A question I have asked far too many times in recent weeks/months/years…
But it’s a question that never properly gets answered, and because of that – we get more shit like yesterday.
I’ve genuinely lost track of however many games in a row we’ve lost, and that’s something I’ve experienced far too often recently as well.
Something is up. You know it, I know it, and you can bet a lot of people who can remedy it (but can’t/won’t) know it too.
Unfortunately, it’s not a case of sacking Johnnie Jackson and expecting it to be OK again.
Yes, our squad should be much higher up the table, but we’ve even managed to fuck up replacing managers.
Be honest – if we gave JJ his marching orders tomorrow, how much do you trust the decision makers to pick a remotely decent replacement…?
I’m still in the give-him-time camp, partly for that very reason, though should we lose to Bradford I may start joining the growing get-him-out-now faction.
Jackson himself shouldn’t be given chance after chance after chance. Half our current issues are because we did that to the previous-but-one guy in charge.
We’re playing Crawley in the Mario Pizza thing on Tuesday. No doubt we’ll win that and all will be well again.
What’s clear though is that our supremo and the squad aren’t exactly drinking buddies right now.
Our manager’s post-game comments have already gone into Lee-Brown-at-Plymouth territory.
There’s a reason why calling out players (even if not individually) is risky at the best of times.
If it’s because the squad need a kick up the arse, then it’s perfectly expected and accepted. Especially if it does exactly that.
But if they don’t – and it’s tactics and man-management to blame – then it’s a much deeper issue.
Jackson might already be in the second category already. And he’s in trouble if he is.
I don’t know if he’s already lost the dressing room, although the amateur body language experts are having a field day.
Even if he hasn’t, he’s now got to be very, very careful of player power.
Most fans seem to think it’s a new thing, a facet of modern football where squads can no longer be told to shut up and play.
It isn’t, and players have always had that ultimate control.
But if he’s already proving to be the problem, then all it takes is a couple of senior players going rogue and he’s finished.
Cast your mind back to last season where MR got away with half he did, because his squad were predominantly youngsters who owed their careers to him.
JJ has Gunter, Pearce, Davison, Brown and no doubt others who he needs to keep onside.
If more than one of these players go to whoever is in charge (stop laughing) and say it’s not working out, the manager is finished.
Experienced players will have been in squads that are falling apart around them, and none of them want relegation to the Conference** on their CVs.
** – and if you think that can’t happen, Southend would like a word with you.
And Wrexham. And Scunthorpe. And Oldham. And Notts County. And Aldershot. And Chesterfield. And Torquay. And Yeovil…
I don’t know what will stop the latest freefalling, perhaps a lucky point at Bradford will be a good start.
JJ needs to find an answer and quick, otherwise somebody else will be asked instead.
Perhaps the worst thing is that I didn’t bother going yesterday and yet I feel 100% vindicated in my decision.
And I’ve said that far too many times in recent years.
The club itself has got to be very careful that fans don’t start voting with their feet and spend their dwindling spare cash elsewhere.
A few are already doing that, and the longer the shit remains the same the more others will follow suit.
Remember – for 95% of the AFCW support the first team is by far and away the most important thing.
Does the club realise that? And if it does, does it give a shit?
To mercifully end this writeup, I’d love a penny for the thoughts of many of the squad as they sat on the train back to London last night.
I bet there was an uneasy mix of stony silence and deep thinking. Not to mention some festering sores.
And I bet the meeting at the training ground tomorrow will make the State Funeral look like a bundle of laughs…