All the way until the end of the season, presumably.
I’ll be totally honest here – I’m genuinely not sure what to say about Cheltenham 3 Sandown Park 1 that hasn’t already been mentioned.
And I can’t say I’ve been chomping on the bit for today arriving, so I can write this.
If you were at the Doncaster game, or the Lincoln one, or… well, just about most games recently you’d know the drill.
The worst thing about this particular fuckup is, this was genuinely winnable.
Cheltenham were shite, looked as good as we were, and with 80 minutes on the clock we were inching towards that elusive, almost unobtainable win.
120 seconds later or so, we were 2-1 down. And the game was lost.
And really, once you’ve seen that old familiar script for about the last fifteen weeks, you can only shrug your shoulders now.
The players seemed to, certainly. They’ve seen this all before too, and they no longer look like they can do anything about it.
The ineffectiveness goes from the pitch, to the dugout, and to those who are supposed to make the decisions.
We have decision makers, right?
We did get in another striker before the game, Monsieur Derick Osei Yaw, who made a cameo on Saturday and probably wanted to go back to France tout de suite.
Perhaps he would have been in the same car heading down the A3 as Lee Brown?
If ever there was a talking point from the weekend, it’s his absence. He’s not obviously injured, or got the Rona, as MR would have offered that up right away.
The local Portsmouth paper has picked up on this, by the way, and you can bet one or two local journos have tried to contact our current left back.
I don’t find it a co-incidence that he’s suddenly not playing after his post Plymouth comments…
But then, it sums things up right now doesn’t it?
It was telling how any pro-MR chants fizzled out pretty quickly on Saturday. Indeed, half the 600/700 there didn’t even bother to attempt joining in.
I think things are now lukewarm at best towards our current head coach, who is looking more and more like he has no further answers.
No, it’s not all his fault. But in the absence of anyone else at AFCW taking responsibility, he’s going to be the fall guy.
I don’t think the club wants to sack him. But they haven’t exactly backed him either.
We’re definitely in that stage that we saw with Terry Brown, Neal Ardley and Glyn Hodges** where it feels terminal.
** – I didn’t mention Walter, but it’s often forgotten how bad we were before he got caught going to William Hill.
If it wasn’t, we would have won at Whaddon Road. Just as we would have beaten Doncaster after being 2-0 up.
But we’re in the bottom four now. And without something major changing, we’ll very likely stay there.
Or in other words – a change of manager won’t necessarily guarantee our survival. But it will certainly lift the mood…
Plus points: We scored a goal.
Minus points: We lost. Our collapse. Looking as rudderless as ever, on the field and off it.
The referee’s a…: Can’t remember him doing anything good or bad, really. Hell, he even helped us out a couple of times.
Them: They must be very thankful they played us, because a semi-decent team would have given them a good gubbing on Saturday.
As good as we were up front, but it should be remembered that a) they nearly equalised as soon as we went ahead, and b) our defence was too poor to keep them out for 90 minutes.
Actually, our FAC game against them was the first sign that something was wrong in our camp. I guess they hadn’t forgotten the last twenty minutes that very afternoon.
Was post-Festival down there too, and definitely a couple in the town centre who had been at the races.
I imagine the whole few days there would be a massive cuntfest. Good for merchants of peaked caps and cocaine though.
Point to ponder: Isn’t one of the current problems with AFCW being that we could very easily make things worse?
I’m not talking about giving MR his P45, I’ve got to the stage now where his departure will be a good thing.
But some have been wanting the decision makers to say something. Even if it’s a public vote of confidence in Robbo.
Actually, we’ve done that sort of thing before. 30th October 2018, as it goes.
When you think how badly that aged so quickly, I can understand why there’s currently radio silence.
I said above how MR’s tenure feels like it’s starting to draw to its close, if it isn’t well on the way there already.
What would a “We fully back Mark Robinson” type statement from the club do? Especially if/when we lose a game again?
And especially with a fanbase who wouldn’t be sad to see him go any more.
I don’t have much sympathy for the grief DTB/PLC members are getting right now. They pretty much put themselves in a corner, after all.
But I do have a tinsy winsy bit over them having their hands metaphorically tied over public announcements.
Employment law is a bitch sometimes, and supporters aren’t the most important party here.
That’s as far as me feeling sorry for them goes, mind you. Getting involved with the oversight/running of AFCW also involves taking responsibility when it’s going wrong, too.
If they don’t want to axe MR, the best thing they can do is to say nothing.
No, it will mean that they’ll get accused of not caring about our plight, and it will be an uncomfortable few months for them.
But that’s what happens when you’re in charge of a professional football club. It’s not a movement…
Truth is stranger than fiction: 1) Leaving SW19 Towers on Saturday morning with a little bit of optimism. That proved fatal. 2) Ben Heneghan’s Tommy Cooper-esque bandage on his head. Wasn’t the only comedy on display.
Anything else? Among the many issues with AFCW right now, it’s obvious we’re need to do yet another overhaul in the summer.
Regardless of whether we stay up or go down. Either outcome won’t change that fundamental.
We’ve put ourselves in the position where the “Process” is either going to need a massive reworking, or will need to be scrapped altogether.
Why? Because what potentially should have been useful changes have been badly implemented.
Take the transfer committee, which has managed to produce the worst level of loanees I can remember in the AFCW era.
That was the total opposite of what was supposed to happen. The idea was to get in the new Marcus Forss through our newly created contacts.
We’ve only had one decent striker this season. He was ours to begin with, and we sold him to Wrexham.
The “Process” is already tainted, and if you were a PL side – why would you loan anyone remotely half-decent to AFCW now?
We got a number in January, and how many of them have regularly featured? Not many.
One reason teams send players out on loan is so they get regular game time in a professional football environment.
If AFCW won’t even give them that, they’ll go elsewhere.
Well, that and it’s probably safer for a player to go to Crimea wearing a Ukraine shirt than it is at our training ground, given the amount of injuries we pick up there.
I focused on the transfers, but the whole “Process” thing that was heavily fanfared has instead put us in this position.
Basically, we’ve tried to be the new Brentford without realising that Matthew Benham put shitloads of his own money in to make that work.
We’re trying to build an empire purely through the reduced section at Poundland.
Drastically reworking – or just scrapping – what we’ve attempted in the last year will deflate a few egos, but already it seems like something we’ll have to do.
It was a noble idea, but it’s failing because it’s more resource-intensive than we thought.
Pushing the whole home-grown-and-hungry mantra is all well and good, but modern football doesn’t work like that – as we’ve found out.
Many bemoan the all-round lack of experience throughout the club. And it will be a cruel irony if our attempt to “professionalise” AFCW became the most amateur thing we’ve ever done…
So, was it worth it? At least I found how to get from Cirencester to the M4.
In a nutshell: Lather, rinse, repeat indeed.