So, how’s League One working out for you then?
I think it’s fair to say that our first three competitive fixtures – with a record of P3 W0 D0 L3 – hasn’t exactly given us joy this new season.
So much for the optimism and momentum that we were still living off before Walsall. At least we’re under no illusions about how this division is any more.
That we’ve gone 1-0 ahead in the last two games, yet conspired to lose them both gives me mixed feelings. We know where the net is, but unfortunately so does the opposition.
It doesn’t help when mistakes are getting made at the back, of course. Poor Ryan Clarke seems the proverbial escape goat right now, although letting in goals like Bolton’s first won’t help.
Goalkeeping is as much confidence as anything, and there’s precious little of that about right now. Listen to the reaction in the
carvery Italian restaurant tonight if/when NA announces his name on the team sheet.
Mind you, if some of our fans are having a pop at him because he doesn’t openly interact with the supporters during games – seriously – then the issue might be deeper.
Perhaps his problem right now is that he’s not Kelly Roos? Would explain a lot if so, and lest we forget the Dutchman didn’t cover himself in glory initially.
(for the record, you can forget him returning to KM. He ain’t coming back. If he was, our wage bill would have been dented significantly…)
So like it or not, Clarke is going to be here for a while. And if the goals we’ve let in are anything to go by, our backline has a lot to answer for as well.
One hopes that Robbo and Darius Charles don’t become the new Pim and MMK. Unfortunately, our previously solid back line has already shown some weakness, and you hope it’s just adapting to the new division.
Which is why I’m glad we’ve got a game tonight. It would be far too early to suggest that Scunny this evening is a must-win game, but we really could do with a point at least already.
Why? Because it would be a bit psychological boost if we could.
A clean sheet would be ideal, especially for Clarke, because the longer we go without either the harder it becomes to get them. It then becomes a v—e—r—y long nine months if you lose that mindset.
And yes, I know it’s only three games in, that we should judge after ten games, it’s a marathon not a Snickers bar etc etc etc. But it won’t take too long for some of the old tensions to rise to the surface again, just like they did before Xmas 2015.
After Northampton this Saturday, we may need to do some serious thinking about reinforcements before the window shuts until January.
Not goalkeeping, but perhaps our back line needs more pace? I wouldn’t say no to a loanee defender, preferably one who can cope with a player running faster than 3mph towards them.
If we find ourselves with zero points by this time next week, we might have to do something quick anyway. Our back line worked last season, but it doesn’t mean it will do so this…
All sounds rather alarmist, n’est pas? Which is why I said earlier that a clean sheet (hell, just a point) tonight will do us a lot of good.
By the sound of it, we’re actually attacking quite well. You can’t rely on us to outscore the opposition, of course, but a forward line like ours should hopefully dig us out of a couple of holes.
I mentioned transfers earlier, and it seems that a few of our fans are getting quite antsy over Lyle Taylor’s contract negotiations.
Losing him would be a big blow, there’s no denying it, but equally we’re not going to let him go a) for peanuts, and b) until ensuring we can replace him PDQ.
I don’t doubt he’s in the shop window, and it will be a case of when, not if he leaves us. It’s the real reason we’ve opened up talks with him – not to get him to stay, but to make sure we don’t lose out when he departs.
This is modern football after all, where anyone half decent in L1 tend not to stick around. And yes, you can go on about “loyalty” but clubs are hardly that either.
We got Tyrone Barnett when Shrewsbury deemed him surplus to requirements, and it’s a side of football some of our fans need to get used to again.
Anyway, your editor should be at KM tonight, and if I am, I will have finally seen Wimbledon (WFC/AFCW) in every senior division in English football.
And considering I’m younger than our management squad, that’s something I still can’t fully get my head around…