I’m willing to concede I’m a bit odd. Peculiar snippets of dialogue from TV shows stick in my head and become a memorable catch-phrase…but sadly only for me. That means I’ll often blurt quotes out and then spend half an hour explaining why they’re clever/memorable/relevant. So, here goes: there’s an obscure bit in a Simpsons episode which was made well past the point when the best series ever made became a self-indulgent mess where Homer mutters threateningly to a school child he’s outwitted the immortal words “Welcome to the jungle, Kevin.”
Well, welcome to the jungle Kevin. Our Mister Wilkin has experienced a Chester derby in all its bubbliness and come out of the other side unscathed. We should be more pleased with that than we probably ought to be.
The overwhelming mood in the press box after the game was that it was a poor game. The overwhelming mood on Twitter seems to be that it was a poor return for all the hassle and expense of the bubble experience. (By the way, the police have asked for Wrexham to put out a statement recognising the excellent behaviour of our fans at the match.)
I can’t disagree with those conclusions, as it felt a bit like watching two bald men fight over a comb at times. I also massively sympathise with the fans’ frustration after being herded around for the day and having a 90 journey from The Racecourse to the Swansway. However, I think that with a little reflection we can’t really complain.
After all, let’s remember what gratification we were liable to get out of this game. The visceral joy of the moment, the thrill of a win over the old enemy, was the most we could hope for. But as for something tangible we could grasp hold of? Forget it. This squad will be radically remoulded in the Summer; this eleven might line up for one or two games more, but that’s it. This, put simply, isn’t the Wrexham of 2014-15. That very fact means there’s really no point in getting het up about this game either way.
There’s another reason why “Welcome to the jungle, Kevin” sprang into my mind. The original context is all about small, almost inconsequential victories. Homer, after all, is rubbing the nose of a child in the dirt; he rarely gets a chance to hold the upper hand over anyone! Well, this was also a small victory of sorts. A goalless draw against a weak Chester side isn’t going get too much prominence in our 150th anniversary celebrations, but the third consecutive clean sheet showed there’s still the basis of something in the current squad, and Wilkin’s getting closer to figuring out which areas can function for him. The next few weeks will be tough for him, but if he negotiates them well he’ll be well set to make the anniversary one to remember. Welcome to the jungle, Kevin.
Chester (4-4-2): Chapman; Griffin, Horan (Ashworth 63), Linwood, McIntyre; L Turner (Menagh 87), Bond (Mahon 71), Jarrett, Rooney; Seddon, Carlton. Subs: Danby, Hobson.
Wrexham (4-4-2): Mayebi; Carrington, Artell, Livesey, Ashton; Bailey-Jones, Clarke, Keates, Hunt; Bishop, Anyinsah (Reid 63). Unused Subs: Coughlin, Wright, Tomassen, Evans.
Referee: Brett Handley
Attendance: 4,326 Away: 1,180
Wrexham Player Man of the Match: Mark Carrington