More from the strange purgatory that is the start of pre-season training to the first friendly…
– Tonight is Meet The Manager, which tends to be the unofficial start of nine months of ruined weekends, convoluted travel planning and occasional post-victory glows.
Your editor should be there tonight, though as I warned in the previous update – if you’re expecting another mammoth writeup, don’t act a slapped arse if I don’t do one.
None the less, this could be one of the most intriguing ones for a while. This time last year, we were still getting over THAT Fleetwood game, and we had high hopes and no little optimism.
And we know how long that lasted.
This time, NA has made one of the biggest statements of intent I can remember in any Wimbledon pre-season (AFCW or WFC eras). Tubbs and AA coming in has lifted the mood from last campaign so much it’s barely recognisable.
Whether that will come to the fore tonight, I expect it probably will. The feel-good factor has definitely returned, and I expect our boss will get an easier ride this evening than he could have expected in May.
Still, we can expect to find out what to expect tactics wise next campaign, although I’m sure many will want to ask why we were as limp as Pele’s cock. NA has to learn from that, and with luck we’ll get reassured that he has.
Tactics that is, not Pele’s useless love weapon. Though the two are similar.
We may find out about the whole Midson saga, although there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of bad blood mentioned between the two parties since he left. NA will doubtlessly be diplomatic, but it’s quite possible that it will be a mere parting of the ways – which may disappoint some…
Also, it looks like the Beast and the Bulman will be there tonight as well. No doubt the BMO t-shirts will be on sale too, because Akinfenwa needs to fund his latest Nandos fix.
– Will we get another signing announced tonight? Come to think of it, do we need one?
The news earlier this week was the one you all wanted to hear – Jack Smith is our new left back. It’s interesting (?) to note that he’s a bit of a utility player, which will be handy when we get the inevitable injury list in
the first week of August November.
Though am I right in saying we’ve only got one proper LB? Still, at least it’s better than the 0 left backs we had this time last week.
It may be worth asking the question tonight about what NA is further planning transfer wise. The main bulk of the intake has been done, one assumes, and we’re into the triallist stage of things.
Whether any of them will find themselves with their name printed on the back of an Admiral shirt next season, we don’t know. I’m sure we’ve only ever taken two on permanently – one being Fraser Franks, who is back in the FL at Luton (and a player who unfairly fell victim to TB and SC’s approach to defence), and Rhys Weston.
Oh, and I just cannot let us signing Smith go without this link. Come on, you’ll be humming it in the car for the rest of the week…
(linking this up has just reminded me – when we were at Exeter, they played the Wurzles version of this, called Farmer Bill’s Cowman. And no, you’ll have to Google that because I’m not linking it. Obviously, Exeter love to live up to West Country stereotypes, so presumably the next time we go to SJP we’ll get half time displays of incest)
– There is a follow-on to the LB question posed above, and it’s a bit of a startling one. Having released Callum Kennedy in the summer – he’s back training with us.
Now that is a shot from the blue, a bolt in the dark, a… you get the idea.
Before we get too excited, it’s only to keep him fit, and he has a couple of options. But if we’re signing players who have been released from Championship sides, like Smith, then players like Kennedy are finding it harder to get clubs.
The longer he’s training with us in pre-season, the more likely he’ll be with us again next campaign. From our point of view, he would be another defender, and we can negotiate wages on our terms rather than him dictating them.
For Kennedy, it must be a bit of a headfuck to be back at the club who released you a mere couple of months ago. But then, that’s why players never rock the boat – you never know who will be paying your wages next…
– It’s hard to think that the first pre-season friendly is two days away. It’s obvious why we’re going to Margate, although I will be very disappointed if we don’t win 7-0 😉
What is surprising, maybe, is that after Saturday we don’t have another one until the Chelski fixture at KM. I guess that week won’t be used to analyse our performance at Margate, what needs working on etc, because as we all know pre-season is purely about fitness and nothing else.
And apologies to anyone who still needs therapy over those last nine words.
Actually, people do seem to be looking forward to a set of friendlies, and I mentioned the feel-good factor returning earlier. I didn’t go to TB’s last ever MTM, because to be honest by that stage I just couldn’t bear to listen to him any more. But apparently there was a bit of a sour mood at that even before a ball got kicked.
NA’s summer could have gone the same way, he took the same approach as that ill-fated close season two years ago, and while we haven’t played a game yet there’s no underlying uneasy feeling in 2014.
We’ll get a good turnout to the Kent coast on Saturday, because I think people want to go. And the basic point of football supporting is, you go to games because you want to enjoy them…
– Finally, can somebody explain this John Green/Nerdfighter stuff to me? All I know is that it’s something young persons like, which automatically rules me out of understanding it.
Still, his money helps, although having DFTBA – “Don’t Forget to Be Awesome” – on the back of the shirt may be confusing to the uninitiated. Then again, the HAFSOG acronym was too difficult for some…