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All Is Quiet…

I bet the Edge felt like he was in 2020 when he first found out his guitar amp failed.

So, Happy New Year and all that bollocks, I suppose. A day where nothing actually really changes, but psychologically it’s a new start.

Last year was a bit shit, wasn’t it? And I say that in a twelve months where we stayed up thanks to the lurgy still currently dancing around.

Oh, and we returned home too.

But nobody will miss the previous 365 days, regardless of that somewhat muted homecoming.

To put it another way – if 2020 was a football club, it would be Franchise.

We may be spending Lockdown version whatever we’re up to now at home trying to pretend we’re watching things we’ve already seen umpteen times.

Or we’re secretly going outside for an hour or two, and hoping our NIMBY neighbours don’t see us and grass us up.

But I’m sure plenty will still be looking at the latest pics from the SW17 bit of Plough Lane, whenever they appear.

Your editor passed by a couple of times over Xmas, and there isn’t much (external) work going on at the moment.

Probably because it’s the holiday season, and things start returning on Monday.

Knowing that fans will be in our home again this year already makes 2021 better.

True, it won’t be full houses this season now, unless the Oxford vaccine really gets pumped into as many arms as possible in a few months.

After Easter though, which is on Sunday 4th April, and assuming most of the vulnerable aren’t filling up ICUs any more, we may possibly have the first paying punters at PL since 1991.

Even just 2000 witnessing history will make it that little bit more special.

But unless something goes uber-awry with the lurgy, the day when Plough Lane is filled to capacity will come in the next nine months.

It may be a friendly against a massive club, or it may be a league game (hopefully in League One), but it will be special.

It was going to be special regardless, but life since March 2020 makes that even more so now.

Probably because it was the final twist in the tale of our journey back home, and one that nobody would have foreseen.

You can look back at SW19 in the past year or so, and find a comment about how something else was due to trip us up…

It still remains very ironic that because of Coronavirus, we’re actually able to play at Plough Lane.

Had fans been allowed in at all, we would be at Loftus Road tomorrow for Lincoln, assuming that KM** wasn’t viable.

** – totally by chance, I went past KT1 just before the break, and it’s now almost impossible to remember it hosted our last game in front of fans.

It’s like going to Selhurst these days – we played there for a time, but it almost doesn’t register any more.

Anecdotal evidence from those who work at PL on matchdays suggest there’s some way to go before it’s ready for supporters.

Your editor took a photo through the fence a couple of days ago, and I can vouch for that.

Although it has to be said – it’s going to look damn good when it is.

Of course, there’s the little matter of the Imps at home tomorrow. We’ve had a couple of weeks on the training ground, and a break from the relentless midweek matches.

We’ve needed both, and I really hope we’ve been trying to nail our defensive woes down.

After going 2-0 down at the Kassam on Boxing Day, we saw a change of ethos that might have got us a point after all.

It will be an utter waste if we haven’t learned anything from that, and go back to the failed approach that is pushing us towards League Two.

It’s a new year off the pitch. Let’s hope it’s a new one on it too.

Whatever happens, we’ll have to do it without Steve Seddon, who’s returned to Birmingham.

Regular SW19 readers will know your editor hates it when former players return for a second spell.

Unfortunately, his latest stint just reminded me why I continue to think that – they almost always underwhelm when they return.

Judging by the reaction elsewhere, we’re not going to miss him. And that’s a massive turnaround from the first time he left.

It does mean that we can expect to see NGW/Osew (injuries notwithstanding) in our back line for the time being.

But the smoke signals suggest we’re going to be not inactive in the transfer window. It opens tomorrow, by the way.

Maybe payments from the Premier League have helped us, or maybe we’ve found some money down the back of the sofa, but we sound like we might have a little bit spare when we need it.

Because we need to do something.

While a Corona-related break is always possible, we need to ensure we get the next couple of months sorted.

December was horrific, results wise, and repeating that in January/February could be something that will cripple our campaign.

We got away with it big time the last two seasons, and eventually our luck will finally run out.

Still, it’s 2021 now, and there’s many games ahead of us. Traditionally, we always seem to do quite well after NYD, and this wouldn’t be a bad time to repeat that.

Your editor doesn’t look like he’s working tomorrow afternoon, and in the absence of anything else an afternoon with iFollow’s video feed awaits.

And who knows – maybe the team has made a resolution to keep some clean sheets? Though that could be broken by 3.01pm tomorrow…

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