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Made of Plywood

What the hell was that?

I know that things are a little strange in 2020, to put it mildly, and some of the results at the moment are a bit like those games played in WW2.

But after drawing 4-4 yesterday, I’m not sure whether to laugh, cry, or roll my eyes and tut loudly.

Like last week at Northampton, a point is a point. And like this time seven days ago, I’m in two minds about the outcome.

We’re unbeaten, and two draws is better than two kicks in the bollocks.

But while the Northampton game could be put down to ring rustyness, this one seems to have already annoyed people.

Your editor is writing this while seeing the goals for the first time. Their first goal was admittedly a great strike, though our player losing the tackle not so much.

It was impressive (and a good sign) that we pulled back straight away, and it’s good to see Piggy in one of his better spells again.

I’m not too sure if anyone could have done too much about their second one, in all honesty. Sometimes, a good strike is exactly that.

Us going 2-2, then 3-2 (great free kick by the way), then what should have been an unassailable lead at 4-2 partly explains why so many people are pissed off this morning.

Their equaliser especially…. words genuinely fail me.

As somebody on Twatter so memorably put it last night, only AFC Wimbledon could go from 4-2 to 4-4 in the space of one tweet.

By all accounts (I was at Oxford v Sunderland, and it was fun to listen to a clearly pissed-off Robinson), we were very lucky it didn’t end 6-4 to them.

That we’ve got away with it is a good thing, I suppose. Imagine if yesterday was an actual defeat instead of it just feeling like one.

It wouldn’t be the first time things have spilled out two games in – remember Crawley away in the promotion season? – and at least we can do something about it.

But do something about it we must. Because we’re in real trouble if we don’t.

I can’t be bothered to watch GH’s interview on the OS, but I can well imagine him being pissed off beyond belief at it.

His comments about a “big meeting” tomorrow are telling, and you do have to wonder what the outcome of that will be.

One more new player? Well, his SLP comments suggest that he’s happy with the squad, and it’s as much a mental issue with them being strugglers for so long.

That’s what he says in public anyway. Who knows what phone calls to Joe Palmer are being made this week?

I don’t have any inside info, by the way, although maybe getting hold of Ardley’s sports shrink again might be the best transfer dealing we do all summer…

I note Trueman is already the bete noir of many a Womble, and for the reputation of us having decent keepers, we’ve also had our fair share of duffers.

But just thinking back to Plymouth’s fourth goal yesterday, it’s almost like he’s been put in charge of CV19 testing only to find out his immediate boss is Dido Harding.

He really isn’t helped by a centre back pairing that looks slower than your editor did when he had gout over the summer**.

** – not a WUM, I genuinely had it. And if you’ve never experienced it – it is very, *very* painful. Not sure why I had to go to St Georges A&E to get it looked at though.

Why Nightingale isn’t starting I don’t know, although are we expecting too much from him again?

Just as we seem to be getting it right up the other end of the pitch, we seem to have gone backwards at the rearguard.

We’ve been crying out for a Darius Charles figure ever since DC himself departed. Maybe, just maybe it’s time to raid various kitties one more time and find one…

Right now, it’s a case of making the moves we need to to ensure this season doesn’t turn into a disaster after all.

While I think we’re in a better place than we have been, lest we forget NA’s final season also saw us with a good start.

Lose the confidence this early, and it’s very difficult to get it back.

Especially as we’re likely to get a goal drought at some point, which is inevitable for any team, so we’ll need to rely on the back line to get us draws instead of losses.

It’s good that GH in particular is already looking to address this before it gets too late already.

While I agree that it’s good he’s pissed off with what happened, he’s still got to do something about it.

The biggest frustration of all right now is, if we could just get it right at the back we could potentially be in for a decent season.

Still, we’ll wait to see what happens.

As we do with football generally at the moment. There were some test games that had 1000 there yesterday, though with restrictions increasingly likely they could be nixed before long.

Mind you, given how sensitive the decision makers are to not cratering the economy, maybe crowds at stadia could get spared after all?

The EFL does seem to be lobbying government, and letting clubs fall into oblivion is actually quite politically toxic.

As a comment on a political site this week put it, the population cares much more about their football team than they do any politician.

So who knows if crowds can continue to attend in relatively small numbers? Maybe they will, maybe they won’t – you simply can’t predict anything.

And if they can, perhaps stringent safeguards like closing all the local boozers and restricting public transport? It’s not ideal, but it would be something.

It’s ironic that at the moment it doesn’t affect us anyway. Assuming test events can still proceed by the time we play t’Stanley, I wouldn’t think that would be a bad game for us to be let in.

If not – and TBH I expect crowds to be barred again from venues, even if there’s no real reason to do so – we’ll just be counting down the days until NPL finally opens.

It’s supposedly a month away now, but it’s looking ever nicer.

There’s been no official confirmation, but it does seem that the South Stand safe standing stuff (and put your teeth in before you say that) is getting fitted in November.

So it’s probably an admission that NPL won’t be fully open by the end of next month, even if everything else gets completed.

We probably won’t be allowed to open it up much beyond a third full anyway for a good while, so it may not necessarily prevent us from playing games there before too long.

If you search around, we are getting the first pictures of what it looks like inside the West stand, and it’s really going to be decent once completed.

Maybe not grandeous, but a helluva lot better than the rabbit hutch/broom cupboard we’ve put up with since 2002.

Plus, it’s ours.

There’s a nice shot of the Directors Box, and to be honest it doesn’t bother me that there’s one to begin with.

Hierarchies are inevitable, especially at a football club, and I’m not sure some quite grasp a “Fans Club” isn’t always what they think it is.

There’s long been a difference between “owning” the club and running it, especially day-to-day.

Quotemarks deliberate.

That’s a discussion for another day/month/decade, but we’re definitely in ooh-look-it’s-getting-closer mode now.

Though you can just imagine what it will be like when we’re home, in front of a proper crowd, and we fuck it up at 4-2 like we did yesterday…

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