I chewed through three plastic seats behind the goal on Saturday. I’m still simmering now, but I’m just about capable of typing without launching the computer out of the window. A mistake has been made, the consequence of which are ; trivially, my teeth marks on the clubs property; seriously, a defeat against Dartford; and gravely, a dent to all our hopes of promotion.
Looking at conclusions first, I don’t think anything is wrong with our club, and nothing is wrong with our leaders. I observed how much work Don Bircham put in yesterday. When I arrived he was welcoming people at the Mold Road Stand, during half time he was organising pitch side, and after the game he was outside again checking on the ticket queues, what a star! I bet the rest of our backroom staff were knocking themselves out as well. Our manager is there to be shot at, but I would advise against using any ammunition that might fatally wound him. He needs two full years and then we can review the matter, otherwise owners like me will look weak back- backboned and stupid (Like Boris Johnson).
The mistake was giving too much priority the FA Trophy. Its effects on the Dartford game were numerous. We have a small striker issue, in that Wilkin and a lot of the fan’s view York as our best attacking option. This is untrue, and has been evident for about three games now. Bishop repeatedly wins the ball in the air for York, who repeatedly fails to deliver either the next pass, or have a meaningful attempt on goal himself. I see the error as valuing pace over intelligence. Jennings, Bishop and Moult are clever and they are finishers. Playing Moult in the Trophy and York in the league was evidence of wrong-headed thinking. Perhaps failing to protect the Saturday team from the cloying, energy sapping Tuesday night game was the most criminal element of the mistake. I remember how superbly Morrell marshalled his resources towards the play-off final from many games back. That season the Trophy mattered so much more, and possibly cost us too much. We needed the cash and we craved a Wembley trip. Not so this season.
Were boardroom decisions responsible for the mistake? Has Wilkin been told to fight for cash on all fronts? I don’t think that’s likely, but possibly we obsess about cash generation a little too much. Wilkin is perhaps subconsciously influenced by a desire to keep the club afloat, and maybe he views promotion as a two season project. It isn’t easy to excuse the mistake on these grounds, because we lose money via a poor league position and a failure to make the playoffs.
I try not to be too critical of tactical errors. As a fan you don’t get a full picture, and when you appoint a manager you trust him to make more good decisions than bad. Wilkin certainly sees the game differently to me, but I’ve seen enough good to want to keep watching his side. I am going to try not to explode every time there is a setback, and I hope to avoid chewing too much plastic. I am absolutely certain that preparation for the Dartford game should have been handled better, but I’m not calling for anyone’s head.