To be drunkenly sung in a taverna outside Benidorm this week, no doubt.
So, as the squad fly out to Spain on their
pissup training camp, and the tennis just outside Southfields takes over for a fortnight, it seems we’re back into it.
Your editor can’t be arsed to spend any money going out to the Costa Blanca to watch Reading next Saturday, I’m still hurting from the £10 beers in Oslo last month.
But the phoney war of pre-season friendlies starts again in under six days time.
And if I’m being honest, I’m glad they’re on the horizon again, as I’m actually looking forward to getting into the swing of it.
True, I won’t think that by mid-day on Saturday, when I find out we’ve been gubbed 5-0 by a club even their own fans wonder how they afford a few days in Spain.
But it’s the new season upcoming, with the false optimism that brings. And who knows, we might even score goals and not let any in…?
Anyway, since the last SW19 update, we’ve added two new players. Funnily enough, both from Stockport and both defenders too.
And that’s before we’ve even had an announced PSF start (though apparently we had an unannounced one yesterday, which we won. Could be wrong though).
I have to admit I know very little about these two, and I suspect some of who we’ve signed are likely to be strength on the bench types.
JJ himself suggested in the SLP on Friday that we didn’t have enough senior experience last season, and that we were forced to use too many youngsters.
If you look at the ages of the players we’ve signed, it seems that we’re at least trying to remedy that.
Reeves is 30, Bugiel is 29, Johnson is 26, Tilley is 25, Lewis and McLean are both 23, and Neufville is the baby of the bunch at 22.
I do expect more signings, probably of that age and experience too, not to mention more loan signings.
If you read what JJ said above, he’s keen to be more flexible up front and he hinted we might have done our business up front already.
I’m not sure if we have, though if true I think that’s a mistake.
Especially as the big transfer story this week was Zach Robinson returning to Dundee for another season.
Even now, it seems to bewilder a lot of our fans. Why aren’t we trying to sell him? Why can’t he and we make amends with each other? And are we getting any money from the Dark Blues?
To which the answers are: Because nobody wants to pay any money for him. Because he doesn’t want to be here and we’re not keen on having him around. And apparently they are.
Expanding on all that, ZR has one year left on his deal with us, and providing we offer him a deal this time next year – or he gets signed up in January elsewhere – we get money for him.
As for why he’s got no future at AFCW, especially when we need strikers, I guess it’s one of those situations every club has to put up with.
Sometimes it just doesn’t work out for a player at a particular club for whatever reason. And that’s clearly the case here.
When that happens, there’s really nothing you can do about it. He won’t be nearly as effective for us as he is for Dundee.
If nobody is wanting to come in for him, and they’re offering us enough money to make it worth our while, it’s a win-win situation all round.
I don’t doubt we’ll get anguished howls from our fans as we go three games without scoring while ZR nets a hat-trick against Ross County that very weekend.
But he showed very little in his five minute cameo at Gresty Road to suggest he’s worth keeping.
We move on.
Elsewhere, the club is trying to push the 4300 figure for season ticket sales.
I expect they’ll achieve that, but they might struggle to get to last year’s level now the initial rush has died down.
It appears that they’re high because we’ve had a lot of newbies signing up, although it also appears there’s more who haven’t renewed from last season.
You can’t really blame anyone who hasn’t bought another one. The quality of football has been awful, not just last season, and it isn’t cheap.
Granted, you get natural wastage every season. People move away, and/or lose interest, and/or can’t afford it, and/or end up dying.
And yes, I know being deceased doesn’t stop half the west stand from turning up.
While our ST sales total holds up well, we are not immune from the shit on-field product taking its toll.
We need a good campaign for the next nine months for so many reasons. Not least because of the bottom line…
Finally, the new kits seem to have flown off the shelves, and our fans especially love to buy merchandise.
Leaving aside the Boca Doniors design, you don’t need to be Gok Wan to think the Umbro clobber looks pretty decent.
We seem to have a thing for traditional sportswear brands in recent years – not just our current suppliers but Admiral and Hummel too.
In a nod to tradition, WFC stopped using Hummel because their UK branch went bust, and it seems the same happened last season too.
Umbro seem more likely to be around though, although if they’re not perhaps we’ll have Adidas or even Spall back.
Just as long as it’s not the Crazy Gang motif…