And no, that’s not a reference to our evergreen centre back…
Yesterday might have been one of the stranger days for a good while. I was at Craven Cottage, but thankfully STTA was at KM to witness some carnage…
Ninety-two minutes on the clock, the ball was launched hopefully forward, Tyrone Barnett provided the flick and Tom Elliot smashed it into the bottom corner of the Charlton net.
Just when you start to wonder why it is you keep coming back week after week, football provides the answer.
Yes in that glorious moment we went from yet another defeat and Karl Robinson strutting out of KM with that cheesy grin all over his face to a fantastic battling point, and the scouse wanker embarrassing himself by losing the plot with one of our volunteers.
And on the off chance that volunteer reads here well done sir for whatever little message you whispered in his ear.
I’ve read a report yesterday evening that you “let the club down” with whatever you said….. got a feeling that’s just the Ardley PR machine in action. I hope behind the scenes you’ve had a pat on the back and a pint or two.
Anyway….. We’ve got Tom Elliot…… and thank fuck for that.
Because yesterday’s hard earned point could be vital come the final whistle on 30th April, with each week that passes we look increasingly capable of mounting a late bid for relegation.
I still see mention of a play-off run on some social media channels and wonder what matches those fans have been watching lately.
Our mental and physical appearance suggests to me we’ll limp over the finish line in 16th – 18th place rather than challenge for the top 10.
And the problem is simple. Our fully fit first XI can hold their own at this level, not against the top teams but they’re a match for two thirds of the division. But we haven’t been able to field that first XI since back in October.
With a small squad the danger was always injuries and suspensions, particularly injuries to key players.
There are players we can manage without but Darius and Meadesy aren’t two of them. They are strong characters mentally and physically, as well as two of our best players. Without them and the injuries we are carrying elsewhere we’re looking a poor side.
I am yet to see the highlights but I had Paul Robinson at fault again for the Charlton goal, his slip forcing Robertson to bring down Aribo and concede the free-kick which Ricky Holmes bent into the top corner.
Another individual error, another poor start to a game. What would we offer in response this time?
Soares had the Bulman role of shielding the back 4 which left Reeves and Francomb to provide the creativity. I thought Jake worked hard but had a poor first half. I think it’s a mystery to everyone except Neal what George is doing in our midfield, while Tom Beere disappears to Gateshead.
Without much in midfield or out wide we defaulted long to Tom Elliot. As usual he won his fair share of challenges, providing knock downs and flick ons for his strike partners.
But Taylor and Poleon are also in poor form and made no impression on the Addicks defence.
Half-time saw Bazzer depart and George slotting in at right back (where his future lies if he has one with AFCW). We switched back to 4-4-2 with Andy Barcham down the left and Poleon on the right.
To my surprise what followed was pretty decent. We showed a bit of urgency in our play, a bit of the energy that’s been missing, a determination to get forward and find an equalizer.
But for all our huffing and puffing we struggled to create many chances…. until that moment Barnett made his third contribution of the season and Elliot saved our weekend.
Plus points: not losing, scoring a goal, the scouser’s meltdown.
Minus points: individual errors, poor passing, our squad players, we’ve got another 10 weeks of this.
The referee’s a…: bit of a wanker I thought. Poor decision not to play advantage when Kelly was free in their box. And pretty fucking miserable to red card Tom for celebrating a 92nd minute equalizer.
Yes I know the rules but referees have to use their discretion. If he wasn’t on a yellow by all means card him, definitely have a strong “you’re a lucky boy to be staying on the pitch” word in his ear, but a red in those circumstances? To me that’s a referee with poor judgement.
Them: not a bad side, good passing team and noticeable they had the youth and pace we lack, fortunately for us not enough end product.
As for their fans all a bit cringey weren’t they? Their obvious love for Robinson (did you see him launch into the crowd when they scored?), throwing coins at the lino, having their own small firework display and breaking the advertising boards when we equalized.
Anything else: wonder if I’m alone in feeling a bit disconnected with this season? It started with the disappointment at franchise away, continued with the dreadful run of form through December and January (particularly those away games) and became terminal with the FA Cup exit.
I’m attending games but I don’t feel engaged, I don’t expect us to play well, I don’t expect us to win…. I don’t even expect us to score any more. Maybe it’s the mid-table factor, maybe it’s that nothing much else is going to happen this season.
We will eke out the required points against the dross but that’s about it.
Looking at the table we are still fairly comfortable for now, even if we go another 2 or 3 games without a win I can’t see the likes of Bury and Swindon putting 3 or 4 results together.
But if the bottom dwellers do pick up a win and we manage to lose on Tuesday night we could be as little as 5 points off the drop with 16 games to go.
Was it worth it? To see that wanker’s face, course it was.
In a nutshell: Fuck off Robinson
A thought occurred to me as I was formatting the above – maybe Robinson (Karl, not Paul) motivated us to finally get that equaliser?
