As this will be the last post of 2012, and I have to go to Birmingham tomorrow, a few thoughts on what it’s like to be bottom of the entire Football League…
We are 92nd for a good reason
To be honest, the only real surprise is that it took up until the last match of a pretty bloody awful 2012 to be bottom of the heap.
Let’s face it, we have been dire this calendar year. Something like twelve wins in the last twelve months tells its own story. Add to that a near-catastrophic pre-season rebuilding (if you can call it that, more like a demolition) and you have to wonder if one can sue the club for negligence in May.
We knew we had issues, but we didn’t realise how deep they were…
The Oxford game was a turning point in our attitude.
Those who worked their nads off to get the Oxford game on must have been feeling pretty betrayed by the “performance” their hard work earned. As I think we all were – the reaction afterwards was as fucked off as I can ever remember it.
Although it’s still pretty restrained, one can sense genuine anger now. It’s because we are seeing our Football League place being thrown away in front of our eyes, and there is still a sense of powerlessness over it.
We actually had a relaxing Xmas because of the postponements, and when you get to that stage where you don’t actually want to play the games, you are most definitely in trouble.
I’m not looking forward to tomorrow at Torquay, because I know what is likely to happen – another game with yet another defensive fuckup, or a mis-placed pass from midfield leading to going a goal down. I’d like to be proven wrong, but it’s happened too many times over the past twelve months for me to believe otherwise.
Which leads on to…
This is the end of the road for a great deal of our squad
When the Terry Brown era was finally put out of its misery, it was against the Gulls. It’s some ironic symmetry that his squad will suffer the same fate down at Plainmoor.
Quite simply, I hate this current crop of players. They usually ruin my weekend, they are making it very hard to look at the table right now, and they just seem happy to trash all the hard work many people have put in over the last decade.
They are weak. They are a leaderless rabble. They wave the white flag far too early. They are not League Two players – they don’t have the mentality to play in proper football. They are under their third management regime (if you count Bassey) and they’ve looked out of place under all of them.
Your editor gets to hear things, and according to “a source from the training ground”, the players are given responsibility for measuring their own fitness levels after workouts and at least one or two of them are so stupid and unprofessional that they don’t even do that. If that’s even remotely true, it would demonstrate what a completely shit attitude they have.
If any of them get sold on, I will drive them to wherever they end up. If it’s true that Luton are going to pay Â£25k for Christian Jolley, then snap their arms off. Same with all of the players, and I include favourites like Midson in that. As far as I’m concerned, their time is up as footballers in the Football League.
Wrong set of players at the wrong time that were brought in for the wrong reasons to play the wrong style of play in the wrong division. It’s time to start getting it right.
Neal Ardley is the right man for the job – but he has until February/March to prove it
Ignore the knee-jerkers who seem to copy some of the retards who phone into sports radio. NA does seem to know what the problems are, if his post game interviews are anything to go by, but until after the game tomorrow his hands are as tied now as they were when he took over.
He has to get next month right, and get in players who will do enough to keep us up this season. For from the middle of January onwards, it will start to look like his team under his control. While TB and to an extent the Football Club board continues to get the deserved blame for our current plight, it will start looking like a desperate excuse come February or March.
Will he deliver? He has to. Not only for our own survival, but his managerial career as well. If his tenure was to come to an end in March because he hasn’t improved things, that’s how harsh we have to be as a football club these days.
Unfair? Yes, considering how many chances his predecessor was given. But that’s the attitude we have to adopt now – even if it’s better late than never, and we had to hit 92nd to learn that.
Last week, NC said that we had a shortlist of 50 players. Which sounds a lot but considering you won’t even get to speak to half of them. There have been little hints here and there about names that haven’t been named – why has WDSA (and others) mentioned the following:
“WDSA understands moves are under way to recruit those type of players, some are very well known to Donsâ€™ fans”
NA does have to move quickly enough – perhaps we won’t get much done before Rochdale, and certainly not tomorrow – because being seen to dither is going to test the patience in what will be a very testing month for us all. At the same time though, he can’t afford to panic buy.
Will he succeed? Ask again in four weeks time, but let’s face it – he couldn’t do any worse than the last transfer window. If he gets even some of it right, it will be seen as a successful time…
Despite the justified negativity, it’s still very much in our own hands
The brutal truth is, we’re 92nd. The other brutal truth is, we have 23 more games to go up two places in the table.
There is still a lot of football to be played between now and the end of the season. We are not ten points adrift, as we are bottom on goal difference, and even if we find ourselves five points adrift after Rochdale that’s nowhere near insurmountable.
Remember the following : not every team down the bottom will suddenly have good runs. If we start having average runs of one win, one draw and one loss, we will stay up pretty comfortably.
There will be teams who are between 13th and 17th right now who will be sucked into the relegation dogfight. There are always one or two teams who do that. If anything, the teams in the bottom four might be in a better position than they realise, as they simply have to do something in January to change things.
It’s pretty likely there will be teams above us who don’t think they need to do too much in the transfer window, and come Feb/March will start having a very bad run of form at the very worst time to have one. Ask Lincoln fans.
In our case, our nadir has come now (or at least it should have done), and at a time where we have the opportunity to do something about it. Because we’re so weak mentally, whenever we have had a run of a couple of games where we haven’t lost, we’ve never sustained it.
And I do believe we’re ripe for a strong character or two to come in and give us the shot in the arm we so badly need. There’s no obvious sign of factionalism in the camp which will make a mass change difficult. Many of the wasters will be gone anyway, those who remain should be able to follow the alpha males. NA has the authority to do what he likes (within budget), and it’s not like we can go any lower.
If we improve we will stay up, simple as that.
2013 will be better than 2012 turned out to be