It’s hard to think we’re coming to the beginning of October, and we’re third (again) in the table. Last time that happened, we were about to beat Gillingham 3-1 then not win again until January…
All seems rather well in the AFCW world right now. Our plans for NPL are going to the independent inspectors, and all we’re doing is just waiting to pick our moment (and today’s Telegraph has a good puff piece on the whole thing).
Incidentally, on this subject, I had a thought this week about why exactly certain other parties are flying off the handle in print and constantly throwing shit at us – they may simply be aimed at people who watch dog racing.
When you think that it’s only one or two media outlets who publish that sort of stuff to begin with, and they’re the ones that people into greyhounds will read, it makes a bit more sense. It is, pardon any pun, what they call in politics “dog whistling”.
If they’re being constantly told that our deal is dead (it isn’t), or amateurish (it certainly isn’t) or the gem this week that our crowds will actually go down (quick, tell the NIMBYs), then they’re basically being told what they want to hear.
After all, if we get our way then the greyhound fans will be spoonfed the “we tried our best”, “AFC stitched us up”, “Football fans will rape you all” lines. And given the langer spewing this out sees himself as the Bernie Ecclestone of greyhound racing, it will at the very least make him look good in their eyes.
And when your sport is decaying and dying like greyhound racing is, you will stomach any bullshit.
Anyway, that’s for further down the line. Tomorrow, we travel to Cheltenham where Benno goes back and we get to see Banjo again. On paper, or at least looking at the league table, this should be a three pointer for us.
It never is that easy of course, and Benno himself is wary. And you just know that Banjo will play one of the very few games per season he has when he looks bothered and up for it…
But we could do ourselves some big favours over the next few games in our
fight against relegation promotion credentials. They’re all against teams in the bottom four, and we’ve got no excuse about lacking confidence.
While teams can (and do) get off to a bad start and then improve, it’s been close to two months since the season started and teams down the bottom are there for a reason.
Those who remember York will know how lackluster and lacking all over they were. Get our game plan right tomorrow and play well, and we’ll leave the West Country with something.
Then there’s two home games against Northampton and t’Stanley, and the expectation for us to get six points would be pretty justified.
What would be good is if we can take advantage of such a run of fixtures for once. Yet another thing about last campaign (sorry) that was so annoying/frustrating was that we never took the chances when we did to pull away and secure safety a lot earlier.
Remember, we could have been safe by Easter Monday.
To be fair to us, we’ve done some of that this season. We lost to Exeter and were 2-0 down to Scunny, then only lost once in the next month. Which was to Chesterfield, but even then we came back against Burton last week.
We’ve made a genuinely good start, and you would hope that we now build on it. Tomorrow is certainly winnable, and if we are genuine playoff contenders then we need to make that next step up.
That we’ve made two or three of those steps already is good, but there’s always room to improve. Indeed, developing that mentality of going to struggling teams and ruining yet another weekend for them is something I would be expecting to work on.
Not hoping – expecting.
I’ve no doubt NA is pushing that to the squad right now – we’ve done well so far, so don’t get complacent and let it slip. I’m not going to suggest these next three games will make or break our season already, but they’ll be a measure of how far we’ve come as much as the Chesterfield and Burton games.
Obviously, one mustn’t be greedy here, and we should still have the grind-out-a-win mentality. But wouldn’t it be nice to have us dishing out a 4-0 (or better) gubbing to somebody soon?
I think we’re capable of doing one this season in a way we weren’t last time out. Hell, even Jack Midson found the net last week, even if it was from two millimeters out
If you look at how our games this season have been, we’ve had occasional shit ones (Exeter, Chesterfield), “job done” types (Wycombe, York, even Fleetwood to an extent), and come-from-behind ones (Scunny, Burton).
Surely it’s time that we gave a team a real good old fashioned butt-fucking? We’re certainly “owed” one, so to speak, and on the surface there’s three such opportunities in the next three games to do just that.
At the very least, the Football League Show would have to get a bit more creative when they give us their usual five seconds at the end of the broadcast.
Anyway, confidence is growing, and with some justification. There hasn’t been much drama recently and I’m rather enjoying that. Hell, we’re even taking a second supporters coach tomorrow…