After all, when even Franchise fans seem (slightly) more warm towards us because of him, then you know that he deserved THAT banner.
True, it will probably mean that we’ll get a fine, which I would hope will be a bit of a Luton ex-JPT crowdfunder type thingy. As I expect we’ll be punished for the contretemps at the end which involved the scouse James Cordon.
And yes, we’ll be done for Charlton fans throwing that coin at the lino. Though one suggests we should send the bill towards their owner in Belgium…
If yesterday was a test run for the game on the 14th March, I think that particular evening is going to be, ahem, “interesting”. And most of what happened yesterday only did so because of one individual.
Imagine a whole bunch of Lying Cunts (or should that be Lying Kunts?) on our doorstep, shitting all over it and blaming us for the smell?
We’ll certainly be searched more times than a Muslim entering the United States for that game, and it’s only going to take one flashpoint for some stuff which will inevitably cost us.
Which is why I’m genuinely convinced that game should be behind closed doors. Yes, we shouldn’t need to, and the police are going to have some massive say that evening as it is.
Closing the bars that evening might not be a bad idea. And I seriously doubt if you’ll be allowed to hang around outside.
Indeed, even simply banning people from even leaving the ground for 15 minutes afterwards, while the Frenzy team bus and the little one following behind (the supporters one, which has the cleanest windows in the south Midlands) scarper PDQ.
And even with those ultra-restrictions, I’d be very surprised if something didn’t happen. There’s 14 years of payback still waiting in many people, and that eventually has to come out at some point.
So good luck to AFCW on that one. Perhaps we should push for the game to be at 1pm that day instead…
All of this, and Lying Kunt’s post-game histrionics shouldn’t detract from the fact this is a MASSIVE point. Yes, it’s two dropped at home, in a period where we are practically relying on it to survive right now.
Yes, it puts pressure on us to win against Coventry on Tuesday, and if those down the bottom start picking up points, then we’re in a relegation scrap.
Which considering that we shouldn’t be in one to begin with will make that immensely difficult to swallow.
But maybe this can prove to be our Newport away from last season? It was pleasing to read so many saying that we played decently enough in the second half yesterday.
And sometimes, you just need that one break. OK, it meant that Elliott got the red card, but that’s the stupidity of the laws rather than anything else.
This is where the amount of games coming up could end up helping us. Assuming we win on Tuesday, we’re actually due a good run of form.
December and January have been horrible, for the most part, and I do think we’re good enough to start winning again. The trouble is, our problem seems to be mental.
I think we’ve been shot between the ears even before Sutton, for reasons I don’t know why, which is why our psychologist has apparently returned.
Maybe his intervention helped us in the second half yesterday? Or maybe, like Newport last season, we realised collectively what we were throwing away?
Whatever it was, I’m glad it happened, because another loss would have been pretty nasty to deal with this morning.
Mind you, hearing that we managed to be even worse in the first half than against t’Blades last week is pretty worrying. It’s as though we entered the field of play not expecting to score a goal.
That’s the case away from KM, and up until the 90th minute yesterday it was starting to become a major issue on home soil as well.
But this morning, we feel a lot better and we’ve almost forgotten that. If we can start the game Tuesday in a positive frame of mind, and get an early goal, then who knows?
We’re good enough this season to be in mid-to-lower table. But do we believe that enough…?
Finally, it looks like yet another round of write-ins about NPL. Yep, the club are forewarning us again, and you could be forgiven for thinking this was all behind us.
The attempt to get Historic England to list something that is, let’s be blunt, a shithole is ludicrous. Hell, their own report doesn’t suggest it’s anything but a dump, with only odd bits that are worth saving.
So why are we going to go through all this again? A show of strength, basically. A couple of thousand of us writing in telling them not to even think about “protecting” some drugged-up mutts or some MOT failures will send the message.
But it’s also the club covering all bases again. Just like the write-ins to Khan and Javid, we might not have needed to do them, but I’m damn glad we did.
Remember that it was the stock car mob who are behind all this – it’s got nothing to do with “history” and everything to do with them playing no part whatsoever in the planning process.
So yeah, this is annoying to have to do yet again. But it will be worth it. And yes, I’ll be instructing you all to do it…
Incidentally, and along these lines – I haven’t read Erik’s programme notes yet, but it seems he might have made a mistake in predicting when the s106s would get signed.
I guess he as much as everyone else wants them completed ASAP, and it was a bit of a rare lapse in judgement from him.
That there was apparently a meeting on Friday to sort out outstanding issues on them isn’t really earthshattering news, to be honest.
Something as complex as this project is never easy or straightforward, and when – yes, when – they get signed, we’ll soon realise why they’ve taken so long.
As somebody much wiser than me has said on this, it’s all a case of hurry up and wait. Christ, Brentford’s new place is taking as long as ours…