Trump will make an excellent leader of the free world.
Under Corbyn, Labour are an effective opposition.
Pete Winkleman has nothing but what’s good for Milton Keynes at his heart, despite what others may tell you.
Karl Robinson can see the way a games going, and adapt his style of play accordingly. If plan A isn’t cutting it, there’s always good old plan B, with his faux Cockney rapping.
Milton Keynes Dons supporters can spot irony a mile off.
Okay, I’m lying. Only two of the aforementioned statements are true. Trump will make a dandy President. And parity with both the dollar and euro can only be a good thing.
Robbo hasn’t suddenly become a bad manager overnight. He didn’t get up the morning MK hosted Brighton, thinking “Oh shit! What am I gonna do? I’ve no idea how to set a team up”. Hardly. You don’t pick up the tag of being England’s brightest young manager because you’re crap at your job. This was the man whose name used to be attached to every managerial position going… Used to be! The last time his name was mentioned regarding another club was that bastion of stability, Leeds. And I wouldn’t wish Leeds on Neil Lennon. Well on him perhaps, but not on anyone else. Gordon Strachan! Forgot about him. Okay, Neil and his big mate, and wee ginger Gordon. But that’s it.
As most people who read these blogs know, I’ve jacked the old season ticket in. There were a fair few reasons why, and I’ve gone over them elsewhere, but suffice to say that I’ve not changed my mind. I’ve honestly not missed it. Not once. It doesn’t get to half one on a Saturday and suddenly I’m longing for the confines of The Cowshed bar. In actual fact far from it. But it has to be said that I’m highly enjoying the current meltdown online and elsewhere regarding the viability of the Krobmeister continuing as manager.
Hilarious as last weekend’s ‘Robbo Out’ budget sized banner was, it was also a disgrace. Looking at the age of the idiot proudly holding it aloft outside the ground, I’d venture to say that Krobbo has been at MK longer than he has. It’s a fact of modern-day football that when Vinegar leaves Arsenal, the age of management the like of that will have gone. Short term contracts will become the norm. And there’s a fair chance that old Krobbo will one day become England’s longest-serving manager. But only if morons like banner boy, and certain posters on MK’s second most popular online forum shut the fuck up.
It’s not the management that needs to change, it’s the fans. If only it was that easy. These are the beneficiaries of the most audacious move in modern football history, and all they can do is moan about it and wonder why everyone thinks they’re pricks!
I’ve made some incredible friends in the time I went to MK. Lifelong, close friends. But for every one of them, there’s a thousand absolute wankers, and these absolute wankers need to be careful what they wish for. Who do they think they’re going to get to replace him? Let me tell you, some lower league journeyman manager who’s been out of work since he was sacked two years ago.
Winkleman won’t spend any money bringing someone else in. He quite simply won’t. If he’s not willing to open the old purse for on fire Will Grigg, or tempting Revell to throw his lot in at the colon dome, then he’s hardly likely to tempt anyone of note to jump ship and move over to the dark side.
I’m taking little pleasure in the trials and tribulations of the team at the minute. I’ve only seen MK play twice so-far this season, and unfortunately they’ve been dreadful both times. Dreadful! Ponderous, lacking any attack, and as for the defensive display I witnessed at Northampton… Well least said the better. But it will come good. Form is temporary, class is permanent. And if there’s one thing Krobbo has in spades, it’s class. And here’s why he’s the best manager MK has ever had.
Allen, fucked off for something better at the first opportunity.
Ince, fucked off for something better at the first opportunity.
Di Matteo, fucked off for something better at the first opportunity.
Ince #2, left by ‘mutual consent’ after telling the support it wasn’t welcome unless it constantly massaged his ego.
Robbo, stayed loyal to MK, in spite of numerous approaches from other clubs. Gave England’s brave Alli his debut, and what a debut! Remember that goal? Gave the moaning faced twats currently calling for his head the moment of their footballing lives sometime in December 2012. Humiliated United. Yer’ actual Manchester United. Those last two alone should entitle him to stick around indefinitely. And let’s not forget the amazing scenes that Sunday when he took MK to The Championship.
