After Minicab Drivers 1 Railwaymen 3, I’m semi tempted to just put “No further comment necessary” as a match report.
Sadly, I doubt if I could get away with doing that, but there was something inevitable about today. Whether it was the pre-game hype to ourselves about possibly going top, whether it was half an eye on Crawley next week, with all the ramping up that particular contest brings up, or whether the run of four consecutive League wins was always going to hit the buffers (sorry), it doesn’t matter.
This wasn’t the holy-shit-we’re-a-bit-out-of-our-depth that some games have been this season. This was simply poor. Or one of those days, if you’re more charitable than your editor is after defeat. Little mistakes everywhere, not really getting going, that kind of thing.
Yes, some may argue that we dominated the first half – we might have done, but we were still lucky that Crewe were as good as finishing as we were (oh, how familiar does that sound?). Of course, just one minute into the second half…
I think we learnt something today that will serve us well – while we’re not a bad side, we’re not good enough to be complacent. Which it seems we were, by quite a distance. Anyone planning in their heads automatic promotion beforehand and dreaming of the glow of being top got shown their arse in a rather pointed way.
Did anyone come out with much credit? The back line seemed to go back into bad old habits, Sam Hatton is starting to become maligned again. Chris Bush is young, and ditto C-Mac. Elsewhere, I think Jolley had one of those not-too-special days, which he has as many as the decent games. True, he’s young (again) but it’s days like this I wish Charlie A and Kieran D were fitter.
Jack Midson was never likely to get his tenth goal of the season, and everyone else just either seemed lightweight or making more mistakes than a Franchise fan fondling a member of the opposite sex. The only one who seemed to show anything was Ricky Wellard, and people are slagging him off.
Harsh? Yeah, probably. But that’s what Football League life is like. You can’t be too arrogant about teams, especially at this stage of the season. Crewe were nearer the bottom than the top, yet they had enough to capitalise on our frailties.
Still, there’s not much else to say right now. We’ve had a good run of four straight wins, and this division is weird enough as it is without delving into these results too much. I just hope people haven’t already planned on how they’ll get to the WankieDome next season…
Plus points: At least we scored. Was alright in the first half.
Minus points: 1600-1650 BST.
The referee’s a…: Only thing of note he did was get something in his eye, which called for Mike Raynor to get out the Optrex. He could have decided to miss their first goal as a thank you though. The ungrateful bastard.
Them: Good to see WFC-era legend Dario Gradi warmly received, not so good to see him leave with all three points. To be fair, Crewe deserved to win as they (eventually) took their chances. They weren’t niggly or anything, but they knew enough to take advantage of an inexperienced opponent thinking it’s the dogs danglies due to a couple of good wins.
Decent turnout from them too, 440 to be precise. No Port Vale in sight though, as a few of the older Wombles “happily” mention whenever Gresty Road is mentioned…
Point to ponder: Do you reckon we’ll see what our real character is now? It’s quite possible that by the end of this month we could have lost four games in a row, which will be a marked difference from what we started October in. We’ve enjoyed being high up and now we’ve effectively got to start all over again.
Time will tell if today was just a bad day or whether it’s the first warning signs of reality hitting us. If truth be told, I would prefer it if we didn’t have Crawley next week – people like to wind themselves up into a bit of a frenzy over this fixture as it is, and it can often go quite wrong when we do that. With Torquay and Shrewsbury after that, we could as easily find ourselves in a bit of a mini slump.
Of course, if we win…
Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) The sight of the Welsh RFU fan in the crowd. Presumably one of ours, his day has been such that he probably got home and found a Franchise fan balls deep in his missus. (2) Family Fun Day. Seemed to go down well, but I’m not sure it did those kids in fancy dress much good to hear the booing/cheering during the penalty shootout at the same time. Whatever happened to the good old days of RAF dogs performing tricks on the centre circle? As well as alsatians jumping through hoops?
Anything else? At least one good thing that has come out of today – the club has finally stopped calling KM the god awful “Fans Stadium”.
OK, it’s going to be called the Cherry Red Records Stadium, even though most people will still refer to it at Kingsmeadow, and I hope Mr McNay is putting some decent money in for naming rights, but you’re not going to get much sympathy from me over scrapping one of the most crappy sounding names ever given to a stadium.
Since day one, the very name of “Fans Stadium” sounded pretentious at best, and something that sounded like it was concocted in a brainstorming room in an advertising agency office. Although given what TBWA were doing with us at the time, that’s probably not far off the mark.
As a concept, it didn’t really work from the off. For those who don’t remember, there really was a conceptual idea behind it. Here’s a cinema advert about it from the time:
Seems so long ago now, and so idealistic too. But back then, there was a genuine belief that fans would get together and help build up this whole new concept of soccer fandom, that everyone would have a “stake” in a small Ryman Premier ground in south west London…
Real life is a funny thing, isn’t it? Especially in the culture of football supporting, which is pretty partisan at the best of times. Needless to say, massive hordes of opposition fans didn’t turn up to help build walls at KM, in fact they simply went back to their own clubs and cared first and foremost what happened there.
There’s an article about the whole idealism/romanticism that was around from 2002 to 2004/05, and one day I might write it. No doubt there are some of our fans who still yearn that it was still the case, but if nothing else the whole “Fans Stadium” name reflected an era that died off pretty quickly once reality hit.
In a way, it’s a little closing of the chapter of that whole era, to be brought out only on nostalgic occasions. Bit like the Dave Anderson evening yesterday.Â Nobody actually used it as it was, preferring to call it KM or, at times when SW19 was in a bad mood, die Volkstadion. Actually, thinking about it, “Fans Stadium” did sound like a municipal stadium in a Warsaw Pact country. And when CRR came along, it sounded as out of place as an X-Factor contestant at a music concert.
As for what it is now, stadium rebrands are nothing new, as anyone who goes to the Coral Windows Stadium will testify. As long as we get a decent market rate from them, and until we get a blue chip company involved, I can’t see why it would be a problem for anyone. Hell, we have the John Smiths, Tempest End and Paul Strank stand as it is.
Besides, CRR used to issue Dead Kennedys records. All together now : Went to a party, I danced all night….
So, was it worth it? Piss off.
In a nutshell: AFC Wimbledon, meet planet Earth.