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Match Report – Wednesday 0:0 Dons – 19/04/2016

One of those ‘not sure why that was so good, but it really, really was’ kind of evenings.  Still buzzing from it a couple of days later to be honest.  There were a number of ‘why on earth are you going?’ questions that were thrown my way beforehand, but it was a bit like Saturday, in that I felt I really should be there.

No opportunity for #Coachwars, as there was just the one coach, although I did my best, with #coachwarssoundtracks bringing the best of a series of Desert Island Disc podcasts.  Chris Hadfield, Kylie and an author, activist and feminist whose name escapes me all shared their life stories and their record collections, and the journey went quickly.

Hillsborough is a difficult place to watch football.  As soon as you see the away end from the outside, it still looks exactly the same as it did in all those news reports from 1989.  It’s eerie and I find it hard not to feel like some sort of tragedy voyeur if I spend too long outside there.  I took a walk round to the memorial, which I always find a moving experience – this year, with our match being so close to an anniversary, and particularly with the jury currently being out, it felt doubly so.  There were messages and flowers from some of the families, which I found difficult to read, so I made my way back to the ground.

We weren’t expecting many of our lot, and it felt a bit like an away match of old – I recognised pretty much every one of the 185 of us who made the trip, and there was just a good feeling about it.  We know we’re down (unless something ridiculous happens repeatedly over the next few weeks, but more of that later) and everyone just seemed happy to enjoy the ride while we’re still in the championship.

Leppings Lane
Leppings Lane

So we’re relying on a miracle if we’re going to stay up, we rarely score (to be honest at the moment, we rarely shoot), our main goalie is out for the rest of the season, our number two goalie is suspended and we’ve got our academy goalie Charlie Burns making his full debut.  Our most consistent defender is on 14 yellows so one more will see him out for the rest of the season.  We’re playing a team who have resources that simply are in a different league to us, and who are in the playoff spots.  What could possibly go wrong?

Well to be honest, it went rather well, all things considered.  Charlie did himself proud, making some good saves throughout the game.  Wednesday hit the woodwork about a hundred times, and didn’t seem to have their shooting boots with them when they managed to get into good positions.  Wednesday went down to ten men after one of their lot decided to literally kick Johnny Williams up in the air while the ref was busy booking one of their lot for diving (harshly I’ve heard since).  Johnny Williams got assaulted by one of their supporters when he got substituted, Robbo intervened to protect him, and all the while, the Wednesday players, bench and fans were getting more and more hot and bothered.

The crowd were getting on their backs, and were we even remotely threatening as a football team at the moment, we’d probably have gone on to win it.  Sadly that wasn’t to be, but we knew that a draw would be enough to keep us clinging on for four more days, and cling on we did.

Wednesday on a Tuesday
Wednesday on a Tuesday

What made the evening so special for me was that we felt united as a fanbase.  We were all in it together, we all sang together, we all laughed together and we generally all had a great time together – none of the frustrations and annoyances that have been part of other away trips this season were there, and it felt great to be there together.  Thanks everyone.

Come the final whistle, as the other scores came in, it became clear that everyone else had drawn too.  That meant that Charlton were relegated, we were still nine points behind the three teams above us, but interestingly, Bristol City had dropped back into fourth from bottom.

Odd as it may seem, there’s still a chance for us to stay up.  If we win our remaining three games, and Bristol City lose their remaining three games, we will stay up.  While I could easily see Bristol City losing their remaining three games, I really can’t see us winning ours, so it’s not going to happen, but it keeps it alive for one more game.  If we win on Saturday and any of the other four lose, then we’re still clinging on, but the Bristol City goal difference means that it really has to be them.

COYD

Brando.

Gers on Sunday – Eight One! Eight Bloody One! – 17/04/2016

The peasants are revolting…

  • “Did I read it right? That fans actually booed Karl Robinson??? Shame on you”
  • “Yeah, totally agree, some people have very short memories!”
  • “Things like this really make me feel sad for football and its fans.”
  • “Do they really think that buying a ticket gives them the right to treat people like this?”
  • “I agree 100%. I have no doubt that some are bullies too.”
Gers on Sunday
Gers on Sunday

These quotes are taken from MK’s second most popular on-line fans forum in the wake of last weekend’s defeat at the feet, and heads of Rotherham. While I think that some, if not all, are rip- roaringly hilarious (especially the one that no doubts that some are bullies) there’s a ring of truth to all of them (except the ‘bullies’ one. Which I’ve just put in because it’s funny). However, the second one down, the one that mentions short memories. Now that person hit the nail firmly in the head.

It hasn’t been a great season. You’d be delusional if you thought otherwise. But the vitriol that Robinson has received since last weekend has been nothing short of pathetic. Can you remember his reaction when we got promoted last May? Remember that day, when he came over to The Cowshed (the very same Cowshed that booed him last weekend) smiling, waving, laughing? The look of relief on his face just before the final whistle, when it’d been confirmed that he’d finally managed to do what four other previous incumbents of his position failed to. Remember that? Great wasn’t it! And how about how you felt! I mean you must’ve been walking on cloud 9. I know I was. I actually hugged complete strangers that day. It was a wonderful.

