We know how difficult it is to plan ahead without accurate forecasting, so we’re proud to support the Bovril Forecast – bought to you by the lovely people at Forecast – telling the future, one cup at a time.
And the forecast for this week is:-
Still served up next season, but relegated to a 16oz cup.
This Just In – Following last Tuesday’s quite horrific challenge by MK Dons defensive maestro, Anthony Kay, MK Dons supremo, Andrew ‘Call me Andy’ Cullen has explained that all that need be done, has been done.
Having been lucky enough to have been within the club media departments, I can announce that they have been working around the clock since Tuesday night and believe they have created a new App, which they have studied really well – or an ‘ology’ if you will, and the club feel they have done their best to appease the Zyro incident.
They are calling it ‘App-ology’, and hope this will be enough.
More on this once we’ve worked out whether this is too clever or not
Yes, it’s Lexicon time again – the part of the show where each week we educate you, yes you, the educated elite, into the ways of the feral underclass that seemingly run our planet, by providing detailed translations of common ‘street-talk’.
This week, the words under scrutiny are:
Is up by what, dude?
Down, tis all. We is bladdered up all ends lest man can say ‘is up by what, dude?
Going down? Do you think, Tarquin, I know we are weak but, at least, as a man we are fighting for it. Widely and incorrectly believed to have originated from the 2004 hit film, The Football Factory, its first recorded usage actually dates to William Salmon in 1710, and his acclaimed book “COOKERY in dressing flesh, fowl, fish, herbs, roots making sawces etc; PASTRY making pyes, pasties, puddings, pancakes, cheesecakes, custards, tansies etc; CONFECTS candies, conserves, preserves, creams, gellies, pickles etc; POTABLE Liquors as ale, beer, mum, mead, cider, perry, rape, English wines, chocolet, coffer, tea etc; PERFUMING sweet balls, pouders, pomanders, essences, sweet waters, beautifying washes etc; HUSBANDRY, as it relates to the improvement of our barren and waste lands, manufactures etc; PREPARATIONS Galenick and Chymick relating to physickand chirurgery, as cordial waters, spirits, tinctures, elixirs, syrups, ponders, electuaries, pills, oils, balsams, cerecloths and emplasters, fitted for curing mist diseases incident to men, women and children”
As you know, the Dons are the most popular club in the country, and Peter ‘Pete Winkie’ Winkelman is not only the most popular chairman in the lower leagues, he’s possibly the most popular man in football. But just how widespread is Winkie’s fame, and who loves Winkie?
We’ve carried out some more research this week, and we can now say that:
Stoke Burns Unit
Dalton ‘s Weekly
Preston North End
Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown
And everybody else who was indulging in drugs at the time
All really, really love Winkie.
Unfortunately there were two people we didn’t manage to get a response from this week. Anthony Kay was too busy stood in front of a mirror, looking at his face trying to say sorry, to respond, and Joe Aylett was still laying land mines in the Rotherham half to bother.
Clue 1, was a picture of acclaimed actress Patricia Hodge. Appeared in several productions with MK reference. Morse – Bletchley Park? Rumpole – CMK Court? Or Victoria Wood – now this could indicate a plethora of woods in MK. Could have just been there to throw you – or was it?
Clue 2, was someone being knighted. Sword? King? Noble? Clue 3 simply said name – hold that thought. Clue 4, showed a sprinter, finishing first in a race. First. Clue 5 was Terry Christian and Clue 6 was Lee Evans, but what did it all mean?
Well, what have we got so far? Patricia followed by a ceremony for nobles, making them Knights – or Sir, followed by ‘name’. Patricia’s ‘Sir’ ‘name’ is ‘Hodge’. Then you have Terry Christian, and the Christian name of number 6 was Lee, but Usain finished first, first could mean win, it could me 1 or, if it was the alphabet, could be a.
Put it all together and you should have had Hodge Lea Roundabout.
If, like me, you are a keen observer of football related social media, and associated chat rooms, forums, etc, etc, you have may have stumbled upon the phenomena of the football manager. Specifically the phenomena that goes along lines such as ‘He’s shit, he’s taken us as far as he can, and it’s time that he went’. Countered by ‘He needs more time. It’s the board’s fault for not giving him enough money’.
