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Ain’t No Pleasing You

I must offer my congratulations to AFCW, in deflating our collective pre-season hopes in impressively record time…

Seriously, Ryman Premier 3 League Two 0? Have we started pre-season training properly, or have we been sitting around for the last fortnight, comparing various penis sizes and wage packets?

Yeah, I know. It’s only pre-season. Fitness matters more than results. It’s not that important. These things happen, almost as predictably as a Chas n Dave reference to playing Margate (see headline for this writeup)

But come on, we’re supposed to be winning these fixtures 3-0, not lose them.

I guess the week until the Chelski game will be a fun one for the players, because I doubt if they’ll be allowed to show quite so much ring rustyness from now on. I’m not saying the first half in particular was instantly forgettable, but I spent half of it googling “The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife”.

Don’t ask.

OK, we finally got going after conceding the third goal, as the second half was more the team I expect to be playing a part this upcoming campaign. And I think a lot of the wayward shooting was genuinely down to lack of sharpness and new players getting to know each other.

I guess I’m just simply embarrassed by such a scoreline rather than being irritated/annoyed/upset/fucked off. If this fixture got played towards the end of this month, it would probably (OK, hopefully) be us dishing out the 3-0 scoreline rather than being on the end of it.

And this is what we need to do by the time we head down to Aldershot. While PSFs are only about fitness etc etc, there’s also a real need to show the players gelling, and to give some idea that when the proper games start, we won’t be left floundering.

Whatever we did in the first half just did not work. To save you looking at the OS, the starting XI was Worner, Tom Beere, Matt Parsons, Jack Smith , Jake Nicholson, Pell, Francomb, Sean Rigg, Chace Jacquart, AA and Benno.

So, five regular starters (if you count Nicholson and even Benno) from last season, the rest being new signings, youngsters or trialists. During the second half, I really wanted AA to come back on as I think he could have caused some issues.

That might be construed as a positive sign. I doubt if we’ll start even seeing him and Tubbs play together before the Sutton game, although some serious questions are going to be asked of NA if they’re not going to be paired together by Shrewsbury.

You can look up the second half lineup yourself, but at least it stopped people considering doing a Reginald Perrin at Margate’s seafront.

Don’t expect much from the following bits, I feel I’ve already written more on this than is humane…

Plus points: The chips on the seafront were nice.

Minus points: We lost 3-0 to a Ryman Premier side, what do you think?

The referee’s a…: His pre-season too, so I can’t be too unkind. He was a bit shit though.

Them: It’s obviously why they’ve got in our former manager, and signed half our old squad. And it would be typical that two ex-players of ours got two of the goals (although those wanting the return of Luke Moore immediately should remember how ineffective he turned out to be last campaign).

While we were winning the CCL title, they were finishing 16th in the Conference (although their slump was to start when they got demoted), so I suppose it shouldn’t be a stretch to assume they’ll be back at that level before long.

That assumes the whole thing isn’t built on sand, needless to say. I doubt if TB is cheap, and we all know what he’s like with budgets. Margate should go up from Turdeyland, and today I think they played with a bit of a point to prove.

Oh, and the seafront is as grim as it was last time we played down there. Still, there were quite a few people there, and the amusement arcades are quite fun in a kitsch/nostalgic kind of way. Even if it just reminds you why you go abroad on your holiday.

Point to ponder: I’m genuinely struggling to write about this section as I think I’ve lost the will to write anything. Perhaps the question I should write here is, why?

Truth is stranger than fiction: 1) The size of Akinfenwa. Seriously. It’s all muscle, apparently. 2) The guy on Margate seafront preaching about Jesus Christ. Rumours he was heading towards our dressing room at half time are unconfirmed.

Anything else? I think this simply reminds of us of how we need to get the mental side of things correct for the season ahead. The usual caveats of games at this time of season apply, but you can’t deny the obvious – this was a bad result.

There were enough signs in the second half that shouldn’t give you cause to panic just yet. We weren’t over-run in the first half, just extremely sloppy (and maybe giving an early sign that the players responsible may not be regular starters).

That wasn’t the case when Margate’s current boss was leading us through his last pre-season campaign with us. And after Chelski next Saturday is out of the way, the PSFs should finally start seeing us perform.

Of course, some will point out that Torquay won all but one of their friendlies last season, while Chesterfield didn’t win any of theirs…

So, was it worth it? No.

In a nutshell: Roll on next summer.