So perhaps if you’re calling for his head at the moment, you might consider joining me every Saturday afternoon at 3, and make that time when you watch Sky’s big movie, or get some gardening done, or get that DIY you’ve been putting off started, because it’s pretty obvious to me that football really isn’t for you.
What do you want from your football club? Serious question, and one that we all need to be asking ourselves right now, because a selection of our fanbase are currently in danger of forcing Winkie into a decision that we would come to regret in years to come.
There’s been a minority of fans calling for Robbo’s head for a while, and with each home game that doesn’t bring a win, that minority appears to be growing. I think Winkie can comfortably ignore it for now, but it it continues to grow, then he may be forced to act.
If you’re currently one of the booing contingent, or if you’re considering joining them in their campaign to have Robbo removed, I’d ask you to consider a few things.
I’m not going to ask you to consider whether our situation is really that bad – you know that we’re three points off a playoff spot and three points off of a relegation space, and you know that we’ve won three of our last five matches in all competitions.
I’m not going to ask you to consider whether a change in manager is likely to bring about a positive change – you already know that the majority of managerial changes bring nothing more than a temporary uplift, and that the money it would cost to remove Robbo and bring in a new boss would make a significant dent in the funds available for the playing squad.
I’m not even going to ask you to consider whether a new manager would be able to do anything at all right now – you know the transfer window doesn’t open for a couple of months, and that the option to bring in loans is no longer available.
I’m going to ask you to consider these:
MK Dons 4:0 Man Utd
MK Dons 2:1 The Kingston Lot
Dele Alli, Brendan Galloway and Sheyi Ojo
Promotion to the championship in 2014/15
The footballing ethos that he’s embedded at every level of the club
The loyalty that Robbo has shown to the club when other clubs have come in for him
Attendance at fans forums
Attendance at SA 10th Anniversary Party
Whatever you might think of the way we’re playing, our current league position, or our lack of wins at home since March, Robbo gets us. He understands the club, he understands the fanbase and he loves it here.
The last one in the list is the most telling one for me – at the SA 10th anniversary party, Robbo, Winkie, Andrew Cullen, Lewie and a few others came along. As you might expect, Winkie, Andrew Cullen, Lewie and the others stayed a respectful amount of time then made their excuses and left. Robbo was different. He bought his family, they stayed right to the end of the night, and at the end of the evening, he went round the room shaking hands with everyone and saying goodnight. That’s bloody amazing. That’s commitment. That’s genuinely unique. Whatever is happening right now, I genuinely do not believe that there is another manager in the country who would do that.
Whoever we would get in would not get us in the way that he does, and that means something to me. I hope it means something to you, and that you get behind him and the team and see us through this difficult patch.
Following what has now become our online fanbase’s traditional summertime meltdown about the volume/quality/timing/height/weight/aroma (delete as applicable, so just tick the lot) of our summer signings, it was nice to finally get all of the crap out of the way and actually play some football. Fortunately, the summer furore seemed to have been a little unnecessary and we were able to put out a full team, and even have some left over to sit on the bench.
A beautiful sunny day, a good turnout (601 from us) an ok atmosphere and great company. I alway love the first day of the season – there’s a point, right up to kickoff, and perhaps for ten or fifteen minutes after it, where anything is possible. While you know that there are aways better prepared teams, better financed teams and just better teams, before a ball has been kicked, there’s always the possibility that ‘this could be our season.’ Within ten minutes of the first ball being kicked, the majority of the country have settled back into the familiar realisation that this is absolutely not going to be their season, but up to that point, we can all pretend otherwise.
So what to say about us. At times we looked very strong – the first 20 minutes looked like men against boys, though we actually created little of note. Shrewsbury came into the match more as it went on, but were defending very deeply, which made it difficult for them to create much. They did create more as the match went on, and on another day may have grabbed a goal, but I can see Shrewsbury struggling this season. Once the goal came, and we knew that it would, it was all over, and both the home team and fans knew it.
