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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
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 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)
If, like me, you are a keen observer of football related social media, and associated chat rooms, forums, etc, etc, you have may have stumbled upon the phenomena of the football manager. Specifically the phenomena that goes along lines such as ‘He’s shit, he’s taken us as far as he can, and it’s time that he went’. Countered by ‘He needs more time. It’s the board’s fault for not giving him enough money’.
So far this season, 48 managers in the top four English leagues have been sacked. So far that is. By the time you’ve read this who’s to say another couple won’t have been given the dreaded ‘vote of confidence’! It breaks down thus…
League One, 14
League Two, 12
So there you go. Fancy it? Yes! Why on earth would you? Obviously there’s no longtime job security. If your team wins, then the players get all the plaudits. If you lose, then you’re a shit manager, and it’s all your fault. The referee makes a poor decision that either costs you the game, or at the least a legitimate goal, you complain, the FA fines you. You’re taking your kids out for an early morning walk the day after a game where you’ve lost, and supporters shout at you, telling you that you’re still shit. In front of your children! Takes a special kind of moron to go down that route. Tip, don’t take your child out for an early Sunday morning walk around Willen Lake unless you’ve beaten Man United 4-0.
So there you go. We’re almost nailed on for the drop. We threw a lead away last Tuesday to a very poor Wolves, and I’m assuming that we lost to snarky Warnock and his band of New York Dolls. (These are written before the weekend you see, so not being Mystic Meg, I’ve no idea how we got on). It’s not been the greatest season I’ve seen in my 11 years of following this club. It’s not been the worst, that crown rests on the head of the one when Danny Wilson took us down. Ironically at Rotherham. But as I’ve said elsewhere. When the most exciting thing that’s happened this season is that I’ve had a part of my foot amputated, that’s says a lot about the sub-standard fare on offer pitch wise.
Robinson is an easy target. Someone sat in front of me last Tuesday berated him from start to finish. At one point, when when Robbo, Barker and Keet were stood in a huddle discussing possible tactics, this fella’ stood up and opined… “Yeah, that’s right. Stand there having a chat. Sort it out Robbo”. So you can’t do right for doing wrong. I doubt he really thought that they were chatting, but the perceived lack of any tactical change from the bench had this guy incandescent. But he’s a loud-mouthed idiot. Therefore his opinions are worthless.
Robbo said this week that we may have been promoted too soon, that the ref’ robbed us at Fulham, that the players always give 100%, etc’. It’s all bollocks. Manager speak. I’m sure they get taught it when they’re doing their pro-course. He’s the third longest serving football league manager. So, he’s either doing something right, or as some would have you believe, Winkie is so tight-fisted that he won’t sack him. There are some that have already said that if he’d been at any other club except MK, he’d have been sacked by now. But we’re MK Dons, the real Dons I like to think, and down these here parts, we do things differently. Or so I liked to think until browsing the interweb this very here morning. So he must have some redeeming qualities, other than waving to The Cowshed, and telling us that we were magnificent.
Therefore, let’s cast an eye over the top three longest serving managers, and dissect their qualities…
Arsene Wenger, Arsenal – 19yrs. Pragmatic. Won’t change his tactics. Financially astute. They always make a profit, and always finish 4th. Ensuring Champions League, and the riches it brings.
Paul Tisdale, Exeter City – 9yrs. Almost 10. Extremely well dressed. Happy to remain a football league team. A year or two in L1 twice a decade considered a massive success.
Karl ‘Krobbo’ Robinson, MK Dons – 5yrs. Coming up on 6. Big fan of squad rotation and wingers. Once widely though of as the best young English manager. Always linked with whatever vacancy arrived. Not so much now. May have been ‘found out’ at this level. Fat.
If you’re expecting an answer, then you’ll be disappointed. Calling for his head, and for the board to go is just simple minded, reactionary rubbish. Who do you think will take over? Is there some oligarch waiting in the wings that we don’t know about? Is Harry Potter waving his magic wand outside Primark even as I type?
We, as a fan base would do well to think about just how far this club has developed since its inception. We’ve come an astonishing way since moving here. Look at Villa. 142 years old. Heading for the drop. The support up in arms. Absentee owner. But it could be worse. Newcastle and the entertaining pantomime that’s become.
