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Well, I have to be honest and admit I didn’t expect anyone to give me any copy from Monza. I didn’t expect it soon after the game, and I certainly didn’t expect it from the man many Dons fans know as Titters… 😉

If I get any more reports from sunny Lombardy, I’ll happily post them. And a thought or two of mine afterwards.

So a good two hundred away fans watched AFC Wimbledon lose 3-0 to Monza.

If you’ve been to an Italian football match you’ll know about the shambolic ticketing arrangements  and this was no different – photo I.D. required, names printed on tickets. Apparently Messrs Heller and Armstrong sorted things out in the end.

14 carabinieri and 40 stewards in attendance, absolute overkill.

Their ground was a bit of a concrete jungle – quite a distance from the pitch – good view. The old ground from 1976 is still used by the ladies team apparently.

Their Ultras made a good noise, we were a bit subdued, not much fare on offer on the pitch, either that or too much birra on Friday night!

Ross Worner did his best Seb Brown impersonation – passed it straight to an opposition player 25 yards out and clean through on goal. Sweeney saved his blushes.

Sweeney himself played well until he got the referee to produce the only card of the game – a red. No-one seems to know why, he fouled their player – nothing untoward, gave the ref a bit of backchat then gets sent OFF! Perhaps the international swear word was used?

Our centre-halves seemed a bit slow.

Pell was good, Sainte-Luce also.

Not much cutting edge from us, few real chances – Sheringham and Strutton had a chance each  but can’t remember much else.

They were technically more competent than us and deserved it.

Nice half-time introduction of 1976 old boys from both sides. Guy, Stockley, Bryant, Edwards, Aitken, Somers.

Anyway I’m off to get my Paccheri Aumm Aumm at the Trattoria Caprese.

Knowing the author, that last sentence is one he could easily write this Sunday morning…

Got to say, it’s a bit of a damp ending for what proved to be an otherwise decent enough pre-season. By the sounds of it, it was stiflingly hot (35c plus, reportedly), and needless to say, better a 3-0 loss yesterday than one next Saturday.

I’ve no doubt that we’ve got a fair amount to work on in the training sessions this next week. But that’s not really a bad thing, and it won’t hurt us to look at the video footage of this game.

Obviously, Monza were a better side than us, and one presumably more of an established one than we are right now. I can’t quite tell what what standard they are in the Italian divisions, but they did get promotion at the end of last season.

There does seem a bit of concern at our lack of firepower up front getting mentioned again. And you hope that it’s merely pre-season, because I don’t really fancy us having to do a quick fix in September in this position. Especially when we’ve got most of the other positions reasonably well sorted.

It does sound like result apart, everyone had a nice time though. And while getting to Milan proved problematic for a lot of people, one would hope we get these sort of trips abroad a bit more in pre-season these days.

Perhaps Germany next time?

Still, along with 145 others yesterday, your editor went to another part of the world to see our wee lads beat Sheerwater 4-2. It was basically the u18s, with some of the established youngsters like Tom Beere and Bamba coming on in the second half.

I can understand the clamour to put in the likes of Beere and Bamba into the first team, but as Fenlon should prove to us – you can do a lot of (physical) damage to those youngsters by pushing them too early.

Shaun North was there, being the keen observer, and one suspects that we’ll be better off giving Beere/Bamba etc most of the season under his tutelage (and maybe the odd JPT/meaningless end of season game), rather than throw them straight into Torquay because they did well against Sutton.

Speaking of North – he’s a real shortarse (and I can say that with authority) and gives the aura of somebody who’s been around the block in the lower divisions so many times. He really does has that air of seniority within the coaching ranks that we’ve been so sorely lacking.

As for Sheerwater itself, real traditional CCL type setup, but one of the nicer ones too. Pitch was a bit dry, though.

Anyway, this will be the last time I write about any sort of games until Torquay. Very, very odd to think that in six days time, we’re back into the real stuff again…