Our current starting lineup is looking OK. A bit early to say too much more, but I’d say that with a few additions we’d be looking very strong. Personal highlights would be Ed Upson’s set pieces and the consistent threat of Daniel Powell – great goal too. Honourable mentions to George Baldock and Joe Walsh too. Strength in depth is the concern if we’re looking to push at the top end of the table, as we simply don’t have it right now. Hoping that Samir’s injury isn’t too serious.
Nice stadium, friendly stewards, fans who made a bit of an effort for most of the game, cheap grub and drinks, good pub beforehand, good chatting to Shrews – generally a great day out.
After three seasons of shows, guests aplenty and more fun than we have any right to have shared, it’s with a mix of sadness and relief that I have to announce that The MooCamp Radio Show has come to an end.
There are a number of reasons for it, but the main factors are a mix of the radio station itself no-longer being able to support a live show in the evening, and us feeling that the show at this stage had pretty much run its course, so it didn’t feel appropriate to start touting it round the radio stations of Milton Keynes. And I guess the fact that the one station that we did approach didn’t get back to us helped make that decision too 😉
Anyway, from all of us here, I just wanted to say a huge thanks to everyone who listened, who got involved, who texted, tweeted, sent in ideas or who took the time to abuse us either as a group or individually. It’s been great fun
This Just In – Following today’s announcement that the Kingston lot have got through the playoffs, shares in MK cleaning firms are set to rocket when trading begins again on Tuesday morning. Speaking exclusively to The MooCamp this evening, local cleaning magnate Roy Al-Doulton announced excitedly
“We’re going to be rich! Rich I tell ya! It’s been ages since we’ve had a proper boycott, and this one’s a dirty protest too? Fantastic! I’ve just been on the line to my broker, and we’ll both be retiring after this.”
The current status of the Armitage Shanks Countdown Clock shows that it is currently:
since anyone took a crap on the floor in the Boycott End
More on this once we’ve dug out the photos of the last dirty protest.
It’s Goodnight From Me, And It’s Goodnight From Him
In the week that plucky underdogs Leicester romped to their first ever Premiere League championship, we basically imploded in spectacular fashion, and I’m not just talking about on the pitch.
There’s little point in pouring over the faults once again. To be quite frank I’m sick and tired of the whole thing. And now it would appear that Winkelman and Robinson have fallen out. I don’t really care who’s to blame. Both, one, none of them! Who cares! We’re done, and going down. The only pertinent thing that I’ve read over the last couple of weeks came from Winkelman. He, and excuse me if I paraphrase here, gave an interview to the local press, where the stand out phrase went along the lines that he was sick and tired of seeing players walking around the stadium, drawing a wage, while not playing. Who’s to blame for that? Robbo for once again bringing in a marquee name in Upson, only to find out that he’s past his sell by date? The non-existent scouting system, putting duds forward for the club to sign? The council for pissing around with Woughton, thus our injury list lengthens week after week? The training itself? The coaching staff? I’ve no idea. And to be quite frank, I don’t give a shit. And here’s why.
Anyone who’s read this blog over the last few weeks will be well aware that I’ve followed this club for 11yrs, and more. Home and away. I was one of the hundred or so idiots who went to Cardiff on a Tuesday night for a League Cup second round tie. I could bore you senseless recounting all the other pathetic stuff I’ve done in my support for the club, but as above, I just can’t really be arsed any longer.
In the aforementioned 11yrs, I’ve only left a game early 5 times. And all this season you’ll note. Coincidence? I think not.
Getafe: It was boring
QPR away: It was a shit game, and we wanted to miss the crowd in order to catch the train home.
Burnley: I was ill
Brentford: We were shit, and there was a better game on the telly
Ipswich: I was threatened with violence from a fellow supporter for not towing the happy-clapper line
Yep’, you’ve read that right. Apparently spending somewhere around the £100 mark on a day out, doesn’t give you the right to have a laugh with your mates, and basically take the piss out of what looked like 11 strangers who all turned up wearing the same coloured jerseys, and thus Robbo threw them on the pitch and hoped for the best (It didn’t work by the way) and generally having a good day. Up until halftime at any rate.
