Match Report – Dons 0:4 Rotherham – 09/04/2016

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.

The MooCamp Radio Show 2.36 - Listen Now!
Some players earlier today

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.

And Franco even made it to the match!
And Franco even made it to the match!

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.

COYD.

Match Preview – Dons V Rotherham – 9/4/16

I’m not looking forward to this.

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.

I have a feeling it’s the latter.

I guess we’ll know in a few hours.

COYD.

The Daily Gers – Mailwatch Special – 08/04/2016

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.

Tenuous Link – Antony Kay and a tub of lard

In which we, the overseers of all things related to the Dons, take two seemingly unrelated topics and show you how they are indeed related. This week, we’re going to reveal exactly how Dons defensive maestro and sublime tackler, Antony Kay, and a tub of lard are seamlessly entwined.

  • Antony Kay is a defender who hideously mistimed a tackle which injured a member of the opposing team
  • Not apologising for said foul isn’t an achievement to be proud of
  • Pierre-Joseph Proudhon was a French politician and the founder of mutualist philosophy
  • Philosophy is the study of the general and fundamental nature of reality, existence, knowledge, values, and reason
  • For no reason whatsoever, Roy Hattersley was replaced on the topical quiz show ‘Have I Got News For You’ by a tub of lard
  • And, finally, although it offered absolutely nothing to the game (apart from making up the numbers), the tub of lard was still invited back to play again the week after!

I thank you.

Modders.

Match Report – Dons 1:2 Wolves – 05/04/2016

Your Franchise Needs You
Your Franchise Needs You

So what can you say about that then?

First of all, it’s settled in relation to Dougan or the Shirt.  Dougan wins – on that showing, there really isn’t anything to hate about Wolves, so my childhood traumas can be put to one side, and I can get on with just ignoring them 🙂  Though I do want to read the book again – does anyone have a copy?

It started well – a Wolves own-goal (though claimed by Mickey Naynard of course) in the fifth minute and we were looking pretty good.  Passing the ball around with a bit of confidence and swagger – Caruthers looking sharp and doing relatively simple stuff well, JFK looking fit again.  Daniel looking like Daniel does when he starts, which isn’t generally that good, but you can’t have everything I guess.

The first half was pretty good, and results elsewhere were going for us, so it was a relatively relaxed group of us that met in the bar at half-time, even if we weren’t feeling over confident that we would hold on.

The second half went how we’d feared – we started sitting back, the confidence went, the passes started to go astray, and we all knew what would happen next.  They scored.  And then they scored again.  And I think at point, even those of us who’ve been remaining confident and positive knew our fate for the season.

Highlight of the game was playing ‘Daniel?  Go Long!’ ((c) the Friends episode with the Geller cup) every time their was a corner or a free kick near either box.

Queen Lewington 2nd
Queen Lewington 2nd

I get a bit cross at times when people say that Robbo doesn’t have a plan B.  First of all he plays a formation that allows for an enormous amount of flexibility anyway, but in recent months he’s gone well beyond that.  He’s had our team of passing footballers digging in, time wasting and grinding out points, which is exactly the right thing to do at times.

There are times though, when Robbo doesn’t seem to act in a way that’s appropriate to the situation we’re in, and with the substitutions tonight he excelled himself.  You’re 1-0 up after half-time, and you’re really under pressure, but you leave Revell, who seems to be the one guy able to hold the ball up and win things in the air at the moment, you leave him on the bench until we’re 2-1 down.  You have Jonny Williams and Bowditch on the bench, each of which provides attacking promise and options, yet they don’t even get on the pitch.  And Jay Emmanuelle-Thomas does?  In what universe does that make sense?

It’s not over yet, but it’s close.  Defeat on Saturday and we really will be dead and buried of course, but if we can keep it alive, then there will still be a little bit of hope, and we know what can happen with just a little bit of hope.

I think I said this at the weekend, but we don’t have the psychological strength to win a match at the moment.  Wolves weren’t very good.  They really weren’t.  We were good enough to beat them.  But we weren’t strong enough to beat them.  And I really can’t see that changing.

