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That s(t)inking feeling

Oh dear.

I’m sure plenty of words will continued to be said about yesterday right into the middle of next week.

Many words will be typed on various keyboards too, with “cunts”, “useless” and “fucking” being popular ones.

And even if you decide to keep schtum over the whole thing, you have that horrible sense of deja vu all over again.

I’m not sure what’s worse – hearing how utterly dire we were again (this time against a team that hasn’t won away all season) or being completely unsurprised by it.

This morning, somebody said to me that for the first time since we returned home, there was massive booing at full time and people just turned their back on the team.

That’s a powerful message to those who can actually do something about it. Whether they’ll listen to it is another matter…

I’ve said on here that the arse has gone out of this squad, and it’s quite possible that it will get worse.

And then what?

To be honest, I don’t know. I was slightly expecting a sinister-sounding “club statement” headline on the OS announcing Johnnie Jackson had agreed to part company with us.

Many of our fans seemed geared up for that, so one can only imagine how deflated they were when he did a post-match interview.

I’m sticking with my no-point-in-sacking stance, even now, because JJ can offer mitigations in losing Pell, Pearce, PK, Davison and until yesterday Biler.

There are games where the point of no return has been reached, even at this club. Last season at home to Cambridge springs to mind here.

For the record, Mark Robinson was axed on the 28th March last year.

You can also add Franchise at home for Hodges, Harringey for Ardley and Torquay at KM for TB, where it finally collapses in front of our eyes.

But there are also games where the decline is terminal.

Last season, I had two such “joys” – away at Plymouth, then away at Cheltenham (which ironically is almost a year to the day).

I don’t know if yesterday will be Jackson’s such game, remember that he’s dug himself out of a similar hole in October.

He can’t be enjoying this though, although he might also start feeling vindicated if he got shafted in the January window.

JJ won’t resign, which automatically makes him smarter than the rest of the club’s decision makers put together.

Why miss out on a payoff because the club didn’t help you nearly enough in an important window?

One wonders if he’s almost daring AFCW to sack him? Perhaps the club know what he’ll say publicly upon departure, and are scared of that?

I don’t know if that’s true, by the way, but something has gone badly wrong all of a sudden. This isn’t just a collapse in form.

I think we’ll survive this season, there’ll be a number of Newport type games where we scrape points.

But it’s yet another season where we showed promise then freefall at a rate of knots.

There is a big, fundamental issue at how AFCW runs the football side of things and it’s clearly not getting any better.

Sacking JJ would be something like the sixth axing in five years, I haven’t bothered counting.

It would be the biggest admission that our management recruitment approach has failed – and failed too often.

How often do we hear that we ran the process through some (well known) ex-professional managers, with some sophisticated body language experts or something?

The answer is : the same amount of times that we end up sacking these “carefullly selected” managers a year or so later.

JJ may be a busted flush now, but I don’t trust AFCW one bit to get in any sort of decent replacement.

I genuinely don’t think the club is competent or capable enough to make the decision without making things worse.

Indeed, the only thing you can semi-guarantee is that if our current manager goes, the next one will be sacked come March 2024 for exactly the same reasons.

The budget might be a red herring, especially if it really was higher than the beginning of 21/22.

Unfortunately, the only way I can see any sort of proper change** is that we come very close to losing our EFL status – if not outright dropping out altogether.

** – well, selling significant equity to somebody who has a better idea of how to run a football club is another option.

An option we should take, but won’t.

We shouldn’t even be thinking about that, but having a nasty shock is the only way anything remotely changes at this club.

And even then, it doesn’t seem relegation from last season actually properly registered with those in charge of things.

It will make for an utterly horrible rest of the season, but long term we might actually be better staying up by one point.

I’m sure AFCW will at least pay lip service to why we collapsed so quickly again, without doing much if anything to address the fundamentals why.

No doubt it will claim the stadium debt will be a major factor. But one cannot help think the problems aren’t just to do with money…

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