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Look Wot U Don

Oh dear.

Thankfully, a mixture of work and a re-emergence of the shitty virus that poleaxed me over Xmas has shielded me the worst horrors of our recent form.

But yes – deja vu is back. All over again.

February is usually a horrible month anyway at AFCW. Presumably because it’s post-January transfer window, where things usually go wrong.

One win, two draws and three losses isn’t great, but on a pure results thing it’s not horrific.

It’s the manner of the recent games though that has unleashed the old hostilities again.

Playing well against Crawley until some changes from the bench, then losing is bad enough. And I’ve heard enough about Doncaster yesterday not to dwell on it too much.

So, what the hell has happened to us?

Somebody elsewhere yesterday said that we’re missing Lemonhead as much as we’ve missed the Iraqi Scouser, and there’s probably some truth to it.

You can’t deny the spine of the team has been broken (and not for the first time around this time of the year), and we’re struggling to deal with that.

It’s almost like we get to December 31st each year and decide we’re doing a bit too well.

Injuries have come at the utterly worst time for us too. Losing Lewis, Johnson, Reeves (though he came back yesterday) and Balmer would be tough for a lot of teams.

And in our case, we simply don’t have the strength in depth.

Pearce and Brown as centre backs are our last resort. PK is “ill” apparently, and Biler is a red card waiting to happen.

Isn’t JJ O’Toole a centre back? Perhaps he’s like Ronan Curtis, namely not quite up to speed yet?

It would help if our strikers could find the net on occasions too. Curtis has netted twice, but has gone off the boil a bit.

Kelly needs a goal. Badly. He’s proving the step up to the EFL isn’t as small as what some in non-league claim it is.

By all accounts he’s getting in the right areas, and with just a bit more luck would have opened his account by now.

He’s probably also suffering from not being AAH, although to be fair people appreciate that Kelly is a decent enough forward who just needs that elusive opener.

Bugiel and the returning Neufville are, well, Bugiel and the returning Neufville. They’ll get goals from time to time, and perhaps now might be a good time for them to do so.

Manbun? Well, he no longer has the manbun so there’s that.

Gordon has been a genuine disappointment so far, a typical Premier League Academy lad if we’re being honest here.

I know clubs at our level have to go down that route, and to be fair we only have one of his ilk this season, but he does feel a waste of a signing thus far.

And the onus – or crosshairs – have gone back on JJ again.

He needs to find a way of getting the strikers firing, because the old prejudices against him are coming back in spades.

Granted, most of those attacking him and the fact he got a contract extension are those who want him out anyway.

The club ignored them last summer and they’ll do the same again.

But extended deal or not, I’m not sure what happens if we go on yet another freefall post January.

Our current manager has been given more help from the club this time around, getting in Craig Cope and having some of the January money for AAH allocated to him.

Perhaps the bare minimum of what he could reasonably expect, but it’s not unknown for an AFCW manager to not even get that.

There’s a lot of pissedoffness lying not very far beneath the surface at this club anyway, and runs of form like this only bring it up quickly.

It’s the club’s own fault for burning through such goodwill over the last 5/6 years and effectively exploiting the fans’ patience.

But JJ has to find a way of turning this around and quickly.

In his post-match yesterday he mentioned about “merited keeping the shirt”. Whether he can actually do that, realistically, I don’t know.

When it comes to next Saturday’s Circus of Horrors, it’s a massive gamble.

But it might be worth taking. Let’s face it – we’re completely spineless cowards against Franchise anyway, and at the very least a side up for it might do something against them.

We’re definitely not going down, the playoffs are fading, and we need something to stop this season becoming yet another clusterfuck.

I’m not expecting one next Saturday, so it’s pointless asking for one. But it would be nice if there was…

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