Obviously very disappointing tonight. People who saw my tweets will know what I made of the performance.
There is no getting away from the fact that this has been a very poor start to the season – well below our expectations and that is probably what hurts the most.
From what I’ve seen I do believe this is the strongest the Ryman League has been for several seasons. My sense is you have two leagues within a league, a top half of clubs who have brought in decent players (at decent cost of course) and who will be challenging and the bottom half. I was impressed with Carshalton, Billericay & Lowestoft and that is three more teams who have impressed me compared to last year.
Where do we fit in? Well current results make that a question that doesn’t need answering. Whether it is a simple lack of quality, of desire, of tactics or what people can and will debate. As we know everyone (rightly) has an opinion.
We’ve been here before, several times in recent years – and by not panicking, by considering all the facts we tend to make the right decisions in the end. So we will stick to that policy and not panic.
What we need to do now is make the right calls. We have to take a step back and ask ourselves lots of questions. I’ve always believed good players don’t become bad players overnight. And didn’t we strengthen the team in the summer? Wes looks a really solid centre back. Although I don’t think we’ve seen his best so far, there was not one person connected with Wealdstone not excited by the signing of Scott Fitzgerald. On paper at least given his record Dan Burnell was not a bad signing either. Callum’s injury has obviously hurt us and clearly we haven’t replaced Marvin adequately.
That all said, the team has not performed to its capabilities. Generally (and I wasn’t at either Margate or Hastings) I can’t fault the effort. We didn’t stop trying tonight, or on Saturday where on another day we might have nicked a point against a strong Lowestoft side.
But obviously we are not delivering. Should we change the management team? I think if I bothered to look back over the three years I’ve been Chairman the calls for change start whenever there is a bad run. Perhaps not too much last year but certainly in the previous two. No doubt the calls will get louder if we lose on Saturday.
All I can say is Gordon is the man responsible for signing the players and for picking the team. He knows the buck stops with him. But not only has he proved he can get out of these situations in the past but he has also earned the right to try and get us out of it this time.
I notice that someone on the Forum wondered when we had last gone into a big game, like the one coming up on Saturday with such little confidence? The answer is the last round v Chesham, a team 3rd in the Southern Premier. My view was we should have beaten them in the first game and then we did beat them comfortably in the replay. So I’ve no doubt we have the capability to go to Met Police and get a result – and we have to believe we will.
The other thing I notice which I continue to struggle with is the implication that a few defeats and that’s it. There is a suggestion that crowds are on a downward trend (they are not – so far our average of 435 is 20 up on last year), and a suggestion from some people where I hear the “I’m not going to bother if we see crap like that” sentiment. I think most of us know that football supporters generally, and Wealdstone supporters particularly, have had to learn to suffer.
I’m not enjoying this at present and I didn’t enjoy it tonight. I understand I/the Board can do something about it, but I also understand that a wrong decision can be far more counter productive. Please trust us to keep making the right decisions.