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Is this as bad as it gets?


Blue tinted optimist
Oct 28, 2003
Cloud cuckoo land
So it's come to this; a couple of days after an opening fixture which started full of what transpired to be false optimism. Not for the game - I always thought we would lose this one - but in general.

Last season was comfortably the worst in our history. Surely this one couldn't be any worse? Initially, the new kit and eventual appointment of Molesley and crew provided optimism. He had worked wonders at Weymouth and through his Bournemouth work was used to working with young players, so this actually gave a little cause for said optimism. Talk of promotion was extremely premature, but a much better season surely would beckon. After all, the kids had performed well last season and we looked more of a team once they came in. The opening fixtures and friendlies had again given us some reason to smile, at least a bit. A thumping win at GWR and a cracking win at Charlton coming back from 2-0 down had been encouraging to say the least. The expected defeat by Millwall was, well, expected and a surely one-off 3-0 thrashing by a fired up Concord Rangers didn't really register much on the negativity scale as they were due to go to Wembley and keen to get one over on us.

Unfortunately I think it's the Concord result which is going to give us the greater barometer of how our season might go if nothing happens player wise!

In fairness, it's very easy to forget that we haven't even had a proper pre season. A source within the club said to me that his fear was the fact that the players would not be fit enough and would have lots of "niggles" that would delay their return. Another source confided that we were neither fit enough nor good enough and unless things changed then we would massively struggle.

And so here we are. Literally men against boys. And our captain, Mark Oxley - the only proper senior player on the pitch but who looks an absolute shadow of the keeper who performed so well 2 full seasons ago - lost the plot completely, although in a slightly different way to when he last had the armband and decided to engage in some fisticuffs with a Charlton player who had put Michael Kightly on the deck.

I am hopeful - in the old "fbm blue tinted glasses" sort of way - that the court hearing this week will be another formality, the money to HMRC will be paid and the embargo lifted. Uncle Ron has undoubtedly forgone any major consideration in SUFC in favour of his own interest and actually, I think if any of us had been keeping the club afloat to the degree he has we may well feel the same. It's his club, he can more-or-less do as he pleases because there is no credible alternative, but it is still the case that his interests align with ours and he can't afford for us to drop too far. He does need some footfall at FF, even if the development is no longer reliant on retail in the same way that it was.

We DESPERATELY need some old heads. When I say old, I don't mean of the retiring Prem/Championship prima donnas or injury affected cronies steaming in for a final payday; I mean hard working lower league players who may not necessarily cut it at L1 level but who will be fine in L2 alongside our young, blossoming talent who can do the running for them. The sort of player who can bring the best out of Isaac Hutchinson by giving him guidance and direction, telling him about positional play and when to release the ball, in the same way Ronnie Whelan did with Phil Gridele (for those who don't know, prior to that it was astonishing that Gridelet had made it as a pro). At the moment Hutchinson is one of the players who certainly has talent, but his positional play and decision making is appalling, making him a current liability. If that happens we can comfortably finish mid table and consolidate, at least.

If Ron can't deliver however and we get to the end of the window in a months time with no incomings and maybe a couple of sales, then last season may even be looked back on more fondly than this one!