A bit of a current sporadically timed update, primarily because SW19 won’t be updated now until at least the 29th October. Although more likely the 31st…
In case you’re wondering, which you weren’t, I’m going here (where this happened in the same year we got moved to Selhurst), then onto here (although I’m told both places have plenty of areas that look like this). Then I get back and real life intrudes once again.
Inbetween that time, we go to Jeff Stelling land before our inevitable fisting (receiving) from Oxford the day after your editor’s birthday. At least after this Saturday just gone we’ve sort-of stopped the rot and got ourselves a credible draw at Morecambe.
Had we’d lost again, the panic buttons would have been frantically thumped this morning. By the sounds of it though, we stopped fucking about and properly started to close them down and get back into it.
Reported, a couple of their fans called us “thuggish”, which is good – rather that than the boo-hooing group of tarts we had last season who went off crying whenever one of them broke a fingernail.
I hope this recent (lack of) form has proven something to us – namely, made us realise that we’re not the wonderful playoff-at-minimum team we are, and that we’re going to have to go back to the proverbial basics and rediscover what put us third to begin with.
This comment from NA seems to have been liberally doused with the cold water of reality:
â€œWe are not a top-four or possibly top-six side but we are going to be there or thereabouts. Itâ€™s a big improvement on where we were last season.â€
One wonders if he told the players before the season they could get into the playoffs and some of them took that as they will get into them?
Whatever, at least we can now start thinking about how to improve again, without spending our time bailing out water. Once again, we concede first, although having seen the highlights on the FLS their goal was, to be fair, a good strike.
Even if Fenlon did look a little bit slow.
Fortunately, we came back, but one wonders why exactly we seemingly have to go behind all the time before we come back. That was the case last season too, and perhaps we ought to get a gypsy king in to remove the curse that has been put upon us.
Though if all they’re going to do is piss on all four corners of the training ground, we might as well get a local tramp to come in and do the same for just a can of Special Brew.
It’s good that Smith scored, as he’s been getting a fair amount of stick recently. Your editor said last week that in comparison, Midson seems to be getting a free pass from people despite not coming on and scoring when he does play.
He’s being benched for a reason, and I would guess for the very same reasons that the previous JM (the recently retired Mr Main) didn’t play so much in the Conference seasons. Sometimes, being a “name” means jack shit if you’re not performing on the field…
The striker situation is a problem though, and I guess Smith has been told to buck his ideas up if he wants his loan extended. At least it appears that Strutton is back with us now, after doing it for Braintree.
OK, he’s been scoring at a lower level, but if you’ve been netting as many goals as he has, the confidence is clearly there. And if he does come into the squad/team for Hartlepool, he can’t say he’s not going to get a chance.
If we’re being honest, we need him to take that opportunity, because our strikeforce needs that kick up the arse. He also needs to take it, because if he goes backwards again with us it won’t always be our fault.
But we can definitely say our confidence is starting to come back again. This hasn’t been a very good four weeks for us, with only a victory against Burton to show for it in all that time.
One wonders if we’ve only just got over the last second goal against Cheltenham (who came a cropper themselves in the 92nd minute on Saturday. Karma’s a bitch). Last week against t’Stanley shocked me, and I guess it finally got through to the players as well.
I would imagine after the initial giddyness and the subsequent slump we’re on a bit of an upward curve again. Tomorrow at Hartlepool would be another good opportunity to build ourselves up again. A win would be orgasmic, but another draw wouldn’t be so bad.
Indeed, I suppose all we want is not to have a bad defeat – if we play well, then we’ll earn more points throughout the season than dropping them. The aim this season was to ensure the most comfortable campaign of mid-table mediocrity, and we are starting to do that.
Our manager is correct in his comment above – we have improved from last season, and if we’re talking about letting in soft goals and problems with our strikeforce then the rest of it is pretty OK.
Sometimes we tend to forget that. Your editor bravely checked the fixtures from around this time last season, and we drew 1-1 against Fleetwood before one of our better games last time out (3-1 win against Brizzle Rovers at KM), followed by a 1-0 loss to Gills.
On the surface of it, those results weren’t too bad, but you honestly can’t see this squad then going on to put on the sort of results and performances that we saw in November/December. Hell, if the FAC draw is rigged and we get to play Franchise again, I would fancy our chances a bit more this time round.
So there’s lots still to be done, but a lot has been done. Classic work-in-progress stuff, and all that.
Elsewhere in the club, and related somewhat to the striker problem, apparently Bamba has left us. Or more accurately, we had to release him. His name did disappear off the radar, especially for the Senior Cup games, and it seems a shame that somebody who showed some pre-season promise has gone.
Why he’s gone is unclear, but it’s apparently “legal”. Did we forget to get him a visa or something? And you thought Darlogate was bad enough. It’s still one striker down on who we could call upon if we really had to, and it’s pretty inevitable that at some point we’ll need to use the loan market.
To be honest, I’m glad we’re sticking with the current squad, no matter how tempting it was recently to once again bring in players almost wholesale. Last season was a case of needs must, and then some, but it really did start getting stupid – and I think we did end up unbalancing the team when we didn’t need to.
I would hope who we got in have enough strength in character to start winning games again, as that would be best for all concerned. It’s an issue that Smith in particular is only on loan until January, as we can’t rely on Midson and (certainly) Sheringham.
To be honest, this current squad is good enough to be mid-table, and I would hope our recent little slump has been down to thinking they’re better than what they are. I don’t think any of us are in the mood to see yet more wholesale changes.
Even so, you would hope/expect that plans are being made for January already – there’s always room for improving things, and hopefully we can start picking and choosing where we strengthen rather than having to replace yet more of the non-league shit the previous manager left us.
This could be quite an interesting couple of months for us, because if we start picking ourselves up and winning a few games it might rejig things for January. Do we think that we’re within touching distance of the playoffs and go for it? If we did, we would have to get a couple more properly good players in.
Do we continue to rebuild for the season instead, and draft in a few promising youngsters to bring them up to speed? That’s probably more likely to happen, and IMO better for us anyway. As a club, I don’t think we’re ready for a legit push at League One, though typically we’ll now end up in it next season.
After all, assuming we don’t go up or down this campaign, this will be the joint longest time we’ve ever stayed in one division in the AFCW era. And somehow, it feels a helluva lot less of a prison sentence than Turdeyland ever was.
Finally, we get to see who we play in the FAC first round this Sunday. It will inevitably be one of the following : Franchise, Stevenage, Crawley or somebody non-descript at home that we play shit against and lose.
I’m not suggesting we deserve a cup run this time out, although it would be very nice for all concerned if we could manage to have one this time. We have reached the second round on the last two occasions, the other one being what everyone there described as pathetically rolling over and dying.
And if it is Franchise, can we just knuckle down, take the money and do over the cuntholes this time round…?