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Through the Wall

As it’s pre-season, I can’t really be arsed to do a proper Cats 0 Lions 1 type report, so you’ll have to put up with the following observations…

– Apart from a shaky opening 20 minutes, where our defence looked like it was three divisions below the opposition, we did pretty well. JM put from about two yards over, DK headed onto the bar soon after their dive penalty, so striking wise we weren’t up to speed, but like Charlton it was another PSF where you walked away thinking there’s something promising with this squad.

Derek Duncan Syndromeâ„¢ aside, I’ve now seen two of the three PSFs and we seem a lot more settled in at this early stage than I can remember (at least in the AFCW era). Does anyone remember the PSF at Aldershot four years ago? If you do, then you will know full well what a crap PSF campaign can do.

I know results don’t really matter, and Newcastle United did OK last season despite losing 6-1 to Leyton Orient this time 12 months ago. But I’ve never been one for believing that performances don’t matter – there’s something there to make you believe that this could be a good season again.

– The question of the triallists comes up again, which neatly (?) leads us onto TB’s post match interview :

TB speaks about Millwall friendly

Why do I get the impression he’s currently knocking on Erik’s office door asking for just an extra few quid?

The most telling comment was the one at the end, where he’s stalling making a decision about them. Maybe it really is a case of holding out for just one extra boost in the budget? During the interview, an SW19 reader lip-synched to me “sign Ed Harris”, so it’s obvious an impression or two has been made.  Whether TB himself agrees is one thing, whether our beancounters do is another…

– The pursestrings have been released for Sammy Moore though. He was the only one last night who played the full 90 minutes, and he has a decent enough pedigree (anyone who can get a pro contract at Ipswich can’t be that bad). So if nothing else it will give poor hapless journalists a nightmare if him and Luke Moore play near each other. Also means that our interest in the Charlton loanee (Stavrinou) is off. One wonders if we’ll get Mambo in too, especially as we can keep Franks and/or Harris.

Last night saw Rene Steer become another one we’re looking at – ex-Arse academy, and proof that we’re definitely looking further than the South East. And who is this extra triallist coming in?

No surprise that the Korean guy has been released, but a bit surprised at Noone. Then again, that’s what Steer was in there for last night. As somebody has pointed out somewhere else, if we’re short of money why are we looking at the likes of Steer? Unless 2/3 more triallists count as the budget.

One thing is certain, the PSFs are certainly the most interesting they’ve been for a while.

– Finally, decent enough crowd last night, though as the pitch invader and subsequent kerfuffle illustrates, KM is not suitable for League football. Especially when you put away fans in the KRE and they can get away with shit unaided. Fact is, the stewards down that end last night stood there as the piss was taken out of them, and not for the first time we came across as a soft touch.

OK, I don’t particularly blame some poor (presumably low-paid) steward getting in amongst a bunch of pissed-up mongs, and losing not only his teeth but his half-price drinks voucher in the process, but I wouldn’t want to see what happens when some serious disorder occurs. Especially as we host this lot last game of the season.

We’ve been lucky at KM, because we either haven’t had many away fans to deal with full stop, or because the amount of idiots who turn up have been few and far between. At some point though, we’re going to have to deal with more than the odd cretin, and I think we’re going to come out of it badly.

Which does make me wonder why the designated away fans section on the JS side wasn’t in operation. Last night would have been a good test for that, assuming it was ready (which would then beg the question – why has it taken so long?). I doubt if I’m alone in thinking that KM was at its best when we shunted the away fans down the side, and we were behind both goals. A big game on the KRE (especially in the evening) could make the place a decent one to be again…