Skip to content

Feeling (Sky) Blue I suppose it’s another point… Not for the first time,  I got called away to cover proceedings at Craven Cottage instead of going to KM. And not for the first time, I think I ended up with the better deal. STTA was there to witness the slowly evolving car crash…

I had a quick look at the last 4 games for the bottom 4 clubs this morning, that’s 16 games in total where between them they’ve managed 1 win.

Tramadol Purchase Online Legally Coventry and Chesterfield look doomed and with only 14 games left for Bury and Swindon they have to be hot favourites to join them in league 2 next season. So, two things – firstly we’re not in a relegation battle just yet and secondly I think we can forget the 50 point requirement. If we can get 45 points on the board that should be good enough to earn another season of Division 3 football.

Hope that makes you feel a bit better because for the first time last night I genuinely thought we looked like a team who could be relegated.

Teams that get relegated are disorganised, they lack characters, their players argue amongst themselves, they misplace passes, offer little threat up front and concede sloppy goals at the back.

Sounds familiar doesn’t it. We managed one attempt on goal in the first half against the worst team in the division. Great control and volley by Tom Soares actually that Lee Burge did very well to keep out.

Second half wasn’t any better and the longer it stayed 0-0 we started to wonder if our dishevelled troops could offer Coventry a chance to avoid that unwanted record of 15 games without a win. On 71 minutes they took the lead, Jodi Jones cut inside from the right and hit a low shot that James Shea should have kept out. He didn’t. 1-0 Coventry.

As the goal went in Barnett and Oakley were waiting to replace Taylor and Poleon, despite falling behind Neal went ahead with the subs. I don’t want to be too tough on George but as our new strikers entered the fray I couldn’t see any way we’d find an equalizer. But somehow we did. 93 minutes on the clock Andy Barcham made a run into the box, Tyrone had a swipe at his cross and it fell to Robbo to smash it into the Coventry net. That’s what happens when you’re bottom of the league.

I’m not sure we deserve a fat lot of credit for nicking a draw against a team that are getting relegated. Whilst the late goal at the weekend might have masked a pretty poor performance I don’t think there’s any hiding from last night’s display. Because make no mistake about it we are shit at the moment. And I don’t think Neal’s got any idea what to do about it. Plus points: another last minute equalizer, another point.

Minus points: too many to list here. The referee’s a…: bit of a homer I thought. Seemed to give us everything in the first half and then tried to even it up a bit in the second. Them: awful, proper bottom of the table outfit…. but somehow as the game went on we managed to make them look decent. The bad news is nothing much will change until we get some players back. I hear Barry Fuller is out for 6 weeks (or 6 months depending who you listen to) – the silver lining there being that George can have an earlier than planned stab at right back and keep well away from our midfield. Darius was rumoured to be back in the squad but no sign of him last night. Jon Meades is due to return to training this week. Two players who have suffered serious injuries in their careers and are starting to give me the ‘Will Nightingale’ feeling. Parrett has disappeared and Bulman was withdrawn again at half-time. I wonder if we could also be doing without these two for a few weeks.

In the mean time with our depleted troops the back 4 look uncomfortable. The midfield looks half reasonable thanks to Reeves and Soares, but the front 3 just isn’t working. Particularly Lyle who is going through one of his grumpy spells.

I wouldn’t necessarily switch to 4-4-2 though. With our second string squad I wouldn’t mind a 4-5-1 approach. 5 in the midfield and play Tom up on his own. His hold up play is excellent so he can do that role.

It might not be pretty but it’s time to do something different and we may pick up a few more low scoring draws while we try and get our first XI back together.

In other news I heard the pitch forker in the spotlight for Saturday is an occasional volunteer and was given the night off. He is due to meet with the club’s management later in the week.

His words to Robinson were along the lines of “get off our pitch you fat scouse cunt”.

The coin thrower has been identified and is being sorted by Charlton. And the club have a fair idea who smuggled the banner in and will be having a word in due course.

All that will die down eventually but for now it’s a difficult period for the club both on and off the pitch.

I wrote a few weeks back that a lot of good work was at risk of coming undone if our league form continued it’s nosedive and we exited the cup. Both have happened and I’m beginning to sense discontent.

There are plenty of easily-pleased Dons fans who are delighted ‘just to have a club to support’ or always judge our achievements by where we were 2/5/10 (delete as appropriate) years ago.