I’m a firm believer in free speech. Always have been, always will be. I may not agree with what you say, but I fully uphold your right to say it. Even if it makes you look like a right wanker. In actual fact, more so if you’ll end up looking like a wanker. What I won’t do however is fight for that right. I’m not much cop at punching other people’s dads, and violence, in my opinion, gets you nowhere, except locked up. Trust me on this. I’m originally from the west coast of Scotland, I know.
There have been a fair few ‘incidents’ this season. No need to rake over them again here. But to focus on one in particular, with a certain resonance to what happened last Saturday, I give you, QPR away.
Everyone had their own take on what happened that afternoon. But most of you are wrong. Here’s what actually happened. Some morons took exception to a gang of adolescent males having a day out down that London, singing some stupid songs, and generally having a good time, while drunk, and thought throwing a few punches around was a good idea. It wasn’t. Someone I know personally ended up being banned for a short while. He’d done nothing but have the temerity to be stood in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was innocent. And by the conventions of modern law, you’re supposed to remain innocent until proven guilty. Well not at MK it soon transpired.
Him, and others, were soon convicted by the kangaroo court of social media. They were young. They were wearing clobber that was widely associated with an unsavoury element. They were drunk. But most importantly of all, they weren’t like us. So they must be guilty. The backlash was pathetic. Almost to a man, and it’s almost exclusively males who post on footy related forums, they had already made their minds up. Guilty as charged. Take them down. Ban ’em, and throw the book at ’em. The club chipped in with a nice wee ‘warning’ that certain fans were being watched. And recently the widely ineffective supporters association posted their own Johnny-come-lately, lapdog response.
This is what you’re up against. I’ve actually come across an MK supporter who, this season, went on one of the fans forums and said that he’d rather we played our usual ‘play it out from the back’ style of footy and lose, that adapt to the style The Championship requires and win. I shit you not. He’d rather we played and lost, than won. What chance do you stand against that?
One of the main attractions of following this club for me is down to the fact that it’s not like other clubs. It’s a bit of a joke really. But I don’t mind. We’re a massive windup in the face of traditional footy. But when fellow supporters tap one of your friends on the shoulder and tell him basically to wind his neck in, or else, well that’s it for me.
That’s why I walked out of Portman Road at halftime, and got a train back home. Sorry to those on the mini-bus that I came with for any worry and distress I caused, but I’m so angry at what happened that I gave my season ticket to someone else for Saturday’s game against Forest, and decided to spend the afternoon in the garden, which now looks lovely. I didn’t listen to the game on the wireless, and I’ve no interest in the result. I’m assuming we got a right kicking.
I’m not going to throw my season ticket back at the club like some of my friends have in past seasons, and wage a campaign stating that it was all a property deal, because basically right at this moment I couldn’t give a shit. It’s obviously tied up in a property development scheme. Big deal. Who cares? At least The Guardian have stopped referring to Winkleman as an ex-music mogul, and only this week called him a property developer. So if the shoe fits…
I wasn’t at The Winterland Ballroom in January ’78, so I didn’t hear John Lydon asking the crowd if they ever had the feeling that they’d been cheated. But after last weekend I didn’t need to be.
Well that wraps it up for 2015/16 then. Quite a season really.
It was a season that started with a degree of hope, a sense of belief, built on last season’s general wonderfulness, and a feeling that, unless something truly awful happened, we would probably be alright. It all started so well too – that beautiful sunny day in Rotherham where we got our first taste of Championship football, and it tasted good. I can remember chatting to people on that day and saying “this league isn’t so tough then is it?”.
We were top of the league too! I think the stats for the season show that we were top of the league for longer than everyone else in the Championship except some of the others. Can you tell that I can’t remember where I saw the stat?
Anyway, a good start swiftly gave way to a pretty poor season. We tried to play our passing game, building from the back, and keeping possession, and we kept on getting caught out. Some teams were pressing us hard and we were making mistakes, while others just sat back, let us have the possession and waited for us to balls it up. We rarely disappointed. The swagger of last season had gone, and much as we persisted, it just seemed to be a little out of reach.
