Tuesday, 6 September 2011

August Musing Uncut

So August draws to a close and what a month it has turned out to be with the Dons failing to lose a game home or away including the game at Carrow Rd and attaining the top spot in the league on goal difference.
But back to start of the month and Karl was looking at the England u20 squad and following their progress  he had told me and couple of other guys at Woughton that he was trying to get in Adam Smith for the right back position but couldnt until his England duty was over.
During the week before season started I spoke to various people including Karl ,John ,Angelo, Sam, Jay O'Shea and it was Sam who told me about the closed door match on the Tuesday before Hartlepool game but I didnt get an invite !
A lot of things Im told and hear I wont say who said them even though Im rarely told to not repeat it I just think its a bit wrong,anyone who reads my blogs and knows me will  know I usauly say I heard etc so you'll have to work out where I got it from from the people I name as speaking to.
I did manage to have word with the Chairman and he was pleased Karl was with us another season and said that Robbo knew the vision he had for the club and understood the budget restraints he has to work with Pete said he'd like the budget to be less than Robbo would but that they worked well together.
We spoke about past managers including Wilson and Allen and how things have changed.
I remembered when the team stayed in an hotel before the Wycombe game such was the money available to Allen and feel Karl is suffering for those extravagances now, under Ince Pt 1 we stayed in hotels even for trips to Southend.
At Yeovil this season the team made the trip there and back same day.
I had an interesting chat with James Burridge from Look East and he has been impressed with Karl and the way the team plays and thought he was a good manager we would be lucky to hang onto I get to speak to a few of the media crews that come to cover the club ahead of games and its always good to pick the brains of them about thier views of the club and what they think of other teams and clubs.
Most think we will get into play off's this season but that other bigger squads with bigger budgets will take the Auto spots.
I heard from one that the best thing about Norwich was Delia and they were an awkward club to deal with and that surprised me as I always think of them as a model for this club in the respct of thier work in community and the evidence of young fans they seem to have but just goes to show.
The things I heard about Posh are pretty much what we guessed Fergie is moody MacAnthony often wont talk to media etc
We had Chris Hughton son Cian training with us pre season and this was due to Karl friendship with his father and as I understood he was never going to actualy sign.
As we know Doumbe and Collins both picked up injuries and Charlie has only just started back training this week before the Stevenage game and Doumbe is still not training.
As the big day arrived and Hartlepool rolled into town we learnt that Durso was to referee so any thought of a win soon disappeared from my thought .I was actualy at players entrance when he arrived and one of our fans asked for his autograph and another said lets hope it only time you put anything in a book today Durso replied that will be a first..I kid you not.
Karl arrived in his wife's car as he was giving it a run out for her so I nearly missed him he was happy and looking forward to the game our old friend Motty turned up to watch  as well and as any of you who read the blog on other site will know he is quite a regular here.
It was around about the eighth of the month that the first of the rumours surrounding Sam surfaced with Watford and Burnley the names being bandied about the impression I got at time was Pete was going to cash in on Sam this window and that the various comments made were to get the offers in and start a bidding war.
Karl had said to a few of us pre season that we would be lucky to hang onto Sam and I took from that he knew about interest and clubs intentions.
The school holidays have meant a lot of kids have been at the various football summer schools at Woughton and it has become a bit of a ritual for them all to come over on the Friday for autographs and Karl happily walks the line of often forty kids chatting and signing he  then sends the players over at the end of thier training its all very noisy and friendly and  good to see .
On the 15th of August we finaly saw the arrival of Adam Smith and I managed to have a word with him and wish him well he's another player that is polite and happy to talk to fans and I have been impressed with his game so far and think he will be good player for us this season.
Robbo told me the day he arrived he would go straight into the team and we talked about the how the back four has changed since Karl arrived here the first time it was then I found out Danny Swailes has now retired due to injury which was sad to hear but seeing as he is still listed as a player probably and exclusive for anyone reading this.
I wont  dwell to much on our results and match performances as others do it better and we all know by now anyway but I have been impressed by the way despite Doumbe being out and Williams playing in an unfamilar position we have still not lost and Lewie has looked much better in the centre back role this season when he has played which adds weight to thoughts he may move to that role later in his career.
Adam is certainly a better left back than right but not sure whether he is the finished article as a replacement just yet.
I have spoken quite a lot with the players and in particular George Baldock who is very much like Sam in the way he speaks as well as his looks and movement, by that I mean he is intelligent and articulate and a credit to his parents and the club.
I said to George how impressed we were with his goal against Buckingham and he was giving Sam something to think about he replied Sam has scored much better goals and was generaly better funnily enough Sam has told me in the past he thought George was better and that is the way they are just really nice young men who support each other.
George had told me the older brother was a good player but gave up football to follow a medical career and is now a Doctor at a local Hospital when Sam went to West Ham George said before the Stevenage game it seemed wierd seeing him in a West Ham kit I joked that he'd be alright for a loan now and he might get Sam's car as a hand me downs.
As we know Sam choose West Ham over Southampton but he did go down there for talks ,but I think the meetings he had had with Big Sam Allardyce and probably the recommendation of Big Sam from Karl swayed it I had been told at the start of the week it was likely he would be gone by Friday but it was still sad to see one of own leave in what was a club record fee .
With John Gorman in particular working with the young players we have from the academy Im sure we will soon have another home grown product amongst the current crop to fill the gap left by Sam, my money would be on George who I think is a very good player and who knows he may well smash the club record in a few years.
I spoke to Lewie about the academy and how the old Wimbledon academy produced players that progressed to first team he said from his days there were seven and he is a big supporter of our academy and does look after the young lads as they come through .
Funnily enough we lost some of the seven Lewie spoke of to West Ham but for a fraction of thier worth and it shows how far the club has come from those days when the administrater sold the players not the club I know a lot of fans moan about Pete not throwing money at Karl for players but I think he very mindful of those dark days and the pickle other clubs have got themselves into that he is the way he is now and his desire to get the club running in budget without Inter Mk I think is one of his key plans.
The draw for the Carling Cup took place before the Stevenage game and I watched it with Andrew Cullen and others in the box office as Andrew reminded me I was with him last year at the same place when we drew Birmingham and our reaction to Burnley was about the same as it was then it was all very Deja Vu but we have had Norwich this season and a reasonable pay day there so we concluded we shouldn't be too greedy ..well we groaned and said why couldn't it have been Liverpool really but ....
The JPT game saw us battle the second half with ten men after a foul on last man by Williams which see's him pick up a one game ban and will make our  game with Carlisle that bit harder .
The game was decided by penalties and we missed two of the five and have waved goodbye to another Wembley day out.
And so we wait to see what players Karl will bring in during September a centre back is his priority so lets hope there is a good one out there we can have,Doumbe is due back in three weeks but we still need cover as I feel Flanagan after Brentford game is not ready for first team yet.

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