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Post Morecambe thoughts

No, I didn’t go to Morecambe, nor was I working, which is why I’m here right now, close to a couple of hours after the final whistle has blown.

By the sound of it, we’ve gone backwards. Horribly backwards. In a week where we needed to start picking up points to get us away from the drop zone, we get one out of a possible nine and look too close to the drop zone for comfort.

How has it come to this? How can we go 2-0 down like we did, pull back from a penalty and end up shooting ourselves in the foot? And worse, McCallum gets himself sent off with what was apparently an elbow (meaning we lose him for most of his loan spell).

Well, it seems from both the BBC and the commentary that C-Mac was at fault for at least two of their goals. Outpaced, apparently. And here was me thinking that C-Mac was going to have a new lease of life under N&N…

But yet again, the all round lack of quality has pushed us to within the relegation zone. Make no mistake, we’re down in this position for a reason, and it’s one that started when we lost 7-0 to Reading in the pre-season. Something – something – has been horribly wrong, under three different managers, and right now poor NA is already seeing his managerial career take a big battering.

He does seem in a no-win situation right now. He brings in loanees, and he gets blasted for changing the squad too many times. He then puts in the proper squad players like C-Mac as some form of stability, and they let him down to the point where we lose again. It’s not that he gets help from Pim or MMK with their unreliability, nor does having Toks being unable to play more than three games in a row help.

Right now, January can’t come quick enough.

What I write below isn’t new, in fact without checking it back I know damn well I’m repeating myself over things said quite recently. I’m also writing this having just read NA’s comments about how shit our defending was.

He didn’t say that this is simply not good enough and that most won’t be here come January, although I wouldn’t have blamed him if he had. I can understand that he’s still trying to keep morale up, especially as we still have another month of these useless cunts to put some resemblance of form together.

That’s not to mention the circus of next Sunday. A game which I think we can all legitimately fear at this moment, because they’re scoring goals with as much glee to the point of perversion.

And if we do get humilated at the FrenzyDome, then what? I shudder to think what that will do for a morale that is already teetering on the edge., amongst fans and players alike. A bad defeat next week could be the deathknell in so many ways, because there’s so much emotional baggage connected to that contest that might not be overcome with a bad defeat.

Depressing, isn’t it? But then, when you’ve seen this thing too many times over the last twelve months, and the realisation of the absolute disaster that was the rebuilding in the summer sets in, it does that to you.

We still have January, but that now becomes the most important month in the entire history of the AFCW era, because we’ve already seen what happens when you fuck up a vital transfer window. How much NA will get to do should be the subject of some very worried sounding Football Club Board meetings within the next month.

We simply HAVE to go all out on this. If it means cancelling some contracts, within the boundaries of employment law, so be it. What good does it do us to have Pim seemingly on the treatment table all the time? If there’s a way of getting him off the wage bill, then do so. His alleged £1500 p/w could get us at least one player in who might be able to give us something new, and hopefully somebody who doesn’t get injured as soon as he breaks wind.

Ditto MMK, and from what today sounded like, C-Mac could find himself on the out list after all. Do we make bids for Mambo and Gregs in January? Do we give Antwi a deal? Do we put the likes of Seb, Luke Moore (when fit) and dare I say even Sammy Moore out on loan come January?

Obviously, that also relies on getting the players we want/need/can realistically acquire very quickly. Almost in the first week of the new year. We would effectively be having the start of the season all over again in January, and it will need to hit the ground running very quickly.

But it doesn’t seem there are many other options open to us. Yes, NA’s inexperience is a big risk, but the club actively chose the route of getting in a younger manager who would grow into the role (the other three candidates were Bassey, Lee Bradbury and Rob Page of Port Vale).

If it now feels that it should have got somebody with proper League Two experience, then that’s called making your bed and lying in it. After all, the club has a certain modus operandi, especially when it comes to finance, and it’s one it chooses to adhere to as much as it’s forced into it.

It is still November, but now we have to start thinking seriously about the big first month of 2013. Mark my words here, if we’re like this come February or March, we will go down. And deservedly so.

I don’t think this club should go down, when you consider what we do have. We have a youth system that is starting to produce results. We don’t have too bad an average attendance. We do quite well on merchandise. We’re always being told how prudent we are with money, but one suspects we are still failing to adapt to the realities of the Football League as a club.

That big test will come in January when it sets NA’s budget and his ability to get players in. It simply has to give our current boss the best chance of getting new, proper blood in, because otherwise it will pick up the pieces of our relegation. It won’t have too many excuses as we’ve picked up a nice little wad from the FA Cup, and it has to decide whether it wants AFCW to be a Football League club or not.

If it means being more accomodating than the bean counters would like, so be it. You can’t run a Football League club on the cheap and expect it not to bite you on the arse. Us being in the Conference again, after working so hard to get out of it, would cause a serious enthusiasm gap in the support which will lead to reduced finances, and we all know where that will end up.

Especially when you consider there’s an unbelievable amount of pressure on those who do fundraise (both ordinary fans and the likes of Mike R) right now. To put further pressure on them because of a needless relegation could be a breaking point.

The Board has a fair amount of culpability with regards to our current problems, because it practically left things unchecked before it finally got too big to ignore. It now has to go some to help get us out of this shit, to keep us in the division so we can start doing the proper rebuilding that we should have done this previous summer.

Or to put it another way – Terry Brown was sacked because he was out of his depth in the Football League. January could also show the Football Club itself up in the same harsh manner.

We now have a distraction from the League, if not a particularly welcome one, and I am going to be seriously pissed off if we’ve thrown away vital points because the players have had their heads turned. When we come back from the circus, we’re at Barnet, and you don’t need me to tell you how important that is. Calling it a six-pointer rather underplays its significance.

I hope there’s some serious, proper thinking from various parties coming back from Lancashire right now, because if there isn’t you suspect things could start getting nasty again…