So bring on the Millers on Saturday and let us see if we can bring Colin’s run of form to grinding halt.  If we can do that, we’ll just have to wait and see for a little bit.  If we can’t, then at least we can sit back and relax, because it will be over.

Brando.

PS – Kay should have been sent off.

MK Dons v Wolverhampton Wanderers Match Report

Derek_Dougan earlier today
Dougan Man Ting etc.

Spikey ‘G Man’ Bird – 17 – Furzton

Bad mashup an ting!

Dons mx it like class, offer man tings, an get bare in response. When boss man blow up first time, we is lead. Good times. Happy beerage. Next bit, not so good. Two shots, believe, two shots man have an two goal man score! Word! End time come an we is second – again. Not what spend coinage on!

Time comes when break time spliffage need pass by d left, you hear me? Man, it bare sort out tings, an Robbo need hear me now! Me should get there and make action, sort tings proper is what I say, you get me?

Word is man’s lost it, no idea it look, an we is going down keener than Letitia from 11c!

T’is all you ‘G Man’ have to say. Peace out.

Match Preview – Dons v Wolves – 05/04/2016

Derek_Dougan earlier today
Derek Dougan earlier today

Derek Dougan.  He’s what springs to mind when I think of Wolves.  Derek Dougan.  I also think of Winkie (as a supporter), one-time Dons Season Ticket Holder and one-time MooCamp radio Show guest Wolfie Oz (because he hates being reminded of it) and Steve Bull (as a former player).  But it’s really Derek Dougan that epitomises everything to do with Wolves as far as I’m concerned.  He wrote a book you see.

I can remember the cover – it had a picture of Derek Dougan on the front of it, in a Wolves top oddly enough, and I was probably nine or ten when I bought it from a school jumble sale.  It was an autobiography, and told all about his life and his time as a footballer, and I remember being really inspired by it.  I wanted to be a footballer.  I didn’t want to be Derek Dougan (that would have been ridiculous – he played for Wolves ffs) I wanted to be Liam Brady – but I can remember reading about just how glamorous the life of a footballer in 70s England really was.  Which I’m sure by modern standards it can’t have been.  He had a great tache though, though oddly I’ve never wanted one of those.  Even though I’ve got one now, but that came with a beard, so it doesn’t count.  I have no idea what I’m talking about.

The other thing that I think of when I think of Wolves is my mum, and her desperate attempts to do good when I was younger.  Having asked for an Arsenal top repeatedly, my poor mum used to buy whatever football related clothing she could find, and I don’t think she ever understood the difference.  One of the most legendary purchases was a ‘Wolves Gold’ football top.  Not an actual Wolves top, but clearly Wolves colours, which as a young Arsenal fan, was difficult to say the least.  Though not as bad as the claret and blue tracksuit, but that’s for another day.

Plastic Fan
Is this you?

Anyway, the thing about Wolves for me is that I’m torn – I like them as a club, I loved Derek Dougan’s book, but I had to wear that damn top, so I despise them too.

As far as the game goes, we’ve confirmed that Dave Martin is out till the end of the season, and it’s now been announced that Rob Hall is our for 6-9 months – poor lad – get well soon.  Will either of those make a significant difference to the remainder of our season?  No idea, but they add to the excuse bank.

There’s a feeling of resignation around the support at the moment.  Not so much to do with recent results, but more to do with what seem like the impossible odds against us putting the sort of run together that would keep us up.  Stranger things have happened of course, and if we manage to get a win tonight, and results elsewhere go our way, then the great escape is back on.  Particularly with Rotherham coming to stay on Saturday.  Very doubtful though – the teams around us seem to have found a second wind, while we just look out of breath.

Part of me wants it over, because the hope is painful, but in reality, I’m going to keep being positive (I have a feeling I don’t sound very positive right now 😉 ) until the enlarged woman has serenaded us all.

COYD.

Match Report – Fulham 2-1 Dons – 02/04/2016

Not just A, but The Fulham Football Club
Not just A, but The Fulham Football Club

If ever there was a great day out ruined by the football, then this was it.