So far this season, 48 managers in the top four English leagues have been sacked. So far that is. By the time you’ve read this who’s to say another couple won’t have been given the dreaded ‘vote of confidence’! It breaks down thus…
League One, 14
League Two, 12
So there you go. Fancy it? Yes! Why on earth would you? Obviously there’s no longtime job security. If your team wins, then the players get all the plaudits. If you lose, then you’re a shit manager, and it’s all your fault. The referee makes a poor decision that either costs you the game, or at the least a legitimate goal, you complain, the FA fines you. You’re taking your kids out for an early morning walk the day after a game where you’ve lost, and supporters shout at you, telling you that you’re still shit. In front of your children! Takes a special kind of moron to go down that route. Tip, don’t take your child out for an early Sunday morning walk around Willen Lake unless you’ve beaten Man United 4-0.
So there you go. We’re almost nailed on for the drop. We threw a lead away last Tuesday to a very poor Wolves, and I’m assuming that we lost to snarky Warnock and his band of New York Dolls. (These are written before the weekend you see, so not being Mystic Meg, I’ve no idea how we got on). It’s not been the greatest season I’ve seen in my 11 years of following this club. It’s not been the worst, that crown rests on the head of the one when Danny Wilson took us down. Ironically at Rotherham. But as I’ve said elsewhere. When the most exciting thing that’s happened this season is that I’ve had a part of my foot amputated, that’s says a lot about the sub-standard fare on offer pitch wise.
Robinson is an easy target. Someone sat in front of me last Tuesday berated him from start to finish. At one point, when when Robbo, Barker and Keet were stood in a huddle discussing possible tactics, this fella’ stood up and opined… “Yeah, that’s right. Stand there having a chat. Sort it out Robbo”. So you can’t do right for doing wrong. I doubt he really thought that they were chatting, but the perceived lack of any tactical change from the bench had this guy incandescent. But he’s a loud-mouthed idiot. Therefore his opinions are worthless.
Robbo said this week that we may have been promoted too soon, that the ref’ robbed us at Fulham, that the players always give 100%, etc’. It’s all bollocks. Manager speak. I’m sure they get taught it when they’re doing their pro-course. He’s the third longest serving football league manager. So, he’s either doing something right, or as some would have you believe, Winkie is so tight-fisted that he won’t sack him. There are some that have already said that if he’d been at any other club except MK, he’d have been sacked by now. But we’re MK Dons, the real Dons I like to think, and down these here parts, we do things differently. Or so I liked to think until browsing the interweb this very here morning. So he must have some redeeming qualities, other than waving to The Cowshed, and telling us that we were magnificent.
Therefore, let’s cast an eye over the top three longest serving managers, and dissect their qualities…
Arsene Wenger, Arsenal – 19yrs. Pragmatic. Won’t change his tactics. Financially astute. They always make a profit, and always finish 4th. Ensuring Champions League, and the riches it brings.
Paul Tisdale, Exeter City – 9yrs. Almost 10. Extremely well dressed. Happy to remain a football league team. A year or two in L1 twice a decade considered a massive success.
Karl ‘Krobbo’ Robinson, MK Dons – 5yrs. Coming up on 6. Big fan of squad rotation and wingers. Once widely though of as the best young English manager. Always linked with whatever vacancy arrived. Not so much now. May have been ‘found out’ at this level. Fat.
If you’re expecting an answer, then you’ll be disappointed. Calling for his head, and for the board to go is just simple minded, reactionary rubbish. Who do you think will take over? Is there some oligarch waiting in the wings that we don’t know about? Is Harry Potter waving his magic wand outside Primark even as I type?
We, as a fan base would do well to think about just how far this club has developed since its inception. We’ve come an astonishing way since moving here. Look at Villa. 142 years old. Heading for the drop. The support up in arms. Absentee owner. But it could be worse. Newcastle and the entertaining pantomime that’s become.
So think on, and be careful what you wish for. After all. Who wants to be owned by someone who employs staff on zero hours contracts? Fills their shops with mass produced tat, made in sweatshops for a fraction of the cost it retails at! Or host closing down sale, when the outlet is actually moving nextdoor?
So perhaps an appallingly barneted ex-music biz’ owner, and a slightly overweight Scouser don’t seen so bad after all.
Oh, and the answer to the question posed in the title, he should stay.
So that’s it then. We’d always said that if we stayed up by a single goal on the last day of the season, then this would have been a great season. While it’s still mathematically possible for that to happen, it’s not going to happen. We’re relegated. So it hasn’t been a great season.