So think on, and be careful what you wish for. After all. Who wants to be owned by someone who employs staff on zero hours contracts? Fills their shops with mass produced tat, made in sweatshops for a fraction of the cost it retails at! Or host closing down sale, when the outlet is actually moving nextdoor?
So perhaps an appallingly barneted ex-music biz’ owner, and a slightly overweight Scouser don’t seen so bad after all.
Oh, and the answer to the question posed in the title, he should stay.
[dropcap]When[/dropcap] 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.
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.
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.
Since our inception, Milton Keynes Dons chairman and owner, Pete ‘Winkie’ Winkleman, has had one mantra. Actually he has had many, but one always stood out head and shoulders, pun intended, above the others. ‘Planning for The Championship, dreaming of The Premiership’. And finally on a spring Sunday afternoon, eleven years after our controversial birth, we made it to the second tier of English league football for the first time.
It was a remarkable season by anyone’s standards. The football league’s top scorers with 101 goals. A comprehensive thrashing of Man United in the League Cup. The dramatic final day when we went on to pip Preston, courtesy of a goal from an ex-player from our hated, estranged cousins. We played expansive, attacking football, led by the mercurial talent that is Deli Alli. Ably supported by Will Grigg, and for half a season, Benik Afobe. As I walked out of the stadium that day, things were looking good.
Summer was around the corner, and when it came, so did the first major coup of our life in The Championship. We signed two players from Real Madrid. Real Fucking Madrid! And one of them was captain of Real Madrid. Okay, it may have been Real Madrid Castilla, their reserve team, but still! Pretty impressive. There were pictures almost as soon as it was announced, of the duo posing with head butting champion, Zidane. Once again, things were looking good.
When the first one signed, I hoped that he would turn out to be more Lloyd Dyer than Florian Sturm. After witnessing them play in a League Cup match, most fans were baying for the return on the Sturminator. They were woeful. Truly dreadful. Still, it was early days, and things could only get better. Things were still looking good. Let’s not forget the wonderful opening match of our Championship campaign here.
Things started to look less than good, pretty quickly. Krobbo found it difficult to attract players that wanted to sign for us. We missed out on Grigg, who actually did want to sign, due to the price, and wage demands, being deemed excessive. He signed for newly regulated Wigan instead. So we took on Simon Church, and Sam Gallacher as our strike force. They were both pish. The Maynard debacle, where he dithered over signing due to ‘Not being able to feed his family’ on the money we were offering, should have been a massive warning shot right there. We suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands and feet of Southampton in the aforementioned League Cup. And well, you know the rest.
When we were promoted, I for one didn’t expect us to be pulling up trees, once again pun intended. I thought we might settle somewhere in the lower mid-table region. I was wrong. The most disappointing aspect of this season so far for me isn’t the battering Burnley gave us that Tuesday night. Or Baker’s fantastic injury time penalty against Brighton. No, it’s the revelation that the board and management team are ‘surprised’ at the spending power, and strength, of teams in The Championship. Andrew’ Call Me Andy’ Cullen has admitted that they’re finding life in this league ‘difficult’.
I’ve followed this club since 2005, and since then Pete Peter ‘Winkie’ Winkleman has constantly told me, yes me personally, that the club simply must be in The Championship. Quite simply must! It therefore seems a tad remiss of him to somehow, after banging on about it for the last eleven years, to fail in his research where The Championship is concerned.
I’ve always been of the opinion that the club should spend more on the playing staff than on the infrastructure. I know that view isn’t exactly popular on certain fan message boards. The general consensus being that Pete has to be prudent, with a whole raft of Bolton and Wigan themed warnings put forward in defence of the tight-arsed argument.
I’m not asking for the club to go Tonto, and bet the farm on signing Agbonlahor or better still Benteke, but surely a blind man could have foreseen that going up a league with a significantly weaker squad might be problematic. But apparently not.