It started well – a beautiful sunny day in Milton Keynes, lots of coaches lined up outside the Arena (AKA the Semi-Colon) and lots of Dons fans milling about.  The wonderful people at Piglets’ Pantry had laid on free brunch for all (not sure whether that was a marketing exercise from them or if it was funded by the club – probably a bit of both) so having grabbed a sausage roll and a Coke, we climbed the stairway to Coach 10.

Coach trips are never the most entertaining thing, but twitter wars can raise the boredom threshold a little – #CoachWars and #CoachWarsSoundtracks kept us going a little, spread to Facebook and at one point had representatives from about half of the coaches, all talking bollocks about how great their coach was, and the rubbish/cool/odd music they were listening to.  Coach 10 won.  I love being a grown up 😉

For those of you who aren’t up to speed with the charitable element of the day – we had nine people who had walked the entire way from Milton Keynes to Fulham, and two who had Kayaked, all raising money for Willen Hospice.  The original plan was to raise £1,000, which then became £3,000, and then £5,000 as donations flooded in.  All along the journey, we were getting updates through Facebook and Twitter of the progress that the Walkers and Kayakers were making, with each group making the final stages of their three day journeys as we relaxed into our air-conditioned seats.  Everyone was due to meet at the statue of Johnny Haynes at 2:00pm, where the participants could receive our applause, meet Winkie, and the rest of us could bask in the reflected glory of those who’d done simply amazing things to get there.

The Walking Dead, The Kayak Brothers and a Winkie
The Walking Dead, The Kayak Brothers and a Winkie

Winkie was late (as usual ;-)) but not that late – much applause was applauded, great photos were taken, and many hugs were hugged.  It’s quite incredible what some people are prepared to do to raise money for others, and I applaud each and every one of you.

So into the ground then – nice and busy, and there was an atmosphere building, both in the bars and up in the stand.  The stewards were insistent that everyone went up the right stairway for their ticket, which in my experience never bodes well for a nice relaxed afternoon.  If you’ll allow me to rant for a while, this sort of stewarding ‘control’ always seems to be more than a little futile in a football environment.  The aim presumably is to ensure that everyone sits in their designated seat, but unless you’re in an environment where every seat has been sold (and I think we can safely say that’s not likely to happy very often for us) I honestly can’t see a single point in it.  It’s not the theatre, where you’re able to choose a specific seat – you’re given the next one off the top of the pile and you have no choice in where that seat is.  If everyone did sit in the seat randomly allocated by the order in which they bought them, you end up with friends separated, people wanting to sit in with those wanting to stand and vice versa, people wanting to sing in with those preferring not to and vice versa.  There are no security implications either, because no club has the faintest idea which tickets are allocated to any individual.  Frankly it’s all a bit daft.

A Cottage Earlier Today
A Cottage Earlier Today

Anyway, the atmosphere rocked – we were on good form in the stands, though almost nothing could be heard from the Fulham crowd except for the sound of 10,000 cardboard ‘clackers’.  I should point out that while a lot of people were loudly proclaiming how plastic the clackers were and how we’d never do anything like that, we would and we have.  The Morecambe game at the end of the JPT/Promotion season was awash with them, and plastic as they are, they were rather good on the day, and when accompanied by pretty continuous chanting they sounded great.  On their own though?  A bit crap really.

Football-wise, we weren’t good.  We looked like a side that was low on confidence and low on ideas, and we were lucky to go in at half-time on equal terms.  Fulham hit the post, and while they didn’t force any/many saves from Cody in the first half, they had enough opportunities that they should have.  It was good to have JFK back in midfield, but he looked a little sluggish, which wasn’t too surprising for his first game back.

The Kayak Brothers and a Winkie
The Kayak Brothers and a Winkie

Halftime entertainment was provided by the daft racist behind me who, when asked by another fan to rein in his ‘Abdul’ related shouts at the steward got all hot and bothered.  His insistence that the rest of us who were taking an interest should ‘turned round and watch the game’ seemed to be unmoved by the fact that as it was halftime, there was nothing else to watch.  To be fair, his mates seemed a little embarrassed by him, but weren’t able to or interested in calming him down (which is always a sign that perhaps you’re hanging round with the wrong people 😉 #justsaying).  One of their group suggested that it was none of our business, and that we were ‘grasses’ which was the first time I’ve found myself in the middle of an Eastenders episode at a game ;-).  Another of their group very politely suggested that I shouldn’t do anything to ‘wind him up’, but to be honest, if being asked politely to calm it down and stop being racist towards the stewards winds someone up, then fuck him.  A storm in a teacup of course, doesn’t mean anything in the wider scheme of things, but an indication of something that we’ll have to deal with as a fanbase.  I’ve got a lovely photo of the guy in question if the club are interested.