It wasn’t a good match – we were one down in 54 seconds, and the game was effectively over at that point. With the possible exception of a couple of efforts from JFK towards the end of the game, we didn’t threaten, and never really looked like scoring. Rotherham are not a great side, but Colin has managed to get them playing together and for each other. Their fans were behind them from the very first and they were in this together – players and fans. I doubt they were like that prior to Colin’s arrival and them going on their run, but that’s what happens when you string a run of results together. What we watched today was what happens when things go in the opposite direction.
I’m going to buck the trend here and say that I don’t think it was down to a lack of effort. Those players were trying their best, and as each goal went in, you could see that it was hurting them. They’re not the best of players, but they’re generally good players, though they’ve perhaps been shown up a little at this level. What seemed to be missing today was any sense of team, and any real idea of what they should be doing or how they should play together. It was a group of individuals, desperate to do something to make it better, but with no idea what they should actually do. That has to be down to the manager.
Robbo would not have survived so long in most clubs. The fact that 89 other clubs in English football have changed their manager since he was appointed is testament to that. Maybe if we’d sacked him earlier in the season we’d still be in the championship next season. Bristol City and Rotherham have done alright with that approach. Doesn’t work for everyone of course – just look at where Forest are right now.
But we’re not most clubs. We do things differently. I think Robbo has a lot to learn in management, and I think that he will learn a lot in management. The thing is, I want him to learn those lessons with us. We got promoted together, team, manager and fans, and I want us to get relegated together, team, manager and fans. I want us to rebuild together, I want us to go again together and I want us to work our way to promotion together too, however long that might take. I’m nailing my colours to the mast a little here perhaps, but I want us to do this differently.
I’ve often found things to criticise in elements of our fanbase. There have been a number of situations this season where I’ve found some of our fans’ behaviour more than a little cringeworthy. This afternoon, for the first time, I was genuinely ashamed. Not many people had stayed to clap the team off, but come the moment where Robbo himself claps the fans who have stayed, some fans chose that moment to boo. Boo at half time if you must, boo at the end of the game if you really feel the need – if you’re that way inclined, then boo during the game. But to stay behind, when most have already left, and to choose to boo at that precise moment, when the only message it can possibly give is a very public ‘fuck you’ to our manager, I genuinely cannot understand what could drive someone to do that.
That moment, those few seconds that happen a few minutes after the end of each match, is a bonding moment. It’s the point at which the fans say to Robbo ‘we’re with you’ and at which he says ‘thanks for being with me’. It’s a genuinely significant moment for me. It means something. If you’re not with him, then feel free to make your point in any other way, but that was a truly appalling thing to do. You could see how hurt he was at the time, and you could hear how hurt he was on the radio afterwards. He does not and he did not deserve that. If you were one of the people that did that, then I wish genuinely horrible things on you. If you’re close to Robbo, then please let him know how sorry I am that he had to experience that, give him a hug and make sure he knows he’s got support.
The hounds are already out in force all over the web, calling for Robbo’s head, and suggesting that just about anyone would be an improvement. With any luck, things will settle down a little before anyone makes any decisions about what happens next.
The social media world is currently full of people saying that they won’t be renewing their season tickets. If that’s you, then I’d suggest that football, or at least lower-league football isn’t for you. Thanks for the money while you were coming to games, but I don’t think you’ll be missed. That’s not what this football thing is about.
I’m feeling very low tonight. It’s just a game of course, except it’s not and we all know it’s not. But we’ll be back, and I’ll be back, and together, we’ll have great times. League 1 was always great fun, and we’ll have great fun there again.
Maybe it will be the turning point. The start of the fightback that sees us cling on to championship survival on the last day of the season, as the ball goes in off of Lewie’s face in the 93rd minute against Forest. Maybe we’ll look back on today as the point at which we started to regain our confidence and play the football that we know we’re capable of.
Or maybe it will just be the day that confirms what most of us are already expecting. We’re not good enough to stay in this league, and will have to start again in League one next season.
More Dons related coverage in The Daily Mail this week. Alongside some wonderful pictures of the Kardashians skiing, and someone from TOWIE displaying their toned legs and putting on a VERY busty display, they somehow managed to shoehorn a picture of stadium:mk into a piece about a convicted peadophile who had some tenuous link to The Dons. And just to add that in no way do they practice double standards.