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Prepare for relegation

I’m breaking my own rules here tonight by writing about losing to Plymouth before sleeping on it, but I think if I don’t put fingers to keyboard I won’t be able to sleep a wink and will probably end up smashing something. Doubtless I will still probably end up regretting writing half of this stuff by tomorrow, but it’s how I feel right now.

At this moment, I don’t feel so much horrible as angry. AFC Wimbledon, which has made a big thing of being “back” in the Football League is going to get relegated at the first attempt. Tonight was a game we simply could not lose, but we did. And it might have even been more.

There was no spark. No nous. No ideas. The goal we got was lucky that it was awarded, but when you get that bit of luck you take it and press on. Not us. We went backwards. Their second goal was almost as inevitable as the sun rising over the trees outside SW19 Towers  tomorrow morning. And their first goal after less than 20 seconds set the scene for the rest of the evening…

I honestly, genuinely cannot see this side staying up. At least without a serious change, and that does mean Terry Brown getting his cards. It won’t happen tonight, or indeed by the time you read this on Wednesday, in fact according to Graham Moody on Twatter…

Terry brown very honest after the game, said #afcwimbledon deserved nothing from it. He is trying to get another centre half & a midfielder


He has also called the players in tomorrow to watch tonight’s game with him where he’ll be saying some home truths #afcwimbledon

Oh, he’s going to tell the players some home truths, is he? Perhaps they ought to tell him a few home truths back too, like why does he treat the defence with disdain? Or why does he buy players who play in one position and then try and get them to play in another?

Or why he takes our best (perhaps only?) decent signing during the January window in Billy Knott and constantly bench him?

Or why he won’t invite Marcus Gayle into the coaching staff?

Or why he has moulded a side into such a way that it has practically run out of steam in trying to claw back yet another conceded goal?

Or why he  signed a clearly unfit Jason Euell as a crowd-placating measure?

Or why he spends most of the time sitting in the dugout not looking like he knows what to do?

Or why we have won only three times in 22 games?

Or, most crucially of all, why we looked distinctly second best against Northampton, Hereford and now Plymouth?

But hey, he’s going to tell them some home truths. Get clapping your hands everyone.

Seriously, I think TB’s tenure at AFCW is on life support now. The players looked like they’d lost him tonight (which is why, in all seriousness, telling them some “home truths” isn’t going to work, and rather hints that TB has finally run out of ideas), and you don’t need me to tell you what happens when that situation occurs.

Fail to beat Daggers on Saturday and that really has to be it for him. If I was the AFCW board, I would spend from tomorrow until Saturday figuring out who to bring in at almost a heartbeat’s moment. The need for AFCW to be in the Football League is far, far greater than personal loyalty to an individual who took us from the Conference and is doing his best to return us back there within a season.

I really do worry if the top brass are a bit too in love with our manager? They’re certainly very loyal to him, they get on tremendously well with him, they reportedly gave him a big sum in January (over £100k I heard tonight, which if true certainly rubbishes the “we haven’t got much money” line) – I’m sure that in an ideal world they’d love to keep him on until he decides to retire.

But taking us from the Ryman Premier to the Football League means absolutely nothing now. It’s totally irrelevant, and must never be used to justify keeping a failing manager on.  This is 2012, and we are relegation bound. And it would be a needless relegation – we should be doing better. We are underachieving. We are teetering on mediocrity. We are painfully non-league in our approach in so many ways.

We have been found out.

I honestly hope that the powers-that-be don’t want to suffer the humiliation of going straight back into non-league football after just one season. Nothing would say failure more than going back to Barrow next season, and you can imagine Erik Samuelson having to walk back with his tail between his legs the first time he has to meet up with the Conference Board again…

On a practical level, would replacing TB now (or more likely, after Daggers) work? Fixture wise, having Daggers, Bradford, Brizzle Rovers, Oxford and Burton Albion in the next two-and-a-bit weeks doesn’t help. In fact, we could even be in the bottom two by the end of that run, if not before. If TB has lost the dressing room, then these next five games are going to be hell. We could easily plummet and never recover from it.

If however you can get a spark – and by that I some fresh blood/thinking/ideas – then you could get a little bit of momentum at the right time and secure our future for next season. If we do replace TB we will need to do it quickly, and they would have to hit the ground running.

A tall order, especially with this bunch? Maybe, but the current option isn’t working…

Anyway, I’ve got a few things that have been on my chest for a good while. One final thing – I won’t deny booing at the final whistle, even if it was out of sheer frustration/pissed-offedness. A few others did too. If wanting us to have minimum standards makes me spoilt, or ungrateful for what we’ve achieved since 2002, or disrespectful to those who have got us there, then so be it.

Because it’s either that or denial.