Second half – we conceded, then woke up a little bit and looked more likely to score for a while.  Then we did.  Then we looked more likely to concede again.  Then we did.  We did look more threatening in the second half, but the same old defensive frailties that have haunted us all season were on hand to make Fulham look like world-beaters.  The lack of goal threat that has haunted us all season was again on hand to make Fulham look like defensive masterminds.  No idea how that bloke who scythed George down stayed on the pitch – a straight red in any other game I’ve seen this season.  Wouldn’t have had a bearing on the game in any way though.

Not THE anymore then
Not THE anymore then

Robbo suggested in his post match interview that we deserved a point from it.  We didn’t.  They could have had three or four more in the second half, were it not for a great performance from Cody, and we very rarely came close to threatening their goal.  We’re not psychologically strong enough to win games against the teams that we have to be taking points from.  We look lost.

It’s not all over of course – the teams around us are down there for a reason, and while some (well almost all) of them are having some form of resurgence, it might not last.  We’d still have to produce the sort of consistency over the remaining matches that we’ve been unable to muster up at all this season, and I can’t see us doing that, but I’ll remain positive until it’s mathematically impossible for us to stay up.

If we do go down, we’ll brush ourselves off, whinge for a bit, then get back into it and enjoy league 1 again.

The one really sour point (other than the football) was hearing that some of the walkers had been denied entry into the game, having walked 54 miles to attend it.  I can’t quite imagine what that must feel like for them, and I really can’t understand what Fulham FC are doing to let something like this happen.  Complimentary tickets that were provided to the Walkers by Winkie and Andrew Cullen were said to be fakes by the stewards on the gates.  Personal intervention by Andrew Cullen helped out with some of them, but others ended up back in the pub, missing the match that they’d put so much into attending.  Poor show Fulham – very poor show.  Something significant needs to be done to make it up to the fans in question, AND something significant needs to be done to support the charity in question.

That looks grand that does!
That looks grand that does!

All in all, a great day out, marred slightly by an angry racist and the Fulham stewards attitudes to the walkers.

Feeling down, but not out.

Brando.

 

Gers on Sunday – We Don’t Give A F**k About Charity – 03/04/2016

When I was a wee small lad back in the mid-sixties (yes, I am that old) I loved footy. Went every other week. One shilling for kids. It was a serious amount of money at the time, when pocket money was two of the aforementioned bobs. We were poor, but we were happy etc, etc, etc. But as young men will, girls and music intervened, and the lure of standing on a terrace with someone pissing down the back of your leg waned somewhat.

The mid-seventies arrived. I was an original punk rocker, had a girl friend, and a stupid haircut, but more importantly, I was a skateboarder. Yes, you’ve read that correctly, I skated. I was 13 when I first started skating. I was in my mid-forties when I stopped. And yes, you’ve also read that correctly, I was in my mid-forties when I, a middle-aged man, stopped skateboarding.  

Skateboarding is a truly wonderful thing. Skating in the mid-nineties when you’re in your thirties, married, a father, have a mortgage and running your own one man business, well it takes a certain amount of dedication. It wasn’t like skating in the USA, where Mom and Pop would take little Johnny down to the local park and make a day of it, was it fuck. No! Skating in the UK was punk rock. If you’d managed to keep skating through countless winters, sought out fantastic architecture on which to display your amazing skills, and well, withstood the ridicule of everyone else, you were truly punk rock.

