Skip to content

Battered and Brew-sed

Well, that’s how we feel after our recent goalscoring exploits anyway.

Yep, SW19 is back in Europe again. Though sadly jet lag prevented me from going to Burton.

At least I returned just in time for our first goal of 2022.

Actually, make that the first time we found the net since Wycombe. That’s how long ago it was.

OK, that’s a tad unfair – Charlton and Pompey cried off with the Rona soon after that game, and our momentum ground to a halt before New Year.

But before OP found his scoring boots at the Pirelli yesterday, it was something like 520 minutes sans but.

It only took nine hours.

Granted, we couldn’t actually hold onto the lead, but we were probably all still in shock.

At least, that might explain why we didn’t put any sort of tackle in for their goal.

But a point is a point, as the previous two games taught us, and at least we’re scoring again.

Despite what some may think, we’re not going to escape relegation by drawing every game 0-0.

And yes, I used the “R” word just then. Sue me.

It’s deflating that after the early season promise, we’re reverting to the usual looking over our shoulder again.

This time round, we do at least have a lot of games in a short amount of time, and it will be an excellent time to hit a run of good form.

We did that last season too, and it’s how we ended up with L1 football again today.

To do that though, we’re going to need to actually find the net again more often.

That’s been our big problem this campaign, and if OP really does end up buggering off this January** we’re going to need to move. And quick.

** – is he out of contract this summer? If so, anyone who wants him may well wait and not pay us any money.

Good for us on-field, but not so much for our bean counters.

The rumour mill suggests we might have somebody lined up if somebody waves £2.50 in our direction for Palmer.

It is the usual sell-to-buy scenario, or in our case sell-to-loan.

The usual problems are resurfacing, mind you. As sure as night follows day, we have no money to get in anyone who isn’t an 18-year old from a Premier League youth system.

Strikers are notoriously expensive at the best of times, even more so in January.

For now until May, we need to keep OP by any means possible (or hope his replacement is the next Marcus Forss).

We’ve struggled enough without having Joe Piggot this season, even the 5-goals-a-season version of him.

I don’t think Pressley will amount to much for us, and the new striker we did sign remains untested.

Come the summer, regardless of whether we’re in L1 or not, we’ll need to start loosening the financial shackles over perhaps the most important position.

We probably won’t be able to re-sign Lyle Taylor even on loan, for example, but even a decent(ish) youngster loanee from a Prem club isn’t cheap.

And that’s not including the type of money Piggot is supposedly on** at Ipswich.

** – it’s a mid-level five figure sum per month, the kind of wage some at AFCW would have a cold sweat about if it was per year.

You can kind-of get away with a lack of quality in other areas of the field, at least for a time, but a crap strike force will always cost you games.

Your editor has felt for a good long while that crunch time will be the second proper season back home (I’m not counting last season’s half-life).

The euphoria of being back at Plough Lane will have gone, the expectations over finances will have risen (see the amount of money people spend in the bars and club shop, for example), and it starts getting “real”.

Part of that will include how we start putting more quality in the squad, to start matching the quality of the new stadium we’re in.

MR can only do so much himself with one hand (almost literally) tied behind his back.

Our aim this season is to make sure we’re in L1 by the time the next campaign kicks off, but the hard work starts after we play t’Stanley at PL.

Of course, it does help when other players chip in with goals, like we were doing earlier on in the season.

One only needs to look at Assal’s big chance yesterday. The ball has just landed in Derby…

Published inUncategorised