When TB announced this morning that he would look at Brett Johnson before deciding whether to bring anyone in on loan, you got the impression he was about to repeatedly step on BJ’s foot to prove to our beancounters that we needed somebody in.
So, Mr McNaughton. He’s 19, he’s from West Ham, he signed pro forms last year, he’s a centre back and more importantly he shares your editor’s birthday. Mind you, so did Drewe Broughton. He’s only played once for the Hammers, in the Carling Cup game against, erm, Aldershot Town. Where they lost.
Quite simply though, we’ve needed somebody like this since the Crawley CC game. That he’s only going to be with us for a month isn’t so much of a problem – MMK is two weeks away from his next injury, Fraser Franks is only just starting back in the reserves tomorrow, and fuck knows about Chris Bush and why he isn’t playing. By the time McNaughton returns to Upton Park, at least one of them should be ready…
There’s always question marks about such loan signings, of course. If he starts tomorrow, will he know what to do on set-pieces? Are there going to be issues with communication between him, Stuart and whoever is up in midfield? Although we’re told he trained with us today, so at least our players will recognise what he looks like.
On the flip side though, we’re not playing well enough for that to be an issue. He can’t do any worse than what we’ve seen for the first six games, and it seems TB has finally had enough.
As we all have.
At least we know we have somebody fresh to come into the side, and it may also be a much needed kick up the anal passage area certain players need. It’s fair to say that both BJ and Stuart haven’t quite made the step up to League football as quickly or as painlessly as we all hoped. They may eventually do so, but right now I don’t fancy another 4-0 drubbing tomorrow.
And speaking of our little jaunt down to Hampshire in under 24 hours time, it’s going to be a weird one. Two sets of fans singing Terry Brown’s name (though for some reason Aldershot fans think we love Deano of the Franchise). Occasion wise, it will probably mean more to Shots fans than us, but it doesn’t mean tomorrow won’t be special.
The Rec was, and probably will always be, a venue that we enjoy going to. That we’ve almost sold out is good in itself, but the memories of that FA Trophy game in the Darlogate season still linger. Funny to think that season was the last time we beat anyone from a higher division in a cup competition. Older heads will remember clashes in the 1970s and 80s, on the pitch too, and chances are their ground hasn’t changed much from those days.
Aldershot was (and is) one of those fixtures you look forward to, not just because of TB and co and the location etc etc, but also because in our mind it’s a typical Football League club. It has a draw on us that Daggers and Stevenage still don’t. It’s one of the fixtures we salivated about if we got in the Conference, but now we get to do it in the Football League.
Anyway, tomorrow won’t be a matter of life or death, except if we win. The walk back to the station will inevitably result in the untimely death of 200 Wombles, after all. For those who survive it, at least we are making moves towards plugging our weak spots, if only for the next four weeks.
And one final thing about tomorrow. Singing “It only took nine years” may be considered as rubbing it in to the home fans……..