Ah, the joys of the new season, where you’re getting back into the swing of things, you’re sitting back and basking in the knowledge that you’ve had a promising start to the new campaign.
And yes, I know we’re two points worse off than we were at the start of last season.
To be honest, like just about everyone else I’m gutted that we didn’t hold out for two more minutes down at Plainmoor. Just about every comment I’ve read from our fans say that we defended too deep and put needless pressure on ourselves at the worst time.
It’s annoying to read, and no doubt frustrating to watch in the flesh. And by all accounts, we either deserved the draw or even the win.
But as my old nan used to say, if that’s all you’ve got to worry about then you’re not doing badly. By chance, your editor bumped into a couple of AFCW fans at Fleet services on Saturday evening (they were sober BTW) and one said that we looked more solid than at almost any other time in 2012/13.
If our main gripeÂ is that we defended too deep in injury time, then that means the rest of it was OK.
True, it sounds like their goalie deserved the MOTM and we’ll probably play worse and win this season. Seeing their goal again was disappointing, but there were worse goals conceded around the division on Saturday. One or two looked painfully familiar.
Before I put fingers to keyboard this morning, your editor had a quick nose at the Torquay forum. Basically, they seemed to think that we were more of a unit than they are. Some thought we were better than them, others believed that we were more or less equal. But the vibe seemed to be that once they “click” they’ll have a good season.
Which either means that other supporters think we’ll have a good campaign ourselves or this is as good as it gets for us 😉
One word that did jump out at me was somebody describing us as “transitional”, which is a helluva lot better than being described as “strugglers”. And when you look at the revolving door this summer was once again, I suppose that’s not too bad a description.
We’re a work in progress.Â We will learn (eventually?) not to invite so much pressure on ourselves. We will learn (eventually?) to take our chances. There’s precious little issue with fitness, or whether these players are good enough for this division. Getting used to each other is not a crime and will be overcome.
They just don’t seem like causes for concern now, and by fuck I haven’t said THAT in a good couple of seasons.
That we started with seven new players at Plainmoor, with only Luke Moore the only starter here before January, might have something to do with it. After the debacle that was Oxford at KM in December, the following appeared on this very site:
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 â€“ they donâ€™t have the mentality to play in proper football. They are under their third management regime (if you count Bassey) and theyâ€™ve looked out of place under all of them.
I don’t hate this current squad now.
I won’t say I’d ever want to share an evening out with them, but you can bet all of them will be kicking themselves over letting it slip late on. I sense they’ll be looking forward to Millwall tomorrow and thinking they can cause an upset.
After the game, NA said that Michael Smith was kicking the wall about missing his chances. That’s exactly what we want to hear – well, wanting to put it right and not scoring to begin with, that is.
See, very few of us realistically expect the playoffs this season. We all know we’re rebuilding the club – transitional, if you like. But you want to hear the players are pissed off with a point rather than three, and to have the good attitude to make it count next time.
If they were on the coach coming back muttering under their breath that it should have been the win, then that’s excellent to hear – rather that than the woe-is-me attitude we had far too often last season.
Callum Kennedy seems to be positive, and as said in the last update – you want to believe in the squad this time around.
Anyway, Torquay is gone, and it’s a trip across South London tomorrow. To be honest, I don’t expect us to come away with a victory – as much as I want us to, and as much as I think it’s not impossible, it will probably be a step too far too soon for this squad.
What I want to come away with from South Bermondsey is the feeling that we’ve done well. If we lose by 1-0, or 2-1, or even a 2-0 loss where their Championship pedigree showed at the end, then that’s acceptable. Disappointing to go out and with no COC run, but better than waving the white flag at Stevenage was.
Of course, a draw and extra time/penalties would be a bonus, and if we won……….