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Cards on the table

woking2014 Well, that was most convivial…

I guess the conclusion of McLaren 1 Mercedes 3 is that this was the pre-season workout we needed, with the pre-season result which will give us a little bit of glow until next weekend.

If Margate was horrible, and Chelski was us being happy despite us losing, then today was the sort of day that this time of year is made of. It was warm – OK, bloody hot – and despite being on the backfoot at times you can sense the progression. The goals were taken well, and although we were dozing a bit for their effort, you could leave the site of our senior cup triumphs with that sort of feeling that this might not be a bad campaign after all.

It’s the usual caveat about pre-season friendlies, although I certainly don’t subscribe to the “all about fitness” theory. What struck me was before the game, where they were doing their pre-game quick sprints, and one or two of them were smiling.

Tramadol 100Mg Online Overnight Whether that was because of the weather, or because of the lack of competitive games, or whether it’s because NA hasn’t drummed out HAFSOG of them yet, it’s a bit different to the moments of surlyness that permeated too much of last season. For now, they all appear like they all want to be here. I’m sure the few days away in La Manga will be a further boost to the preparations, though needless to say “team bonding” will involve a lot of alcohol and somebody photographed with a marrow shoved up their arse. My money is on Harry Pell being the recipient. Hell, it might even sharpen him up a bit.

Buy Cheapest Tramadol Online Actually, that’s a bit unfair on him, although it’s fair to say his pre-season has gone a bit like last campaign ended. I’m not too sure what he needs, beyond a run of games where he plays well and regains the confidence. And the way we’ve concentrated on the first XI, he may not get it here. The game itself? We were a bit slow to start, in truth. I hope that’s not a feature of 2014/15, it was bad enough in 13/14. Whether we’ll be more intense when the season proper starts, one would hope so.

That said, we did otherwise look comfortable, and Tubbs did show why we’ve done bloody well to get his services this season. In fact, I reckon while AA will be the focal point, in more ways than one, Tubbs will be the one costing his goal-per-game sponsors a fortune.

What was interesting today was unlike Slutton, it was how close to what I expect the first XI will be against Shrewsbury. To be honest, I would expect it to be taking shape about now, but the likes of Nightingale weren’t playing (Oakley was on crutches, reportedly). I assume they’ll be heading off for the Spain pissup pre-season camp, though I would guess that they’ll be at Havant rather than Aldershot.

Oh, and is Danny Bulman really 35 years old?

Tramadol Purchase Online Uk Anyway, it’s still pre-season for me, but I am starting to type more than half an hour without wheezing… Plus points: A win. Looking promising. Tubbs scoring. Ditto Rigg. And Arthur. Looking more like the first eleven we want to see. Minus points: Their goal. Sodding flying ants.

The referee’s a…: Let’s be generous and say that he’s still got two weeks himself to be match fit and sharp… Them: Not too bad, and apparently their form was pretty good in the Conference from about November onwards. One may hesitate to call them dark horses in the newly named Vanarama Conference*, although you can’t deny you’d love a (Football) League fixture down there. * – yep, apparently the Blue Square Bet/Skrill Premier has got new sponsors, from the firm with the most annoying advert around. Even I’m starting to feel sorry for the Conference now. Mind you, there isn’t much difference between the mentality of white van drivers and the Conference board…

I guess Woking are always destined to be a non-league club, and I’m surprised how few times in the AFCW era we’ve ever played them competitively. Isn’t it only the FA Trophy that we’ve ever clashed? And that was a pile of horseshit.

Buying Tramadol Online Reviews Actually, this will be a question for one of the historical types. Does Kingfield hold the record for hosting most competitive fixtures involving Wimbledon (AFCW or WFC eras) without ever playing against the side whose ground it is? We played Slutton at GGL in a senior cup a few years ago, so that doesn’t count. Oh, and how weird was it to walk past Westfield’s rebuilt ground? Still remember the coppers closing down the old pavilion when we descended en masse before a final…

Tramadol Legal To Buy Point to ponder: Whither Callum Kennedy? For somebody merely training with us and assessing his options, he doesn’t half seem to be playing a part in pre-season training.

He came on for 20 or so minutes again today, and considering he’s outlasted all the trialists by a couple of weeks, you do have to think that we’re considering offering him a new deal. Whether he’ll be in La Manga remains to be seen, but it will seem a surprise if he isn’t. Presumably the issues that made us release him in the first place have been sorted, or at least in hand. It seems to have disappeared off t’internet, but I’m sure NA this week said that they’ve treated Kennedy’s injury differently this time and it’s responded far better. If it has, then we’ve got a decent enough defender playing for us who we could do worse than sign up… Truth is stranger than fiction: 1) Flying ants. I know I mentioned them earlier, but they are still little cunts. 2) Playing with 10 men because Woking went down to that number themselves. Didn’t realise that until afterwards, as was bragging that we only needed that amount of players. 3) £8 to get in. Not bad for a PSF these days, which says something about admission prices. We charged a tenner on Tuesday.

Anything else? Little discussion during the game, which went along these lines : would we have been better off buying one more released-from-Chelski-youngster type (a la Azeez) than one the wrong side of 30? I was in the latter camp, and was in the minority. I can understand why you want to blood youngsters, and if you do that you get more longevity. But you can’t deny we’ve been improved with the likes of AA, Tubbs, Bulman and Rigg – none of whom could ever be put in the “promising youngster” category these days.

Tramadol Online Cod Overnight Don’t get me wrong here – if Will Nightingale, par example, makes the step up next season, then great. Rather put him in than a loanee, and he’ll bring the average age of our centre-backs down to under pensionable age.

But the last three seasons should have proven that unless you’re managed by somebody who can’t dress unaided, there is no substitute for established talent.

Yes, our defence is a bit old and slow. But at least it knows how to defend – the days of MMK are behind us. And just as Tubbs/AA won’t be rampaging through every back line this season, not every opposition attack will be speed demons.

Yes, we have concentrated on getting a decent starting XI and we may be lacking in depth. But at least we have a legitimately decent first team. True, it’s a risk putting all our eggs in such a basket, but the previous approaches haven’t worked as well as we’ve hoped.

Don’t forget, we’ve come far too close to the drop zone for the past three seasons for comfort, the club has (IMO) been underprepared for life in the Football League for longer than it should have been, and the “Wimbledon Way” has rarely struck gold in recent years anyway.

Also, if you have a good first team, then it shows the youngsters what level they need to be at. It’s often forgotten, even now, that this is only the second year of the u21 setup – and the first in which we’ll be in a proper competitive league.

By the sound of it, we’re spending a lot of money on our yoof setup, so it better start paying dividends. And to get the kids to the standards of being League Two (and higher) players, they need to start matching the levels of Tubbs, or Akinfenwa, or Riggs.

Otherwise, what’s the point of developing them?

I think the club realised this close season that it can’t make-do-and-mend for too much longer. It increased its budget, did a different approach to player purchases this summer, and as a result the initial signs are good.

We might be a victim of League Two circumstance anyway, namely that youngsters don’t make big money moves from this level – unless they’re exceptionally good, of course.

If you’re buying youngsters with an eye on bringing them through, remember you still have to win games. By all means continue if you think they’re going to do that, but your success relies on your more established players.

And the better ones of those you can get, the better…

So, was it worth it? Not too shabby.

In a nutshell: Better than a poke in the bollocks.