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Laughing Stock

AKA taking a look back on last Saturday – so you don’t have to.

Although I was at Edgeley Park at the weekend (obviously), there isn’t going to be a proper report on the game.

Various reasons, really. Work, the drive back on Saturday, other things going on today taking up time, even being distracted by the planes coming into Ringway.

But there’s also not much more to say either.

It doesn’t matter if we had a stonewall penalty turned down (even your editor’s Manchester Citeh mate doing the press said it was), or whether it only finished 1-0.

This was genuinely awful for too many parts of the game, a match where we should have been at least three down by the break.

The question is – why? It wasn’t like Barrow, where they struck early and shut up shop.

Nor was it like Mansfield away, where everything that could go wrong did.

Saturday could have been at any point of last season, or if truth be told the season before.

There were boos dead on the full time whistle, which considering the season has only been going less than a month isn’t a good sign.

I had to head back to t’smoke pretty much on the whistle, so I didn’t stick around beyond that. I hope the players got the message.

As the dust settles, one thing is clear – the Johnnie Jackson honeymoon is over.

No, he’s not going to get sacked, which the (very) odd one or two are already calling for. We’d lose any remaining credibilty as a professional football club if we did at this stage.

But his tactics, his square-pegs-in-round-holes approach is already in question.

And this at a club with a fanbase that had to endure 27 or so games without a win last season. PTSD doesn’t go away so easily.

We’ve got four tough games ahead, and we could legitimately go on a Mark Robinson-esque looking streak.

There’s little things to pick out, like Assal’s selfishness. Or Osew being so poor he had to be hauled off at half time.

He was a genuinely poor (re)signing, and I reckon some of the other players thought so too, given how they wouldn’t pass to him when they could.

Lee Brown is starting to be treated with contempt now too. He was dire on Saturday, mainly being outpaced too often.

And when fans are starting to mock his pointing during games…

Already, we’re back in a bad place, and people are just going to start getting more vocal now.

Remember that this was supposed to be different this campaign. The club told us we had a bigger budget, that we had a realistic chance of pushing for the playoffs.

We may still be able to do exactly that. But it’s going to need one helluva improvement from Saturday.

Right now, it’s a case of what we do from here. Training this morning should hopefully be hell for the players.

But JJ and co need to ask themselves what they should be doing differently too.

The 20-passes-around-the-back-then-aimless-hoof approach should only be used sparingly at the best of times.

I don’t deal with tactics, but others have said we looked much more solid in the second half when we put four at the back.

It may not be Jackson’s preferred method, but he might not have a choice.

There’s still a lot of collateral damage from 2021/22, which will take a while to get out of the system.

Until it does – there are some more Saturdays like the last one ahead.

As for Stockport, they deserved it, and if they won 3-0 it wouldn’t have flattered them.

It’s easy to forget that they fell into the Conference North, and you can imagine some of their home games at that level.

That’s a very big lesson for us, by the way. Ditto Southend and especially Scunthorpe right now.

We are not immune from that, especially given “performances” like the weekend.

Will we only learn that when it’s too late?

While the surrounding area reminded me of Mitcham, there was a definite sense of local pride around there.

That reminded me a bit of ourselves in 2011/12 when we were back in the EFL too, and I fully understand that.

I noticed one of the local shops had an advert for a “Stockport County FC Community Wellbeing Day”, however.

Perhaps that should have been on for over 500 AFCW fans after the final whistle…

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