And yes, I know the latest version of the Lurgy is called Omicron. No second “n”…
So, enjoyed your weekend? Xmas shopping, going out, getting plastered and/or pinged with the Rona, that kind of thing.
Anything but football, really.
Your editor went to Tooting and Mitcham vs Westfield, and met somebody who used to watch AFCW (hi John).
T&M won, though being around the local Northern Ireland diaspora that follows them was just as entertaining.
I don’t miss that level of football, mind you. You really learn to appreciate the quality of even our young lads.
Which actually led to a thought I had last night – would that have ended up being AFCW if in 19 years we never progressed beyond Turdeyland?
I think we would have got out of the Ryman League eventually, we were simply too big for that level in so many ways.
Yet as unlikely as it ever was, a small-but-loyal group of mates playing in front of a couple of hundred could have been us after all.
I’m glad it wasn’t. And Mark DeBolla’s free kick at Staines will always be one of the most important goals in the AFCW era.
Here’s a reminder, if you’ve forgotten that day.
You can reminisce about that this weekend, because it’s not like we have the Pompey game to look back on.
The annoying thing is, it wasn’t us that was all Rona-ed up. And we were building up some form, too.
Apparently, most of our squad have had it at some point. And while it appears you’ll always stand a good chance of getting re-infected with it, you’d like to think we’ll get away with this latest shitstorm.
The trouble is, Portsmouth was the first game we’ve had postponed. One suspects it won’t be the last.
I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if we’ve played our last game of 2021. Either because Charlton/Oxford get it en masse, or because the authorities decide that games can’t be played.
Which I think would be a dumb approach to take.
Why? Well, a backlog is now imminent, so if both teams are able to field teams – why shouldn’t they play?
Halting games until, say, the first weekend of January isn’t necessarily going to work. What if a perfectly healthy team over Xmas gets the Rona by the time they return?
The sharp eyed will have noticed that it’s teams in the south that are currently getting hit, but eventually the rest of the country will catch up with London.
No change there, then.
And the most important thing to remember about Rona outbreaks in squads is that they do clear within about two weeks.
For that reason alone, it’s better to have most of your squad isolating at the same time.
So, yeah, the timing of this isn’t great, but it is what it is right now. And real life does need to continue.
What this means for crowds at games I don’t know. I fully expect some restrictions, because the authorities will want to be seen doing something.
If there’s a “something” to be done, especially one that makes them look tough, they’ll do it.
Then again, how many people are isolating right now because they don’t want to miss Xmas Day? Rather than, in most cases, because they’re hit with a dose of the sniffles?
The games that did go ahead didn’t seem less packed than normal for the last Saturday game before Xmas.
Leeds looked as full as it would have been for the Arsenal clash, and Ipswich v Sunderland was a full house too.
I doubt if my game at Imperial Fields would have been much fuller than normal, and it feels like many just don’t seem as bothered as the media speculates.
As somebody more intelligent than me put it recently – people are more afraid of the restrictions rather than the virus itself.
We’ll see what happens, though if the worst does transpire – at least that will solve the Boreham Wood ticket arrangements.
The name “ballot” will mean Sutton-related PTSD for some of our supporters, although as BW are handling it there might be some level of organisation this time.
Given that if full capacity is allowed we’ll be restricted anyway, doing it this way is probably the fairest.
Yes, those who travel away most of all should get first dibs, but the club’s ticketing scheme isn’t set up for that.
Insert snarky response here.
I suspect that plenty will have entered with the intention of not going themselves, but passing their ticket onto people who dip out.
But it’s a fact of football supporting life that when you have a big following with smaller capacity, you need to do these kind of things.
Had yesterday at PL gone ahead, we could have certainly fitted in 3000 Pompey fans if we had the capacity.
Because we give them 1000 or so** means they have to scramble for tickets, so we can’t complain if others make us do likewise.
** – what do we give away teams at PL these days? The time we gave 1400 seems eons ago.
That’s a problem to be solved next year, and one that might ultimately be decided for us elsewhere.
Like it’s been with life for the last two years, it’s really a case of waiting and seeing now. Even down to your Boxing Day plans.
Whatever, unless something major happens between now and Charlton, this will be the last SW19 before Xmas.
Probably because there’s not actually much to write about.
We might be able to strengthen next month, we’re disappointed we couldn’t extend our unbeaten run yesterday, and most importantly – we’re back home this Christmas.
And not needing to scribble down thoughts for a week might be the biggest present of the lot…