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Unhappy Easter

Well if nothing else, Jeff Stelling reckons we’re safe…

There were various reasons why I decided to update today rather than the morning after Harrogate.

Eight cans of Guinness on Friday night being one of them, admittedly.

You don’t need me to go through the emotions being 2-0 up on 88 minutes then drawing 2-2 entail. Except for the one of expectation, which manages to make it feel even worse.

And this was a draw. Imagine if we’d lost…?

But as we head towards hosting Salford in SW17 tomorrow, and I was pondering what to put down, I wonder if Johnnie Jackson has a week to save his job?

There was an interview in the Football League Paper last week with him, which apparently said he knows he could have been sacked by now.

I could be very wrong on that, as it’s paywalled.

Even if I am, results like Friday are the ones that end up killing managerial tenures – even at AFCW.

I’m in no doubt that when they put in JJ, he was supposed to be a longer term appointment, so we wouldn’t have to sack yet another manager in March/April.

If the clubs below us catch up some more, and we end up fighting the drop after all, one has to think the club will collectively shit itself.

The reaction after Harrogate was understandable, even allowing for the knee-jerkism that always happens.

But I would say those who want JJ out are now in the large minority, maybe even majority. Including one or two quite influential supporters…

To be honest, I’m still in the keep-him-in-charge camp, for the same reasons as stated on SW19 many times before.

But lose tomorrow, especially if it’s a bad loss, and it gets harder to think a change isn’t needed.

Even the decision makers can’t ignore that when it gets to that stage.

The club might have to sack him just to ensure season ticket sales don’t collapse. Cynical, perhaps, but probably very close to the truth.

Salford is going to be a crunch game, because we’ll see if the players actually have any sort of fortitude about them.

Unfortunately Harrogate proved that this lot don’t have it. And worse, they seem to know it as well.

Ultimately, the buck stops with the manager, no matter how unfair that is. If we need a change at the top to get those elusive points from the last three or four games, we’ll do it.

Why? Because we’ll panic – it’s AFC Wimbledon, it’s what we do.

Well, more accurately we’ll hold on for as long as possible then throw our hands up in shrieking horror and frantically run around the room.

And then wonder why it’s been allowed to get to this stage in the first place. Or to give its proper description, the 2021/22 season.

Of course, that raises questions like who would come in at short notice. But last year we got in Bowen and Eddy Neddy almost as quickly as you could say “Darius Charles”…

We’ll see what happens tomorrow, a game I will thankfully be missing.

Judging by the anecdotes this weekend, I won’t be the only one not turning up, though I’ll be in the Charlton press box and most stayaways won’t be.

At least I hope not, anyway.

The crowd will no doubt be about 7000, but unofficially it’s sounding like it’s going to be a lot less.

Some who say they won’t go will, because it’s a bank holiday and boredom will take hold.

But really, you can’t blame anyone for going “meh” at the prospect of yet more on-field failure.

Loyalty only goes so far, especially when it’s been so many seasons of “we’ll be better this time round” followed by the predictable slump.

Others may question the committment of the non-attendees, but I definitely won’t.

After all, it’s been Groundhog Day since we got promoted at Wombley, and that’s very exhausting to endure yearly.

The club has never had to deal with people voting with their feet before, and now it’s going through what it must secretly fear.

These days, you don’t need a season ticket to get in. We’re not at Kingsmeadow any more.

That has profound consequences for 2023/24, especially if fans believe it’s just going to be more of the same bollocks.

It’s this time of year where next season’s plans get beyond the embryonic stage, and AFCW might get a nasty shock.

Nobody is morally obliged to turn up and watch horseshit – that’s never been part of the unwritten contract of going to football.

Sure, you may go for the social aspects, to meet your mates and get out the house.

But especially tomorrow, where I imagine public transport will be a nightmare for your wallet and time, many are likely to sack it off.

AFCW is not worth busting a gut to watch us at the moment, even if there’s an Easter Miracle tomorrow and we hold on for a win.

Granted, a victory would likely make us safe and raise the mood a little. But for how long…?

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