Whilst I realise that Jason and the boys must have been exhausted after yesterday’s efforts, I’d like to let them know that so was I – although the days have long gone when I rose majestically in the middle of the covered end choir to catch the ball at the same time as our goalie, John Dunn. I was as physically engaged during and emotionally drained after yesterday as any other game I can remember.
The short walk to stand 5 deep in the after match crossbars queue to take the eye of the two serving staff was completely beyond my capabilities. The stress of it all – why do we do it ?
Well I guess we do it because of the atmosphere of collective joy/ relief/ togetherness and the Valley Vibe seems to be returning. The crowd really seem to be responding to the increased levels of commitment shown by the Bowyer inspired team. The noise level was great again yesterday and let’s hope it carries us through to Wembley and beyond. What my physical and mental state will be by then is anyone’s guess.
I might have to ask JJ and the gaffer whether I can join in a training session before the end of the season. – Either that or they need to treble the number of servers in Crossbars so I can drink more ….
I bought my train ticket to Shrewsbury after the euphoria of the Rotherham result and before the misery of Wimbledon and Scunthorpe. Perhaps I wouldn’t bother after all …. anyway, despite the landslip and diversion via Northampton – I made it to Shrewsbury in time for a couple of pre match pints with old mates.
The game was pretty poor really, but there was only ever going to be one winner and by that I don’t mean Charlton, I mean Jason Pearce. He may not be the best footballer but he is a born leader. The rest of the team followed his lead and were well worth the victory.
It will be a difficult game at Pompey but if eleven Jason Pearces turn up – we’ll win there too.
Watching the game yesterday was a bit like those games you used to play in where you played against the year above at school. Yes, we’ve got some nice players, skilful players, committed players but when you add it all up we lack the sheer physicality to compete with the older boys.
Jason Pearce is not enough on his own – we need to recruit some Kinsellas, Aizlewoods, Stevie Browns, Steve Gritts, Scottie Parker’s, Herminators,…….. Lee Bowyers ! – otherwise we will never get out of this division. The return to 442 has been welcome, but the oppositions have now realised that none of our front two choices are proper goalscorers – Ajose, in particular, whilst he works hard spends most of his time waiting behind the centre halves hoping they will miss it rather than showing in front of his marker to win the ball and hold it up.
Jake Forster Caskey has been excellent recently and he put another enormous shift in yesterday but much as I like both Reeves and Aribo, the 3 of them together just look lightweight in this division.
Football aside, I walked the slightly abridged unofficial version of the Upbeats walk yesterday – we walked about 8.5 miles rather than the 10 miles by cutting off a bit of Greenwich Park, it got us to the Rose of Denmark around Noon for a welcome pint ( or three) – a really lovely walk in the sunshine with lifelong mates and raising money for the Upbeats. A special mention to the landlord of the Rose of Denmark where the staff were very welcoming and without any of us asking, he actually gave us a tenner for the Upbeats , which we duly deposited in a collection bucket at the Ground.
Shame about the football , but there we are – hopefully we will eventually get an owner who cares as much as we do !
Great credit is due to Lee Bowyer and Johnnie Jackson who have galvanised the players into a proper football team. They have been hugely assisted by the continued availability together of Jason Pearce and Patrick Bauer. The team were great today, Joe Aribo was simply magnificent as was the reborn Ben Reeves and as Lee has said its a simple game and the players are winning their individual battles and not being bullied anymore.
My only concern would be Ezri Konsa who had a poor game and looked rather out of sorts all afternoon. Mind you he is an excellent player so I’m sure we will find the right role for him at some point.
It is impossible not to question why Karl only played one bloke up front, why he dropped Joe Aribo, why he played Ben Reeves out of position, why he didn’t give Zyro or Ajose a chance earlier and finally why it all seemed very complicated and difficult when we were only playing in the 3rd division against generally poor teams.
Funny old game isn’t it ?