AFC Wimbledon (H) Tue 12th Feb, 7.45pm


I am not blindly defending the board. I have posted on numerous occasions we need a change at the top but the budget we have is not been spent well. The Manager has to take responsibility for that. We have 31 players!!! the most I can remember and a first team squad of 21. We signed 8 players in January,most on loan, but we have paid fees and given 2.5 year contracts to Norman and Scarr. They may improve. I hope so but we didn’t need them. If you look at the team which started well Fitzwater was alongside Guthrie but is now sitting on the bench. We had Ginnelly on one wing and Ismael on the other with Dobson running the midfield. The latter is injured but of the other two one has gone and the other is not being played. Managerial decisions!!!


Like I said, I also think Keates is out of his depth and is struggling badly both tactically and with his in-game management. The main issue though is that unless we luck out on another manager like Dean Smith, there is no hope of us even being able to compete for promotion from League Two.

The fees we will have paid for Norman and Scarr will almost certainly be pittance and given their non-league background I can’t imagine their wages are exactly groundbreaking. This isn’t being ‘backed’. Being backed is Doncaster turning down a £3million bid in January for their star striker because they’re on the cusp of the play-offs. Just imagine if that was us in that scenario.

31 players, really? If you’re counting the ludicrous amount of development players who were given contracts under Whitney, then yeah maybe.

Also, you honestly believe that Keates had a say in selling Ginnelly?


You were lucky…it was a really sad evening as this thread demonstrates. A team with no confidence and no character…3 consecutive home defeats to poor teams.


All this talk of Norman being dreadful was nobody watching our centre halves last night? :scream::scream::scream:


Me and my 6 year old son went last night . He gets so excited before matches being his first season . He has so much energy ,singing songs on the walk to the ground and so happy . To see that excitement just drain away from him as he watched last night and Rochdale the week before hurts me more than anything and makes me feel so sad and responsible for taking him to watch what is like a pub team at the minute.( taking him to Coventry as well Saturday ohh nooo) :see_no_evil:


Yes the 31 includes the development players and they are a cost even if, individually,they are not paid much. As for Doncaster we turned down bids 3 years ago in similar circumstances for Bradshaw,Sawyers and others . 2 years ago we turned down a bid from Cardiff for Etheridge. A lot of good it did us in the long term!!!
As for League 2 we got out in one season last time due to good management. That is what we need now irrespective of budget constraints.


You need to be careful that you don’t get reported to the “cruelty mon”


Agree with most of that WalsallOne, apart from the last bit.

Last time we were relegated, we had a fantastic team for League 2, one that was relegated due to shambolic management. Also, that league was a lot weaker than now. If my memory serves me correctly the three teams contesting the title for most of the season were us, Hartlepool and MK, all of which had been relegated the previous season from L1.


Almost certainly not similar circumstances, given we sold Bradshaw for circa £600k and if that kind of money had been stumped up at the time they would almost certainly have been on their way.

League Two has evolved a hell of a lot since we were last there over 10 years ago, both tactically and financially. If you look at the sides towards the top end of that division they will all be outspending us. Lincoln, MK Dons, Bury, Mansfield and Forest Green to name just a few. Last time we went down we also had the luxury of having future Premier League players, Scott Dann, Danny Fox and Anthony Gerrard in our squad along with quality elsewhere on the pitch. Can you genuinely say that’s the case this time around? It’s a lot more realistic to look at the likes of Port Vale, Notts County, Crewe and Northampton as to where we’ll be residing if and when we get relegated.


Oh right get rid of them then! Whats the point of having youth prospects anyway?



I’ve said it before and now I’m saying it again - in capitals.
It doesn’t matter who the manager is, it doesn’t matter who the players are.
EVERYONE has go to go. Board, management, players, staff, fans - EVERYONE.
It needs a total reset, not a coat of paint - they can’t even offer correct sanitation or refreshment.
The other day I laughed and said it could be worse, we could be Aston Villa.
I’m not laughing now, this is serious.

Singling out players is ridiculous, don’t forget we were in the playoffs quite well into the season. It reminds me in many ways of 1988/9 (when ironically we beat Sunderland twice) as a season that started with so much promise and unravelled so spectacularly.

The one thing we can say for certain is that we have let in 2 or more goals per game far, far too often this season. This is a collective responsibility.

The manager has totally lost his way and needs to do the right thing - or be put out of his misery. We have chucked out contracts like confetti in a blind panic to unproven players, when we should be looking after our best performers. This is mismanagement of the worst kind: reactive and ill-thought out. As has been implied, Dean Keates is culpable but not the extent as some think. I suspect that deals have been sanctioned irrespective of what he thinks.

The irony here is that the board have taken a well-intentioned and welcome action in offering £5 for the Bradford game. AFKALS Jr and I intend to come, but this could well see an impromptu mob protest with numbers swollen artificially. This could be catastrophic in undermining the organised protest and leaving the board very disinclined to make a similar offer in the future.


Well that was our chance to try and put the team, bottom of the league, to the sword. We set up like we were playing Sunderland.

Unfortunately I think there is no way back now, we have given long term contracts to unproven players and only one (Cook) has really proved their worth.


Sorry I don’t agree on your first point because I know that everyone wanted promotion that season. It was the culmination of 4 years of building a decent team.
As for your second point I agree we had some good players then but we have some now if well managed. I also don’t know if the division is stronger than it was then. I hope we don’t have to find out!!!


That’s fair enough, but even in 15/16 the manager wasn’t backed in January as we weren’t able to replace George Evans… Anyway that’s irrelevant now.

I think the EFL as a whole has come a long way in that time and tactically it’s a world away from 10/15 years ago. Our squad now is nowhere near the quality level we had in 06/07 and I genuinely believe this set of players would struggle to make mid-table League Two. If you take out the inevitable departures of Jarvis, Oteh, Ismail, Edwards and possibly even Cook, we really aren’t left with much.

Given our set of March fixtures I really don’t see where the points are going to come from to keep us up. During that month, we’ve got to play:

Burton (A)
Fleetwood (H)
Portsmouth (H)
Sunderland (A)
Barnsley (H)
Doncaster (A)

I mean, at an absolute push maybe four points from that set.


I agree with most of that. All I will add is that the promotion came about after the Merson period with which this is about par. Clearly the close season will be crucial in building a team for next season .For that we will need a experienced Manager.


I hope so, but I’ve got a bad feeling that just relying on an ‘experienced manager’ won’t be enough. It needs to be backed up with proper support and backing from the Board, combined with a decent core of a playing squad.

I just really don’t back this club to get all three of those elements correct…


Non league manager
Non league football
Non league players
Non league club in 2 years will get relegated and fall right through unless something drastic happens between now and end of season.
I really hope somehow we can survive because if / when we go down I fear the worst.


Couldn’t agree more, we are a conference club in everything but name.


As was said, maybe it will be the only way that meaningful change will arise.


The most alarming thing for me last night was the fact that we used two different formations but still continued to play the same way. With a 4-3-3 it’s supposed to give you an extra man in midfield to enable you to play through the thirds. Instead of one of the three dropping short for the ball, they stayed static so the only option was to go long.

When we switched to 4-4-2, you felt that the plan was to give the wide men the ball, get us further up the pitch and then get some crosses into the box. However, we played completely the same with a long ball up to Cook.

Now there’s nothing wrong with a long ball if it’s actually aimed at a target and then there are runners moving off, but 9/10 balls played up were just aimless, hoping that Cook would be on the end of them. The odd occasion that he won one, nobody gambled so the ball was just turned over.

Changing formation should mean you actually try and do something different. Keates seems to just tell them to stand in different positions, but not actually do anything different