We have a truly wonderful stadium. State of the art. You’ve only got to have followed the club for a couple of seasons to know the standard of the average football stadium in the lower leagues in this country. But seriously! Ask the person sat behind you at the next game if the Nandos, or the Primark store around the stadium enhance their football experience, or would some better players do the job instead!
On Thursday, the 17th of March, 2016, The Mail online website lead with a comment piece by Richard Littlejohn entitled, ‘The Death Of Shame, RICHARD LITTLEJOHN on what those hideous scenes at Cheltenham tell us about modern mores and morality’In said leader, the ever opinionated Mr Littlejohn, indeed opined, and held forth on the events that occurred the previous day, led by our own delightful midfield general, Samir.
While not making any excuses for his, and others, behaviour, the irony of being lectured on morality by a ‘news paper’ (and I’m using the word news under advice here) like The Daily Mail hasn’t escaped me. Littlejohn’s piece, foretelling the end of western culture as we know it due to the fact that two young girls flashed their tits, and some idiots pee’d in a glass, was run beside headlines such as… ‘Flaunts Her Beach Ready Body’, ‘Displays Her Never Ending Pins’, ‘Shares An Instagram Showcasing Her Taut Stomach’, etc, etc. (All these are in fact real. Not one made up!) While showing the indignation that Littlejohn is rightly known for, his paymasters that very day, also ran no less than fifteen, yes that’s fifteen, stories about the delightful Kardashian family. Famous for quite literally being famous, and getting yer’ arse out on the interweb. The Mail, and it’s mental little brother, The Sun’s coverage of Sammy’s pissgate (as we’re now obligated to call it) reeks of the worst kind of double standards. And talking of irony and double standards, I hope the person who issued the veiled warning to the young supporters last week, is talking a long hard look at themselves. Pot, kettle, black. But then again, timing is everything.
It was an extremely stupid thing to do, but I’m of the belief that they, football players, have little grasp of common sense. They are little more than children. If your every whim is catered for, then why should you bother growing up in the first place? Didn’t the repugnant Adam Johnson state recently when on trial that football had stalled his maturity! They genuinely believe that they’re beyond the constraints that govern the rest of us mere mortals. And therefore I seriously doubt that he was aware that relieving yourself in a pint-pot isn’t quite the done thing.
From a purely selfish point of view, I’d rather Carruthers wasn’t suspended against dirty bastards Albion, but he was. But from a moralistic point of view, I think the right tone has been set. We could hardly set ourselves up as the family friendly club that we are, then let this go unpunished. His punishment started with Winkie telling everyone how angry he was. Then Sammy gave away two weeks wages to deserving causes, which was nice. There was a humiliating apology filmed live on Sky, where Sammy had is best humble face on display. And finally Krobbo no doubt told us that Sammy was magnificent, a credit to himself and the club. That he would pick himself up and we all move on.
Quite a lot of people were very quick to take to social media calming that he’d let both the club and them down, well he hasn’t let me down. I care not one jot what he does off the pitch, with the proviso that it doesn’t affect me or mine. Him peeing in a glass didn’t hurt me. I don’t care. People, from my point of view, can do whatever the hell they want, as long as it won’t impact directly on me. I don’t know him personally, but whenever I’ve met professional footballers they’ve been little more than morons. Sorry, but that’s how it is. They don’t care about me, so why should I give a hoot about them? He’ll soon be gone somewhere else, I’ll still be here. I’ve followed this club for over 11 years. Leon Knight was a bloody idiot before he joined us. He was an idiot when he was here. He was an idiot when he played against us after he left. And for all I know he’s still an idiot. But he’s gone, and I’m still here.
Samir was a stupid boy, I’ve a child older than him, but no one died. The sun still rose this morning, and will no doubt set this evening. The Mail, and The Sun are no doubt laying into some other poor idiot this morning. In short, the world still goes on.
I’m writing this on Saturday night after Baker’s superb penalty, a quick check on today’s Mail reveals that the biggest news in the UK is that someone has sworn live on air on Chris Evans’ radio show, only 13 stories about the Kardashians today, slipping up there I suspect, The Queens almost 90, someone called Ian Duncan-Smith has done something they’re not quite sure is a good thing or a bad thing, but surprise surprise , nothing about Samir, or MK Dons.