Whatever happens the rest of this season they’ll be clapping happily.

But from some of the shouts I heard last night I suspect there’s a few who will see this season as a failure. We now sit 19th in the form table, we haven’t turned up in key league games and we failed to grasp a season defining cup tie against Leeds or Arsenal.

Normally we might be forgetting about that by now but unfortunately Sutton Utd are on our doorstep. We can’t help but hear of the buzz in the build up to their 5th round tie. Contrast the excitement around their club this week with the morgue like atmosphere at Kingsmeadow last night.

Few predicted the FA Cup nightmare but there was always a bad run just around the corner in League 1 – Neal said so himself at every opportunity when we were doing well. So if he knew the road ahead might be rocky wasn’t it important to keep the supporters onside?

First we had the comment about fans who haven’t played professional football not understanding the game. A similar line followed the first Sutton game when we were told (in respect of the 3G pitch) if we didn’t appreciate what a good result 0-0 was we didn’t understand football.

And then we had the events of Saturday. Plenty spotted the little cuddle with Karl Robinson at full-time before Neal clumsily sided with the franchise wanker over one of our own.

On the pitch Ardley can live off Wombley for another year or two as far as most of us are concerned but off it he should have kept those thoughts to himself and – at least in public – kept Robinson at arms length (however pally they might be behind the scenes).

It wouldn’t surprise me if Saturday has cost him a bit of support amongst the fanbase and if we lose that game on the 14th March his debut season in league 1 will be remembered as a poor one despite staying up.

Was it worth it? not really

In a nutshell: two sides as bad as each other

Rather than go through what all of us already know – we’re shit, and we’re getting shitter – I’m starting to wonder if the penny is finally dropping for a lot of people.

As in, remember Terry Brown’s first (and only) full campaign in the Football League? The momentum from earlier in the season carried us through some moments of outright awfulness.

And there’s a lot of deja vu rearing its head right now.

Pre-game, many were predicting we’d win. Coventry are bottom, for a very good reason. The fact we not only didn’t get victory, but were literally a minute away from losing made people wake up.

We are in trouble right now. And there’s no denying it any more.

The good news is that there’s still enough time to get those one or two wins that will ensure third tier football next season. We do have that safety blanket, at least for now.

But currently, where can you see this next win coming from? Shrewsbury on Saturday? They’ve won four of their last six games, although they lost to Peterborough last night.

With that run of form, it will feel like we’re playing a Chelski, Citeh and PSG XI combined. You just know that we’ll go out on the field at Greenhous Meadow on Saturday and expect not to score.

The supporters know it. And one suspects the players and management do as well.

Gillingham next Tuesday? Five points behind us, and they’ve admitted they’re in a relegation scrap themselves now. Another Chesterfield performance awaits, perhaps?

Or do we wait for Walsall at KM, and pray that our home form picks up again? Because we’ve now done the worst possible thing – rely on results at home, and that’s now deserting us too.

I genuinely fear the Franchise game, especially if we shit the bed again.

I’m told the reaction when we equalised last night was one of almost embarrassment. Certainly amongst the fans, a couple of whom even reportedly apologised to Coventry fans getting on their bus afterwards.

The body language and expressions on a couple of our players in this picture tells its own story too. Which does beg the next question – where does that spark come from now?

Are we in for another senior-players-have-a-secret-meeting session? If we haven’t had one already, that is – I think they know that we’re on a slow slide to oblivion right now, and they don’t want relegation any more than we do.

Apparently, our psychologist is back (the one who played as much part as us getting into L1 as anyone else). If so, he’s got his work cut out.

It’s also telling that opinion is slightly turning against NA. Even if it’s a “I’m a big fan of Neal but…” type comment, it’s happening more and more, and it’s clear our manager is under increasing pressure.

All that can change in practically an instant with a win. Football fans are fickle, after all. But this is a big psychological hurdle, and to be honest, I genuinely question if we can vault over it at this moment.

We shouldn’t need to be talking about this at all. What will annoy me the most if we do go down is that relegation shouldn’t be inevitable, even for our Lowest Budget In The Entire Western Hempishere™.

A bit of guts here, a bit of smart tactical thinking there, and League One is perfectly survivable. I don’t buy that we’re not good enough to stay up – we are.

But something is wrong, and now that “something” can no longer be ignored…