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Geason’s Sreetings

Which is what you probably say after you’ve had a couple of Christmas sherries.

It’s hard to think that in what is usually one of the busiest times of the football calendar, we haven’t played since Wycombe away on the 11th December.

Since then, we’ve missed Pompey and Charlton, and you have to think that Oxford will somehow get nixed.

At least we knew in advance that we’d be kicking our heels. Blackburn fans got to Hull yesterday, to find it was called off about 1pm…

It’s been quiet, and to the point your editor actually wrote an article about passing Beddington Lane before Xmas.

Remember that rumour from the 1990s, where nobody was really sure whether it was true or not?

What I wrote might see the light of day at some point, and I might tidy it up and put a little bit more flesh on its bones before NYD.

It’s not like you’ve got much else to read, football wise.

Back to the present, and I suppose that any injuries/Rona related issues are at least being dealt with, during this enforced break.

It transpires that we would have had no fit forward for Charlton, presumably OP may have had the lurgy.

We found out before Xmas that Pressley could be out for up to eight weeks with a hamstring injury.

I wonder if that might be a good reason to return him to Lionel Road?

This is where not playing games might help us after all, because you would assume when they do happen, we’ll have a fuller and fitter squad.

Including up front. We over-rely on Palmer as it is, and if we’re really getting another striker in, then it might prove a blessing.

Unfortunately, Pressley always gives the impression that he would have been better off at Sutton or Crawley, rather than play in League One.

We hoped we would be getting Forss mark 2, but it feels like we’ve had Michael Folivi back for a third spell.

Having our depleted back line closer to returning is a good thing, mind you, and it’s easy to forget how we had one (?) recognised CB at Wycombe.

Oxford may come too late for anyone to properly return, but with the uber-slog ahead of us, that might not matter.

All of this depends on what the lurgy does to us all. And the not-so-sharp eyed amongst you may have noticed we wrote a letter to the EFL yesterday.

Even if it was under the serious-sounding “Club Statement” headline.

The club isn’t actually wrong in what it says, especially about the bit with larger squadded clubs having an advantage.

Although we have made ourselves hostage to fortune by pointing out that we’ve only had eleven cases of the Rona thus far.

If the spread of Omicron is a guide, we’re going to be hit by it regardless of interventions.

Perhaps the bigger surprise was that it was made publicly. Which is a bit of a gamble to do, especially with somebody as officious as the EFL.

I guess we’re doing it for “transparency”, to placate a particular section of our fanbase who might not always understand why we often keep quiet.

But by luck or judgement, we might have done the right thing on this.

Why? Today’s Telegraph (paywall) has noted that the EFL are investigating Hull City (and others) over calling games off at a late stage.

Our letter gets a good mention in the write-up, and I can well imagine we’ll get a lot of sympathy for our views.

When you consider Palace fielded a full strength XI at Spurs (fat lot of good it did them) yet tried to get that game postponed, you are left to wonder.

Let’s face it – you just know some of these sides simply don’t fancy playing, so they go down the Rona route.

While the Premier League has the might of the TV companies forcing teams to play, I’m not quite sure what the EFL can do.

When a team plays the health card, you have to take their word for it, short of forcing all players to take tests in front of the camera.

Perhaps the best thing for the EFL (and Premier League) to do is to say to clubs that they have to fulfill the fixture regardless?

If they don’t, then award the game 3-0 to the opposition.

It might be a bit draconian for something a lot of clubs can’t help, but Rennes were awarded a 3-0 result when Spurs couldn’t play in that new European competition.

I believe walkovers happen in other sports too, and at the very least it doesn’t punish clubs who have done the best they can to remain healthy.

Though knowing our luck, they’ll introduce this just as half our squad starts coming down with a sniffle…

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