Yes, looks like your editor can finally go to this. You can thank the NCCC for saving the editor a 4h train journey (one way) or spending another night up North, and it’s going to be like old times.
Anyway, the game. Our form right now can best be described thus : play well and win, then play shit and not win. Then play well and win. Then go into the next game and play shit and not win. And play… you get the idea.
So anyone heading up to north Cymru tomorrow can justifiably go up there with some trepidation. Last year at the Racecourse was the first sign of our early 2010 slump, when we got to see Elder and DK together. Sadly, the partnership was less Twin Towers and more 9/11.
If things continue to form, it will not only be frustrating, it will be more than a little disappointing. Obviously, you can’t play every game as well as Tuesday in deepest Nottinghamshire, but it’s going to be a painful comedown if we do play badly. It will almost be as painful as two bad performances on the trot, if not worse, because at least in that situation you know we’re shit.
There’s no logical reason why we should put in a Kiddie-type “performance” though. OK, you can argue for/against mental and physical tiredness, and I believe there’s a bit of truth in it. We have had a fair amount of games recently, and at odd times too (thank you Prem Sports), so this upcoming football-free week is welcome.
But even so, it’s still going to be a punch in the stomach if we lose/draw and play badly tomorrow. It’s not like it’s going to be a radical change of team, and TB was really trying to keep the players’ feet on the ground after Mansfield. We certainly haven’t been giving it the big one like we did against Crawley – lesson learnt? On the field, anyway…
Still, there’s always a reason to have a dig at somebody, and our strikeforce is becoming a bit of a concern. DK is going through a bit of a lean spell, and one has to wonder if with all of these scouts watching us right now whether he’s had his head turned a little bit with an offer made. Doubt we’ll ever find out, but there’s something Chris Hussey-esque about the whole thing right now.
For the right amount of money, he’ll go, and we’d be extremely stupid not to take it. Even if means putting those WUP t-shirts in the same dark part of your cupboard as the Undefeated garments. And I’m afraid that it’s something we will have to get used to again – anyone who has watched Jolley or Jackson or Hatton on a regular basis this season wouldn’t be surprised to see a tempting offer come in from higher up.
It’s not so much of a problem if we can replace them. It’s a big word though, “if”. We didn’t really replace Hussey until this season, and some may argue we still haven’t. Chris Bush spends as much time helping with the filing and tea-making as playing, and you have to wonder about Dr Dre right now.
If Kedwell did leave for pastures new, we would be pretty buggered up front. Jon Main came on against Mansfield and all I remember was a wild swing and a miss. If he’s to have a longer term future with us, he may be best going out on loan to somewhere like Woking, so he remembers minor things like where the goal is.
As for Nokkers, he’s turning into the modern day Kjetil Waehler. Is he injured? Has he died and nobody has told us? He gave a spectacularly inept display against Kiddie (OK, he wasn’t the only one…) and already he’s gone into the Belal Aietuwhatshisname category. Whatever, if DK does find himself playing for Port Vale come January, I think we’ll be glad of the points tally we’ve already got. Who knows, we may even be pining for Nathan Elder to come back…
Anyway, moving on to a recent bugbear. I was informed on Tuesday that visiting officials think our OS is actually quite good. Go figure. I have noticed there’s a bit more “proper” news coming through on it recently, so maybe the comments aimed at it from various places have taken effect?
I accept that official sites by their very nature have to be “in house” and shouldn’t be left to volunteers to do as they see fit without having some strict editorial control. Anyone remember the OS article with the slow motion replay of Eastleigh’s handball “goal”? I don’t know whether the club immediately brought it all in-house after that, but looking back it was a crass bit of stupidity from whoever did it. And if it was the catalyst for dumping those who had volunteered to update it before, I don’t think the club really had any other choice. Certainly wouldn’t blame them if so.
Official sites need to be bland and conformist – christ, look how uppity some of our fans get if an opposition OS makes some snide dig at us. And like so many other things, it’s something we’ll need to get used to. Although I will point out that I did the OS report for the Mansfield game and could have had it on the site within seconds of the final whistle… 😉
Praise is due to the club though – the York train travel deal is an excellent one, and a concept I think has never been fully grasped officially before. This is the sort of thing that will get more people travelling away – don’t know much about Anderson Travel, although doesn’t their boss own Ks? – and it will make life a lot easier for people who are umming and ahhing about it. Especially if they don’t want to search around themselves.
You might be able to get cheaper train tickets if you book early enough, but even so Â£32 isn’t bad if you can’t quite commit yet. And it’s surprising how many people are in that position. Look at how many people booked the coach for tomorrow after Mansfield. After all, success breeds success, and you watch how many people will go for it if we beat Luton the previous Tuesday.
Be honest, you’re a bit tempted to go now, even though it’s still about two months away. OK, York is a popular fixture anyway, although your editor is likely to give Kit Kat Crescent a miss this season. I’m boycotting. That said, the thought of a cheap enough ticket up for grabs without having to book three years in advance has made me slightly waver on this…
Since 2002, I don’t think AFCW has fully catered for the casual fan. When it does, it seems popular (the subsided coach travel, for example), yet too often there’s been a suspicion that some want the club to be the FCUM of the south. As we build up a fanbase with new people, that attitude becomes more and more diluted, and therefore the club has to start catering for more “normal” supporters who just want to follow the team. This is a very good step forward.
Hopefully this will be a success, and is in place for trips to Gateshead and Darlington to name but two. Hell, I wonder how many people would have taken it up for tomorrow…?