Football really is a funny old game…
Ordinarily, if you had offered me four points from t’Stanley and Wycombe this time last week, I would have snapped your arm off for it.
That we’ve got exactly that, yet this morning feels a bit deflated, might prove something about us after all.
What that is remains to be seen, but as said after Accrington – these might be the first signs we’re properly maturing.
Yesterday was equally a massive kick in the bollocks and a massive complement at the same time.
To go 2-1 up away from home in 93 minutes or whenever it was, then concede in the 97th minute always hurts.
And it does sting this morning.
But to do that at the team who were in the top three at start of play is impressive in itself.
Now consider we played yesterday with only one recognised centre-back, and it’s no wonder it’s a mixed reaction this morning.
I do hope it hurts this morning for the team, it’s the best way of learning how to hang on for a lead in that scenario.
Robbo was understandably gutted, though he was also keen to mention we should have scored more than we did.
It’s no co-incidence that our form has ticked upwards since Ollie Palmer returned.
But there’s a strength of character within the squad now that is starting to show up again.
Don’t forget, we were 1-0 up yesterday for a lot of the game and Wycombe equalised** at the worst possible time for us.
** – I see it was Akinfenwa. As much as he did for us, I’m still not massively upset he left us.
It’s one of those unwritten rules of football that needing fifteen minutes to see a game out is always the worst measurement of time to have.
It’s too long to keep up the desperate defending, but it’s never long enough to change momentum.
So to hold it to 1-1 into injury time is an achievement in itself.
It seems like Kaja is getting some kudos this morning, and one wonders if he’ll be the first “proper” signing we’ll make come January.
Maybe he’ll be the first returning player of the AFCW era to actually be as good second time round?
Then again, if MR had been in charge back then, he might not have left in the first place.
But it’s that time of the season where we do have to start thinking about squad changes.
That we’ve now got three more games left in 2021 is a good thing, because in just under three weeks the transfer window opens.
The rumour mill is suggesting the loanee striker we were after in the summer is coming to us now, following injury.
Whoever that is, that needs to be true – we’ve seen what happens when OP is out.
Do that, and I think we’ll comfortably survive this season. If we don’t…
Actually, it could be quite an interesting January transfer window ahead, if the current tittle-tattle proves even remotely correct.
Only this morning, we read Pompey want NGW and Notlob are after Hartigan.
I’m firmly in the believe-it-when-I-see-it category here, but my attitude over this sort of thing remains the same.
Namely, if somebody offers us decent money for our players – take it.
Even in this ever-improving squad, nobody is irreplacable. Not even OP, though our Transfer Committee needs to justify its existence next month.
We need one or two reinforcements anyway, and we could be losing players through sheer old-fashioned transfer dealings.
Whether anyone will show us the money for our players, I’m not sure. If Pompey really wanted NGW and he’s out of contract in the summer, they’ll probably wait until then.
Let’s assume somebody did give us some lovely cash next month though. Will the decision makers give MR any of it?
The club often gives the impression that it’s addicted to shoestring economics, but that won’t cut it now.
Robbo doesn’t appear to be one willing to splash the cash at the best of times, but if he wants to upgrade and it’s not totally beyond us, we should let him.
After all, he’s a very large reason why our decision makers can enjoy hospitality at Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich this season, rather than Sutton and Barrow…