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Change or die

Deja vu all over again…

It’s just as well I’m heading to Bulgaria and Serbia tomorrow (it’s my birthday, thanks very much for the advanced wishes), and missing the Luton game, because at least I won’t be watching us play this weekend.

I didn’t go to Brizzle Rovers, not that I was planning to anyway, but I’m glad I saved at least £40 for the same old, same old bollocks.

Make no mistake – we’re officially in trouble. And yes, we might have played well in the opening half hour or so, but so many teams who struggle and go down claim similar.

I had the misfortune to see both goals on SSN this morning, and they’re just so dire it’s laughable. I didn’t see Appiah’s miss, but I can imagine what it was like.

The big rumour last night, that lasted for an hour at least, was NA supposedly walking around TB-like with tears in his eyes, and him resigning. Neither occurred, and as you can see his interview is on the OS as though nothing has happened.

For many, it was deflating to hear he was doing BBC Radio London, but this morning there’s a definite shift in things. Even those who fully support him are wavering and suggesting that it would be best if he departed.

At the very least, he’s now on thin ice and it’s starting to crack under him. In truth, he should no longer be in charge.

His tactics are stale and worn out. He can no longer get enough out of the players long enough to make a difference. As said after Blackpool, nothing he changes seems to work any more.

And like all managers whose tenures are coming to a close, his luck has finally run out.

Like the club itself, Ardley has benefited a lot from that. But once he/we stop riding that crest of a wave, we’re doggy paddling for survival. We need answers, and we don’t even understand the questions right now.

But teams in the shit tend to blame luck too much. For about three or four games, maybe it’s a factor, but not with our current run of form.

We beat Gills then failed to build on it. We scraped home against Oxford close to a month ago, and we’ve lost every game since. That’s not down to bad fortune, no matter how much that’s the current party line.

While Ardley should be taking most of the blame, the players can’t escape criticism either. There’s just too many poor attitudes around now, and the team that looked promising early on no longer exists.

You can speculate why the bottom has fallen out so spectacularly in just two months, but my description on Sunday of “rabble” is a pretty apt one.

I’ve no idea what we do in training – if we have training sessions to begin with – but this sums up so many issues at the moment.

These aren’t once-offs on a Saturday night after a game. By every single account these are regular pissups (and might explain Piggy’s chundering at Pompey half-time).

So, four players in the squad – including our only half-decent striker and ball-crosser – are enjoying the high life. So much for professionalism.

And yes, these individuals are full time athletes. Not misguided kids. And at least one of them has been given a chance in the Football League from non-league football, and is currently pissing it up the wall.

What the fuck has happened to discipline?

The real crux of this isn’t that they’re going out on the lash too often, as bad enough as it is, but how open they are about it. There’s nothing clandestine about it, and these are the sessions we know about. Apparently Piggy and Pinnock were grinning at a suitable chant last night…

So, why are they getting away with it? Because they can.

It is openly undermining the authority of the management team. NA is in a weak position, because all he can do is bench them. He can’t do any more than that, because he’s up shit creek.

The team needs Piggy to score goals, and he knows it. If he doesn’t play, then it’s left to Hanson, Jervis and wage thief Appiah. I think I could score as many goals as they could.

Pinnock is the only one who can cross, and King’s only on loan so he doesn’t need to worry about his AFCW future. Can’t fathom Wordsworth’s attitude here, but he wouldn’t be the first pro footballer down this path.

They may also think, like a sizeably large number of our fans, that Ardley is practically unsackable, so they might as well take advantage of that. Just sit back, pick up your wages and know that you don’t have to put yourself about for a new boss.

After all, if this club’s decision makers don’t appear to give a toss about the club’s current direction, why should they?

In truth, I can’t imagine even these four are happy with the current situation. One day, I’m going to dig out a copy of The Secret Footballer, and remind myself what he said happens when players are trying to get their manager ousted.

From memory, there’s a fair bit familiar with our current situation.

Blatantly missed opportunities, players failing to follow instructions, the way we constantly concede the same shit goals against us, and now squad indiscipline. For all the talk of running through brick walls, it makes you wonder what’s really going on.

Anyway, I’m out of here until next Wednesday. I shudder to think what will happen on Saturday, but one final thought – if our current plight is driving fans to drink, you can’t blame the players for doing the same…