There were many reasons for our struggles, and they’ll be argued over for many seasons to come, but there are a few areas where I think we got it wrong.
First of all, Robbo said at the start of the season that he would be putting his faith in the team that got us promoted. That sounded like a brave move at the time, but it also felt like the right one – we had a team of players who knew how to play with an for each other, and that should be a real head start for us. Clearly, it was the wrong decision, but just how wrong it was wasn’t really clear at the start. First of all, we didn’t have the entire team that got us promoted, and any suggestion that we would be able to compete at a higher level without adequate replacements for Dele, Benik and Will was probably naive to say the least. We did bring in replacements in those areas, but it would be an understatement to say that they didn’t fill the shoes of any of the players that we’d lost. We also discovered as the season went on, that a significant number of the players that we did have from last season just weren’t good enough for the Championship. That’s the overriding reason for me that we’ve been relegated, and it’s the most obvious I guess – our players weren’t good enough for this league.
Secondly, we tried to play the same game that had been so successful for us in League 1, and kept trying long after it was clear that it wasn’t working in the Championship. Pretty much every team seemed to know how to play us, and were able to stop us playing our game, at least in any areas of the pitch where it mattered. Our possession statistics were the best in the league for considerable periods of the season, yet our league position, our shots and our goals scored were the exact opposite. I felt until way past christmas that it would still come right for us, and that we were right to keep playing that way. I also felt, probably rightly, that we weren’t set up to play any other way. I was wrong, as we eventually proved, much too late, that we could dig in and grind out points away at places like Hull. An earlier change to our style of play, and I think that we’d still be playing Championship football come August.
Thirdly, we weren’t strong enough, both physically and mentally, either as individuals or as a team. We didn’t have the stamina to hold on to games we were winning or drawing in, and gave away large numbers of points in the dying stages of games. Our confidence went early on, and it hasn’t returned. We didn’t fight hard enough to keep possession when challenged, and we didn’t fight hard enough to get it back when we lost it – there was a noticeable difference between the ruthless efficiency that we saw from the majority of our opponents and our own ‘nice’ approach. Just the games that we threw away in the last few minutes would have been enough to keep us up.
Fourthly, we seem to have completely underestimated pretty much every element of what was required to compete in the Championship. At a fans forum towards the end of last season, Robbo claimed that he “didn’t need a top half championship budget to compete in the top half of the championship”. According to a table that was published fairly early on in the season, we had the lowest budget in the championship, and Rotherham just one place above us had a budget that was double ours. At the same event, Robbo also said that if we went up, we “would have the pick of the loan players from top premiership sides”. That clearly failed to materialise, perhaps due to the higher financial expectations for loans at this level meaning that we couldn’t actually afford them, and also perhaps due to clubs not wanting to send their players out to a side that was losing all the time. It’s possible to argue that this means that we were doomed from the very beginning, but it’s not easy to understand how Winkie got this one so wrong.
As well as the challenges for the players and the management, it’s also been a season-long learning experience for the fans. We’ve had to get used to losing more than we’re winning, which has been a rather useful reminder of just how successful the club has been in recent years. Since the relegation under Danny Wilson back in 2006, we’ve not had a season where losing was the norm, and a lot of our fanbase weren’t around back then. We’ve also had more ‘issues’ amongst the fans at away matches than in previous seasons, combined with stricter stewarding and policing, which is something that we need to get better at controlling ourselves.
Rotherham away on the opening day
Being top of the Championship for a week back in August
Frustrating the hell out of Hull
Filling the stadium against Chelsea
Wednesday away – my favourite away of the season
The walkers and kayakers to Fulham
Daniel’s equaliser at Bristol City
Dele becoming the darling of English football
Players, manager and fans applauding each other after relegation was actually confirmed against Brentford
The lap of appreciation after the Forest game
Robbo confirming that he’s staying
Relegation being all but confirmed against Rotherham
Robbo getting booed at the end of the Rotherham game
Antony Kay’s goal at Leeds
Making Bolton look like Barcelona at their place
No Tony Stratford at the end of season awards
Gifting Huddersfield three points at their place
The MooCamp Radio Show misplacing it’s radio station
Getting hammered at home by the Saints
Burnley showing the real gulf between us and them
Hearing Chelsea Dagger on the radio at some point in April and thinking ‘I haven’t heard this for ages’ then realising what that meant
Lack of progress on the training ground.
