AFC Wimbledon. The goal-less draw specialists…
As you can see by the picture, I was there tonight (last night?), although this isn’t going to be a report.
You know it was 0-0. You will probably know we didn’t create too many chances. And you certainly know there’s increasing disquiet about our lack of, well, anything.
As I sit here in SW19 Towers with a Franziskaner weißbier after what thankfully proved to be a decent drive back, I’m just wondering where we go from here.
You can’t argue with the results in 2023, for the most part. We’ve lost twice this year, both at grounds within the M25.
We’ve also drawn against the teams third and fourth in the space of four days, and defeated the team in seventh.
When you look at it like that – we’re doing all right.
The problem is, goals. Or rather, the chronic lack of them. I think we’ve scored two this calendar year, although I genuinely can’t be bothered to check right now.
It wouldn’t be far off, I bet.
Tonight, I’m struggling to think of any proper chances we had, and it’s been like that for a good while.
Part of this has been forced upon us. We lost Assal, loaned Zach Robinson back up to Dundee, and we’ve brought in three forwards who have yet to settle in.
Ali Al-Hamedi, aka the Iraqi Scouser, needs a goal and quick, although he’s not alone in that.
Janneh started tonight, and didn’t really impress – he looked a bit lightweight and had an opportunity to lay it off when attacking and didn’t have much awareness.
He was replaced by Jaiyesimi, who looked like he had a bit more about him.
So we’ve got in new players who have yet to click, and we’ve done that against most of the teams in and around the automatic promotion places.
When you fail to score for the umpteenth time though, it starts playing on the squad’s collective mind.
Are they going to take to the field on Saturday thinking it’s going to be another 0-0? If so, Hartlepool is going to be a long afternoon.
Think of last season, if you can bring yourself to do so, where not winning went from a couple of games to a run of five, then ten, then another five then up to 27.
There were many reasons for that, but one of them was that the players just lost any belief they could win a game again.
We’re starting to drift into that territory with scoring goals now, and if it requires a tactical change then JJ needs to do so.
I note his post-game comments, by the way. I guess he’s telling the squad they can beat teams privately too, because it sounds like they don’t believe they can find the net.
So, how do we get out of this rut that we saw tonight and so many other times recently?
It might simply be down to a bit of luck. A lucky deflection, a ball falling so kindly that even our lot couldn’t miss it – it could take that to spark things up again.
Maybe even a penalty? Though getting a referee to award one would be a massive achievement in itself.
By the way, if I was doing a proper report – the official gave us zero towards the end, to the point I was convinced he had money on Northampton.
We’re not in danger of going down, thank fuck, so we can afford to be a bit more cavalier in the remaining however many fixtures we have.
We had an epiphany after Sutton at Plough Lane, where patience finally snapped and we turned it around quickly.
If we look like a bunch of eunuchs again on Saturday, will there be another similar reaction?
Not everything is doom-laden, despite what some may think. Our defence is displaying a mean streak I simply haven’t seen in a number of seasons.
The only time they’ve let one in since New Year’s Day was down to the Football Gods being cuntish at our expense at Orient.
Tonight, they dealt with increasing Northampton pressure well, and the good chances I thought they had perhaps weren’t.
Considering that the likes of Brown and Gunter are supposedly dragging it down, they’ve both been part of that setup.
Pearce has taken up where Towler left off, and as your editor said to somebody this evening – is Kalambayi our most improved player this season?
A couple of other things. Like all the other auto-promotion chasing teams I’ve seen, Northampton managed to underwhelm.
This division is really cack, and it’s really a case of who had the better start to the season that is deciding the current league table.
Wasn’t it the Cobblers who dipped out on auto promotion last year on the last day, when Brizzle Rovers gubbed Scunthorpe by a dubious sounding scoreline?
And finally – I was reminded this evening of the big fire that rampaged during a game a few years ago.
I imagine that was a surreal place to be at, although if something similar had happened tonight it would have been more entertaining…