Radar and Bootsie
Radar and Bootsie Looking Foxy

There was one particular group of skaters from Harrow. The Death Squad they called themselves. You may have caught them on the Dirty Sanchez telly show. Now these guys were truly hardcore. Both in their skating, and indeed in their lifestyle. I remember one of them, a fella’ called Dan Cates (look him up on YouTube, you won’t be disappointed) being interviewed on the telly once. He was asked about some charity event that was going on at the time. A sponsored skate, or some such rubbish. His answer has become a catchphrase of mine to this day. Old Dan turned to the camera, smiled a gap-toothed smile, adjusted his cap, and opined… “We don’t give a fuck about charity”.

Now, I’m a cynical bugger, I really am. If someone dies that I don’t know, my initial reaction isn’t, ‘Thoughts and prayers with whoever has just pegged it’. Not me. I’m more likely to just shrug, and think, ‘Who cares!’. I didn’t pray for Muamba, I don’t know him. I wouldn’t hold a candlelit vigil if another member of the royal family pegged it. I just wouldn’t .

Okay, I’m joking. Sort of. I am very cynical, but I’ve also given significant amounts of money to charity over the years. Disaster funds, cancer, Shelter, and most importantly of all for me, the NSPCC. They’ve all had a lot of my hard earned over the years. I’ve also volunteered to work for charitable organisations for free. I do a lot for charity, but I don’t like to talk about it. 

So there you go, charity. I’m all for it. Just don’t tell anyone. Now, imagine that you earned £7 per minute. That equates to £420 per hour, £3,360 per 8 hour day, £16,800 a week, £67,200 a month, and £806,400 a year. Which is of course significantly less than your average Premiership player earns. It is however somewhere around the exact amount it takes to keep Willen Hospice running. It’s a lot of money isn’t it! It’s a charity. They have to raise that money by themselves. Or hope that others will on their behalf. 

The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead

So, while Samir Nasri is no doubt bombing around the streets of Manchester (average house price £85,000) in his £330,000 Lamborghini, a group of around 10 Dons supporters walked, yes walked, to Fulham. All the while two other supporters kayaked to the very same away game. I know! How on earth does one kayak to Craven Cottage? But there you go. They did. Well at least I hope they did, as I’m writing this before the attempt was made. Gonna’ look a bit stupid if they didn’t. And if they indeed did, it was all in aid of the aforementioned good cause. And if you haven’t already, then you should give them some of your hard earned money. (Links at the foot of this piece). Because if you don’t, then you’re worse that Samir Nasri, who no one likes. 

Both attempts are truly admirable. The average person can walk somewhere around 20 miles in an 8 hour stint. I’ve no idea how far the average person can kayak in an 8 hour stint, but as you’re sitting down all the way, then it must be the easier option. Skateboarders can obviously outdo both. It’s 56 miles from stadium:mk to Craven Cottage. Therefore, two 8 hour stints would still leave you 16 miles on the last day. It’s an early start. And when you get there you have to watch MK. Not a pleasing thought. 

So there you go. They either did, or didn’t do it. But irrespective of the final outcome, massive kudos to both attempts. This from a fan base from the universally loathed Franchise FC. So while the football world heaps scorn on us, and our estranged cousins post the most bizarre and vaguely disturbing thoughts online, our fans get up off their arses (apart from the kayaks who quite literally sat on theirs all day) and actually made a difference.

So don’t be like Dan Cates, give a fuck about charity.

Walking… https://www.justgiving.com/mkdsa-mkdonswalk2016/

Kayaking… https://www.justgiving.com/Richard-Nordsted

Gers.

Roundabout of the Week – 28/03/2016 – Clue 6

It’s Roundabout of the Week time once more – each week Modders goes out to see what’s happening at one of the 3,426 beautiful roundabouts in Milton Keynes and picks one at random and describe it to you in all it’s splendor.

Here’s your first clue

ROTW Clue 1
Clue 1

And here’s your second clue:

clue 2
Your second clue

And here’s your third clue:

Clue 3
Clue the Third

And here’s your fourth clue:

Clue 4
Clue 4

And here’s your fifth clue! (yes fifth!)

Clue 5
The FIFTH! Clue

And here’s your sixth (yes SIXTH) and last clue:

Clue 6
Sixth Sense?

Get those thinking caps on – so get in touch via the usual channels and let us know just whereabouts is this weeks ‘Roundabout of the Week’?

The MK Dons Site that just makes stuff up – Tis our way

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