There’s a nervousness as we start to look forward to life back in League 1. We ought to be able to compete in the top-half, but we’ve not won a game in two months, and it will take something quite significant to turn that losing mentality around. The last time we got relegated, we reached the playoffs in the next season, but that took Martin Allen to shake the club up and turn things around. It remains to be seen whether Robbo has what it takes to turn us around, and whether Winkie is able to provide the support that he needs. Expectations will be high – I’d be happy with a side that’s pushing for the playoffs next season, but I have a feeling that won’t be enough for many. If we did manage to find our way back into the championship, then whether we’d be able to find a way to compete I really have no idea. That will be a nice problem to have I guess.
Bring on the Euros, bring on the pre-season friendlies, and bring on the 2016/17 season I guess.
And indeed the wider world of footy certainly laughed long and hard last Saturday afternoon. We’re down, as old Francis has been telling us since, well since this time last year really.
It was a terrible game against Brentford. Truly dreadful. No atmosphere to speak of. The footy on offer, well from us any-road, was uninspiring, dull and just plain rubbish. I could visibly see Potter’s shoulders sink when they equalised. You could’ve picked faults with any one of them. But that would be childish, however… Cropper mate! Ever thought that perhaps football might not be your game? His performance in the first half was our whole season in microcosm. Dithering about, unable to make a decision, and just no idea what he should be doing.
I was one of the ones who thought we’d do okay in The Championship. I genuinely thought that we’d finish lower mid-table. I was of the opinion that we’d draw more than we’d win, and sink into mid-table obscurity. If only! We were told that if we managed to finish one place above the relegation zone, then it would’ve been a good season, and we would’ve succeeded. We didn’t. So therefore we failed.
You could point to any number of things that went wrong. The two Spanish lads. The early season striker debacle. Maynard fannying about before signing. The away game against Brentford. Samir pissing in a glass. Kay’s own goal at Dirty Leeds, Dale Jennings’ ever expanding waist line, conceding late equalisers, J.E.T. – the list goes on and on. But hindsight gives you 20/20 vision. The real reason we’ve gone down is simply down to the fact that we weren’t good enough. We were constantly out thought, out played, and both our tactics and players were found wanting.
But as you’re just about to find out, things could be worse. Much worse.
The season panned out in direct inversion to my personal life. I, unfortunately, was ill for most of it. Started feeling unwell on the day of the FA Cup final. Didn’t think much about it. A summer cold probably, and the season kicked off. We smashed Rotherham. I was no better. We went away to Reading, on what was one of the most beautiful summer days for many a year. We had a nil/nil draw. Not a bad result in retrospect. I was beginning to feel dreadful. Really dreadful. We started to lose more than we drew or won. I was by this time feeling really shit. Christmas was on the horizon. Off to Notts Forest on a pub stop mini-bus. Wonderful day. I had my first ever G&T, and met the singer out of The Mekons. We lost. Two days before that I was told that I would have to have part of my foot amputated. To be honest I’ve had better days. New year rocked up. Now the team were right up shit street. We lost at Birmingham. Me on the other hand. Well I knew what was wrong with me, but this is when I started to feel really, really bad. Burnley arrived, and kicked the living shit out of us. I’ve never felt so bad in my entire life. I was quite literally shaking, and couldn’t stop. I had to leave with more than 20mins to go. Which in the circumstances was a blessing in disguise, bearing in mind the result.
March, and into hospital I went. Operation went smooth as a nut. I came out, and instantly I started to feel better. The team on the other hand started to feel really bad. The first game I went to when I could get about on crutches, was the one where Baker missed a last gasp penalty. And well, you know the rest. So as I got better, the team got shitter.
