This is a picture of our defence from yesterday. And for most of the season, too.
Now that many if not most of us are back under house arrest, at least you’ll have plenty of time to reflect on AFCW’s performances recently.
If you lose the will to live, at least Christmas Day is this week. So, a good chance to invite family and friends over, to meet up with people you’ve missed, and to look back over a lousy year, and…
I have a confession to make. No, not that one – it’s Sunday morning after all – but I didn’t bother following AFCW v Crewe like I would normally have done.
The trouble is, I was not surprised at all to see how it turned out. At all.
That we’re now practically guaranteed to let any lead/equaliser slip in every single game isn’t exactly new.
But to equalise in injury time yesterday, then have so little discipline that you let them go ahead with practically the last chance of the game, it just sticks in the throat a bit too much.
Your editor was at Brentford’s lovely new ground yesterday, and upon leaving Lionel Road I timed walking past SSN on their main reception TV screens, just as the goals from PL were being shown.
I can’t really remember Crewe’s first one, although Longman’s equaliser was a decent finish.
But their winner still shocks me even now. Put it this way – we might as well just have let them have a free shot, for all the good our “defence” does.
At some point, there’s a defeat which goes beyond a mere loss, and manages to get under the skin and changes things forever.
I don’t think it’s happened yet, although I’m reliably informed the Facebook section of AFCW social media is carnage, but we’re closer to that stage than ever before.
Had crowds returned for us this season, I think patience would have snapped by now.
I could comment on GH’s post match comments, but I sense the first signs that our fans are starting to ignore him.
Judging by the whole “not learning key lessons” stuff, sounds like the players are tuning out themselves.
It’s still not a terminal decline, and (thankfully) we can now have a week on the training ground, before Oxford on Boxing Day.
We might even have a bit more time back in New Malden, as it transpires Ipswich are now lurgied up too.
In case you’ve checked the fixture list over Xmas, we’re due to play the Tractor Drivers on the 29th December, aka the Tuesday evening after Yuletide.
I get the feeling we might see a few more squads succumb to this over the next month or two, and possibly the season will be suspended again if it’s happening too often.
Which may mean for the second time in as many seasons, we get saved thanks to a filthy animal eating a filthy animal.
That’s all hypothetical right now. What is more important is work out why we’re so brittle at the back.
The same question that’s been asked for, well, most of the season to be honest.
Mind you, somebody elsewhere mentioned last night about whether our CV19-enforced absence has played a part.
Not quite so much the fixture backlog, where we’ve had to make some horrific journeys practically every week, but whether the illness affected us in other ways.
I know we weren’t exactly great at the back pre-quarantine, but it’s got worse since we returned.
Even so, one can’t help feel that something deeper than just our defenders being thick is the biggest issue now.
If they’re as bright as a Toc H lamp, then we would have at least figured out a simple way of defending so their simple brains can compute at the right times.
But I don’t think they’re as dumb as that. This lot should be OK enough at L1 level.
Communication issues between management and players? Likely fatal if it takes hold too much – after all, it finished off Ardley and Walter.
Something else entirely? Possibly, if not probably. We don’t know what, but then none of us reading this are paid to figure that out.
It’s going to be a shitty Xmas for many, and an even shittier few months ahead. It would be nice if AFCW didn’t add to the gloom…