, but that might explain why we didn’t take the full allocation for Luton and will probably take less than 1k tomorrow.

I do think that people have forgotten how expensive football can be now. I’m sure you all know at least one person who went to almost every home and away game in the CCL up to the Ryman Prem. And now they pick and choose the away fixtures because of the cost, of not getting home by 6pm and indeed may miss the culture of life in the backwaters.

Some games will always be more popular than others. If we were to ever face Barnet or D&R in the Conference (or, hopefully, L2) we’d as good as sell out. Ditto Woking if they were still in the Conf. And for once some grounds north of Brent Cross have seen a fair Womble influx. But there’s going to be more picking and choosing next season.

I can’t see us taking 400 to Alty again. Or the amount we took to Barrow. Although knowing how perverse we are, those two will be popular trips for years to come. I certainly don’t think that we’ll take many to Kettering, and indeed some of the other Northern games will end up becoming minibus type fixtures. Especially the evening ones.

– The quotes from Richard Money after the game, which were amusing to begin with, become even more funny when you consider what he said about us before the game. Wish he’d make his sodding mind up.

Apparently, he was also pretty rude to one of the local radio stations after the game. Sounds like he’s under a fair amount of pressure there. If we stay in this division for a few years, it wouldn’t be the end of the world for us – consolidation is inevitable at some stage, after all. And our perspective is unsurprisingly different from most teams our size. But if you’re Luton, and your whole outlook is based on League football, just imagine being down in the Conference again next season. They must feel right now how we did in the Ryman and CCL.

– Then again, we’re starting to find out why the ex-League sides (excluding ourselves, and anyone who wants to argue over our status can suck my dick) are in this division to begin with. Rather interesting comment from this Oxford United site after their victory over us in August:

AFC Wimbledon are the kind club that wins the Conference. They probably will within the next couple of years. They’re enjoying both the stability and forward momentum that characterised Dagenham, Aldershot and Burton. If you avoid crisis off the pitch in the Conference, almost by default, the likelihood is that you’ll enjoy success on it.

Though I don’t think he meant a “kind club”. OK, I know that it can be Theme Park KM sometimes…

Typos aside, this is an astute observation. The Conference is full of basket case ex-League outfits, and Darlington will be yet another one to add to the list. Oxford themselves have only got themselves together off the pitch recently, and it would be a shock if they didn’t find themselves back in L2 next season.

Could we go up in the next couple of years simply because we run our finances properly? If we did, it would make the Conference even more non-league than most “true” non-league divisions.

– Speaking of non-league and instability, Chester. Quite simply I’ve got to the stage that I’m bored reading about them. We all know most of the teams voting for their existance/extinction will do so out of self interest, and we will do the same as well (no matter how much we bang on about “what their fans want” – if we were a net loser from them going under, we’d vote to keep them in, too).

Anyway, that Danish consortium has apparently fallen out with their fans body already, about 48 hours after they met face-to-face with each other. Christ, at least Koppout had one season where we thought we were both on the same side…….