Blame me if you want. I’ll accept full responsibility. I was really looking forward to this season. But as you can see from what happened to me, it’s not been great. And now we’re down. But you’ll be happy to know that I’m feeling chipper. You’ll be reading this on Sunday, but it’s written well before that. So as it stands, I’ve just taken out another mortgage to fund a ticket for Ipswich. A game I’m really looking forward to. Me and a gang of friends are heading off in yet another mini-bus trip. I can’t wait, and many more G&T’s await.
So there you have it. We’re down, but certainly not out. Ipswich is a nothing game. We’ve been relegated. So what. We tried, we failed. Big deal. After the season that I’ve just had, I’m more than happy to still have most of my foot.
So believe me when I tell you this. It’s an old cliche, but there are certainly far more important things in this life than your football team getting relegated.
It was a beautiful sunny day, we were taking an inexperienced goalkeeper, no substitute keeper and a bench primarily made up from Academy kids. It was fancy dress and I wasn’t dressing up. We’ve already been relegated, we were expecting to lose, possibly heavily, and I was going on a minibus leaving at 9:30 am with a two hour pub stop as the only non-drinker. What could possibly go wrong?
Well to be honest, not much really – we had a great day out. Just short of 500 of us made the trip, which was about double what I was expecting, and we made a fair bit of noise at times. The football was a bit rubbish in the first half, but somehow we managed to go in on level terms. the football was better in the second half, but somehow we managed to end the game behind. That’s been our season really.
We played a dangerous game with fate by packing 75% of the presenters of The MooCamp Radio Show into the same minibus. Had the bus exploded following an attack by a flock of angry wrens, the entire future of the show would have been in the hands of Young Alby, and that just doesn’t bear thinking about. The very thought sends shivers down my spine. Anyway, great pub stop in a village whose name escapes me (but it definitely began with an H) and then on to the ground.
We faced our relegation with generally good humour – lots of self-deprecating chants, which got occasional recognition and applause from some of the nearby Ipswich fans. A fair bit of chanting was targeting one particularly large lad, who gave as good as he got for a while, before leaving in a bit of a huff. The irony of me chanting towards an overweight bloke wasn’t lost on me, and the disapproving looks from Mrs B helped to keep my participation to a minimum.
In what’s become something of a regular feature at aways this season, there were some cross words exchanged between a few of our fans at half-time, with some people getting angry about some other people’s ‘we’re not very good’ type of chants. Usual handbags type of arguments, but it did result in one of our group (who shall remain nameless until I know he’s alright) deciding to leave at half time, not to be seen again. I have no idea whether there’s anything we can do to keep these rows from spilling over into genuine anger, but I hope we can – it does tend to put a bit of a damper on things, and I could do without it.
As soon as I saw the challenge that won us the pen, I thought ‘definite penalty’, though the fact that literally EVERYONE else around me disagreed suggests that I may well be wrong. Revell took the penalty well, and level we were, just before half time. To be level at half time was actually really, really funny, as we really shouldn’t have been in the game at all, but level we were.
Second half we played a little better football, and at times looked like we might still know how to pass the ball around, but it really was in quite short bursts. On a couple of occasions, the ‘we want you to stay’ chant went up for Revell, and he looked genuinely moved. I think he was just about to be subbed for Maynard when he got our second, so Maynard sat back down again, and a few minutes later came on for Bowditch. They did sub Revell a short while after that and when he went off, you could see that we’d made an impact on him. I don’t think he’s the greatest striker we’re ever going to see, but he is the best striker we’ve had in the air since Clive Platt, and when combined with his fantastic workrate and dedication, that makes him worth keeping. I hope he does stay. But I doubt that he will.
Anyway, just as it looked like we were going to cling on for the point, something happened and they got the winner. I have no idea what it was, because I wasn’t watching, and neither were anyone else around me. I blame Antony Kay myself.
So, a great day out, only spoiled in part by some of the football, a bit of arguing, and a missing presenter. Aways are fun. End of season aways doubly so. And the scary clowns were fantastic – kudos to all those who took the time and effort to do it.
One more game to try and claim that third from bottom spot again, and to try to go down with a bang.