Tag Archives: cropper

Gers on Sunday – Down Down, Deeper And Down – 01/05/2016

Gers on Sunday
Gers on Sunday

I want all the world to see

To see you’re laughing
And you’re laughing at me
I can take it all from you
Again again again again again again again…
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.
albiestrainYou 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.
moocamp-at-the-noucampMarch, 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.
Gers

Gers on Sunday – Goalkeepers As Captains – 23/04/2016

There are some things in life that are just plain wrong, and here’s a list of them.

  • Singing drummers (Levon Helm excepted)
  • Women drummers (Meg White excepted)
  • Two drummers in the same band, at the same time (Adam And The Ants excepted)
  • Top hats in rock (I’ll give you Slash at a push, but that bloody woman from 4 Non-Blonds ruined it for everyone)
  • Singing bass players (there is no exception here)
  • And finally, goalkeepers as captains (Buffon excepted)
Wednesday on a Tuesday
Wednesday on a Tuesday

Now everything in the list above is unacceptable. There is no debate, and if you disagree, then add yourself to the list. You’ll have noticed however that the overwhelming majority are from the rock n roll world, except the last one. Having a goalkeeper as a captain is rubbish. How on earth can he influence the passage of play, or be called over by the ref’ if there’s a player who needs to be told to calm down if he’s stood in goal? Well he can’t. So there you have it. Goalkeepers as captains, absolute insanity. Strikers as goalkeepers on the other hand, now you’re talking!

MK Dons have been blessed with some great ‘keepers since I first started following them 11+ years ago. We’ve also been blessed with some absolute pish in goal as-well. So ying and yang, light and shade and all that.

My first ‘keeper, so to speak, was friend of Maggie Thatcher, Matt Baker. He wasn’t very good. He was so bad in fact that he was replaced by a Spanish waiter. He was also replaced in one game at the Hockey Stadium by Aaron Wilbraham. A striker no less. It was also Steve ‘Boring’ Claridge’s last game, who didn’t wear any shin pads for that game. Which I remember as being a tad strange.

Now, old Aaron had to don the gloves at halftime due to the fact that both our keepers were injured. One in the warm up, and Baker during the game. He did very well. Even managed to save a scuffed header from aforementioned ‘boring’ radio pundit, and we went on to either win, or draw. Can’t quite remember. So well done him. A true MK legend in more ways than one. And harking back to last week. If you’ve ever booed him when he’s played against us since, then you’re an idiot. Not only did he score a boatload of goals for us, he’s also one of the elite group of players who’ve scored in all four English domestic leagues. And he’s a cracking goalkeeper to boot. So fantastic if you booed him the night we beat his Norwich so comprehensively. Give yourself a massive pat on the back.

Wednesday on a Tuesday
Wednesday on a Tuesday

Anyway I digress. As I’m writing this, it’s Tuesday night, and I’m listening to the pre-Wednesday game build up on the wireless. The team has just been announced, and if I’m being honest, it’s not looking good. We couldn’t have picked a worst time to find ourselves with a growing injury list. We all know that, bearing a miracle of biblical proportions, we’re down. So kudos to Charlie Burns for making his league debut at Hillsborough. Can’t be easy at anytime, but at this late stage of the season, with every point a massive plus! The lad has my undying admiration without a doubt. It went very well for the young fella, who kept a clean sheet, with help from both posts and the crossbar, in an ill tempered match.

As you all no doubt already know, the only reason young Charlie made his league debut was solely down to the fact that Alex Revell was unavailable to continue his unbeaten run in goal, as we needed him to play upfront against Wednesday on a Tuesday. To have the courage to go in goal when you’re not a ‘keeper shows just how much of a model professional he is. He owes us nothing. I seriously doubt that he’ll be with us next season. So to don the old gloves, and the dreaded purple jersey is a hell of a thing when you’re a striker, but to then go on to save a penalty, bloody hell! I wasn’t there. I’ve never been to Preston in all my 53yrs on this planet, and I’m not intending to start now, but listening to the match on the wireless, I can hardly say that Cropper won man of the match. To cut to the chase, I was mightily pissed off with him. Rushing towards an opposition player running at you, then bringing him down, and earning yourself a straight red when you already know that the club’s first choice ‘keeper has a broken hand, well that’s just stupidity.

To the championship
To the championship

We’ve already had the old “he’s a good shot stopper, and his distribution is good” from the usual apologists. That’s as may be, but he’s a headless chicken who should’ve realised what he was doing. But I’m being overly harsh.

So let’s look on the bright side. He’s a young, square jawed American. He was quite good on Coronation Street. And let’s count our blessings that he’s not Ian.

Now, if only we could’ve found a goalkeeper who could play as a striker this season, we would’ve been laughing.

Gers