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A few very brief thoughts on last night…

Five-nil, eh? Genuinely didn’t expect to see that coming, especially with Elliott out.

I know a few this morning are saying we weren’t as special as a 5-0 suggested (which may be true), and/or that we were helped by Bury’s uber-shiteness (which is definitely true).

But apart from the first five minutes, this was a strong, competent performance. One of those ones where if we had gone out last night we would still be kicking ourselves.

The goals were pretty decent, not to mention the odd deft touch 😉 And all in all, it’s what you would call a satisfactory evening.

NA seemed happy enough too, and one can hope that history does repeat itself this upcoming Saturday. Though needless to say, lumping on Bury might not be a bad move…

Anyway, we get a nice trip up back to the north west again, with Curzon Ashton awaiting us. Helpfully, it’s at 12pm on a Sunday, but it is on telly (OK, BT Sport).

Plenty of questions are already getting asked about this fixture. What’s our allocation? Where is it? What time will I need to leave? And isn’t Curzon a cinema?

The answers are : Dunno. Somewhere near Manchester. Early. Yes. Though more boringly, it’s named after a road of a former club, which is a shame as that tempers all movie-theatre related gags.

I have to be honest here, I’m not looking forward to this game at all. Tight ground against a motivated opposition who we have to be wary of, that kind of thing.

Not to mention we’ll be the big cheeses, who everyone will want to see sent back down south whimpering like an abused greyhound afterwards.

Their ground looks decent enough, though you can bet all their hangers-on will be out for this one. They’ll be up for it big time, and as such we need to deal with that early on.

If our attitude on Sunday 4th December is spot on, we’ll win reasonably comfortably, but FAC football is nothing like that. Witness our first half performance in the first round at Gigg Lane for proof of how we can fuck this up.

Of course, if we can adopt the same mentality last night in a couple of weekends time, then we can look forward to the glamour tie of Reading at home.

There’s a lot of football to be played before then, and by the time we face Fleetwood I guess we’ll be glad of the week off. And not just on it, either.

Finally, while I was typing this, some major news in the wider footballing world broke – the EFL have scrapped their Whole Game Solution package.

The reason given is that now the FA are trying to restore some of the damage it’s done to its own competition in the last decade or two, the EFL have given up.

That certainly means no more League Three, though moving FAC fixtures to midweek was also a shit idea, and SW19 did doubt back in September whether this whole thing would actually happen:

Can it happen? Yes, although with some upheaval. Will it happen? To be honest, I don’t know, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see the 91-club setup left as is.

OK, there’s a strong case to be made about harmonisation for promotion and relegation places – true, we benefited last season, but we could certainly do with just three going down this campaign 😉

But the rest of it may ultimately be seen as gimmicky. Especially if the case for additional funding fails to get made. FL clubs seem in a bit of a mutinous mood, as the B-team failure proved, and ultimately we all act in self-preservation…

Which is why I can’t help think there’s much more to this than the EFL statement. The official line is that the FA wouldn’t play ball over the FAC, but it seems a (relatively) innocuous thing to scrap the whole idea over.

Personally, I think the whole thing was becoming unworkable and it’s a way of bailing out without Harvey trying to lose too much face.

Reading the words of the EFL CEO there, it’s the sound of an ego deflating. An individual who saw himself as a visionary, finding out that his foresight was on a par with Stevie Wonder.

Yes, he’s trying to keep the whole thing going, but that’s down to ego and incompetence on his part. It’s pretty obvious the whole thing would have been difficult to do even with everyone on board.

But Harvey seemed to have pissed off a lot of club chairmen, not just over the ex-JPT fiasco but other things too, and as such he’s now weakened.

Will he quit, as so many want him to do? Of course he won’t. But it would be nice if a number of those chairmen publicly slate him and the way he’s handled this.

Even just brief against him anonymously, because football admin people really don’t like getting questioned in that manner. And anyway, what’s he going to do? Throw them out of the FL?

I still suspect things like standardising the promotion/relegation places and perhaps three-up/three down from the Conference might be on the table.

Equally, they might get tossed aside now – as this place wrote before the Shrewsbury game, the clubs seem in a bit of a mutinous mood…