The MooCamp Radio Show 2.19
“Dreaming of the barbers”

We, as a fan base, get an awful lot of stick from the wider football family. It’s the classic catch 22 situation (and if you don’t get that reference, then you should read more). We’re all two club wankers. Wonder who we supported before 2004? We’re plastic, and know nothing about real support. Which always makes me laugh. The contradiction of following another club before the move, while simultaneously knowing nothing about following a club after the move. But there you go. I’m of the belief that most people are idiots. And there’s your proof. But I think after the quite frankly shameful reaction when Robbo walked out onto the pitch last weekend to acknowledge the fans… Well, perhaps the wider football family may have a point.

If you’re reading this, and you were one of the small section who booed, then stop reading now. I don’t want folk like you reading my stuff. It’s not for you. Have you gone? Good. Then we can talk about you behind your back.

I like following MK. It’s a laugh. It’s not a proper club in the traditional sense of the idea. Good. That’s one of the main reasons I’m an avid supporter. I like Captain Beefheart (and once again, if you haven’t heard of him, then you should get out more), The Fall, Sleaford Mods. Stewart Lee, Ivor Cutler. Stuff that’s quite difficult to like. And like them, that’s why I support MK. It’s not easy following this club. When I first started, I was constantly making excuses for it. Always felt slightly ashamed. Dirty. Then one day, after I almost had a stand up fight with a Luton supporter, simply down to the fact that I actually lived in MK and had the audacity to follow MK Dons, I thought fuck it. Now I take great pleasure in rubbing it right in people’s faces. As a great man with a stick on moustache once said, I’d never be a member of a club that would have me as a member.

But enough about me and my fantastic cultural awareness. Let’s get back to the booing.

  • “I personally won’t boo but people should have the right to do so”
  • “If you don’t like a difference of opinion or free speech then move to North Korea”
  • “Booing is now part of everybody’s working life, Robbo was booed because some didn’t like his work”
The MooCamp Earlier Today
The MooCamp Earlier Today

The above quotes taken from a little known MK on-line fans fourm. And once again, comedy gold. Especially No’2. Who argues the right of free speech, while denying  the right he’s arguing for to others.

While there has undoubtedly been massive problems this season, but if you think Krobbo is to blame, then you’re wrong. Canny business plans, landscaped car parks, padded seats, a hotel with hundreds of rooms, a cinema, on and on and on. That won’t keep us in The Championship. If he’s got no money to spend, then who on earth is he going to bring in? The current consensus around the wonderful word of the interweb, is that our scouting team is in disarray, with the sad death of Andy King. Scouting now being headed by Winkie’s son. Make of that what you will. Playing devils advocate here, you may just have noticed that Winkie was nowhere to be seen at the end of last week’s game. Just saying like.

I’m writing this before Thursday’s fan’s forum, which you may, or more probably didn’t attend. I’m wondering how many of those who booed last weekend, booed Krobbo at the end of the forum. I’m betting none. So how about instead of berating Krobbo next time we get a right kicking, you keep your powder dry, take a deep breath, close your eyes, and think back to last May. Oh and you might like to consider not behaving like a spoilt Victorian child (Fall reference, for those ITK)

Gers

The Lexicon of Chav – 16/04/2016

Yes, it’s Lexicon time – 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:

Boys to mensh

Common usage:- Prestoney! In the zoner, ya’ll that’s a hardcore hood, but you want take on my man C here, go ahead because you know, he’s fierce, he gonna come up in your face he gonna major damage you, you gonna walk away maybe limp but I say talk to the hand, call waiting, ’cause he’s out, boy is out… I can’t restrains him ’cause I’m conversatin’ you right now to give him a chance to cool down, to get back to a realistic level, as it were because we could be chillin’ in our crib, representing the M to the K and Lakeshood, you know. Mallin’ it like we all can, boys to mensh, pimp my Mercedes, call me back, put you on hold, you know what I’m sayin’?

Definition:- ‘Now, we don’t want any palaver with the nice northern gentleman, Ruprecht, do we? Come along old bean…’.

Winkie earlier today
Winkie earlier today

Widely and incorrectly believed to have originated from the 2004 hit film, The Football Factory, its first recorded usage actually dates to Corineus, legendary eponymous hero of Cornwall. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia regum Britanniae (1135–39), he was a Trojan warrior who accompanied Brutus the Trojan, the legendary founder of Britain, to England. Corineus killed Gogmagog(Goëmagot), the greatest of the giants inhabiting Cornwall, by hurling him from a cliff. A cliff near Totnes, Devon, is still called Giant’s Leap.

Gers on Sunday – Yo Me Enfrio O Lo Soplo – 10/04/2016

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…
  • Premiership, 7
  • Championship, 15
  • 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.
Ladybit MooCamp Radio Show
Yes you!

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.
Daniel's Latest X-Rays
Daniel’s Latest X-Rays

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.
Gers.

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.

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.