Sunday, 9 October 2011

September Musing Uncut

After the great August we had in the league we were all looking forward to the month ahead with some tough games  against some of the more fancied sides in the league.
First up was the long trip to Carlisle and a place that hasn't been a happy venue result wise but we continued the run we were having and came away ending what some called the jinx with a 3-1 win.
As you can imagine the mood amongst the players and and management was really buzzing and the training ground  in particular so it was a bit of a surprise for me to see Ugochuku "Ugo" Ehiogu at Woughton accompanied by a friend of his who also joined in the training I never found out his name but he looked like a wrestler, huge guy Id guess a CB but he wasn't very fit in a football sense.
The reason I say I was surprised was after his trial with us last season Ego retired,I asked Karl about it and he said Ego was here to keep fit do a bit of training with us  and offer some coaching to players while he was here.
On transfer deadline day we saw arrival of some new boys, first centre back Mark Beevers joined on a four-month loan from our League 1 rivals Sheffield Wednesday .
Mark rose through the ranks at Hillsborough and made his debut for the Owls as a  17 year old. He was a first team regular in the Championship but was out of favour when Gary Megson took over as manager in February.
Our young keeper McLoughlin was called up to Republic of Ireland Under-21  and played in their win while Adam Smith our Spurs loan was called up and came on as a sub in the England match.
Another bit of good news was the contract extension signed by MacKenzie although Gleeson has been offered an extension he is holding tight an has expressed a desire to play in Championship next season so Id think he will go for free if we dont get promoted,as we know with Leven that tactic doesn't always work and you can find yourself playing a league below where you were but in Stephen's case I think he would find a Championship club wanting him.
Another of our Irishmen Sean Williams also extended his contract a further year proving his versatility in defence and Midfield has not gone unnoticed.
Doumbe and O'Shea were the only injury concerns with Doumbe telling me he was bored now and wanting to get back, but the physios have to hold him back in training as he tends to go at it a bit hard and risks set back Doumbe is one of those players that is one hundred percent all the time which is great on the pitch but not so good when recovering from injury.
Karl and Lewie went off  to Wembley for the citizen of the year award after one training session, it had been pouring with rain and they both got in Karls new car both of them soaked which was quite funny as they had nothing to cover the seats with.
I spoke to Karl just after it was announced he had got the manager of the month award and asked him if he was worried about the curse some say comes with it ,he said he wasnt but said he did have some superstitions in Football but that wasn't one, I said to him at the time it never seems to effect Sir Alex and he wins it more than most.
It must just be a League thing and not a Prem thing as Karl did indeed suffer the curse losing the next game to Sheffield Weds in a strange match where we played the better football against Megson's hoofball and ugly tactics yet came away with nothing but a red card and a nasty injury to Gleeson that went unpunished.
I spoke to karl and Big Mac who both said they tried to bully and and kick lumps out of the team Karl said we stood up to them and Gary said apart from Stevenage to a lesser degree they were a team full of big players who relied on that and long balls and long throws and didn't even try to play football which Gary thought was a shame as they had good players.
As a result all bar Martin and Williams of the starting eleven missed training on the Monday due to knocks.
Another  familiar face showed up at Woughton in the shape of a chubby Nathan Abbey a former keeper here not so long back.
Nathan turned up in a brand new Audi sports coupe and I thought "well he must doing alright", as it turned out he is now selling cars for a living so I guess it probably wasn't his.
I asked about Danny Swailes as a follow up to the news I brought you last blog that he had retired but no one seems to know what he is doing now but I'll keep digging.
Another big game in shape of Huddersfield was next and the grading of the game as an A ensured it was one of the lowest attendances of season instead of one of the highest at  8,243 with 1,284 of those being away fans I heard a couple of fans I know go regularly and actually thought were season ticket holders(may have been buying additional) come out of box office moaning about the price and saying it was taking the piss. I without doubt think  the grading system has done as much to discourage the occasional and once a month type fan as anything else with possible exception of the abolition of under seven free with adult ticket , as I have in the past banged on about on the forum people are not going to join young Dons schemes as an occasional fan.
Our Cup match with Burnley saw a depleted squad with ten players unavailable through injury or suspension or being cup tied one fact Karl commented on was that we took ten academy graduates  both David Martin and Dean Lewington from the Wimbledon academy  and the others from the MK Dons Academy to Turf Moor the one's we are least likely to know were Milton, Gyasi, S Powell we lost 2-1 with Dan Powell getting our goal.
I spoke to Mike Dove at Woughton two days later and he had his own injury worries with a game coming up but was still smiling about the way his young charges have made the step up I said how well Chicksen had done playing as a right back when he is primarily a left back and I said I wondered how Lewie would adjust if asked to play there.
Mike said that Charlie Collins had been keen to tell him he had made a defencive header as Mike had often joked he never made them in the academy.
I know a few of us fans like to know what the old players are up to and I asked Mike if Igor Coranado had got anything sorted and although he isn't with another club he is still in touch with Mike and recently got married Igor has been back to Brazil since he left us and can actually speak three languages which is totally irrelevant but i thought id tell you anyway!
Karl told me that although Mark Beevers was fit he wouldn't automatically pick him as Tom Flanagan had played so well and his way was not to drop players if they were playing well and everyone had to fight for their place.
With the injury to MacDonald we saw the arrival on a month-long loan of Sheffield Wednesday striker Clinton Morrison the 32-year-old forward made the switch and went straight into the team despite not even training with the first team at Bury and came on second half at  Gigg Lane .
Morrison like many of our current squad  has represented the Republic of Ireland in Clinton's case 36 times and has played for Crystal Palace, Birmingham, Coventry City and Sheffield Wednesday in his career and he will be with us till at least 22nd October.
The last game of the month saw an end to end game against Charlton in what was one of the best games we will see at the stadium  and I hope Martin Allen and Danny Wilson who were watching enjoyed the  very decent performances from the academy graduates Flanagan and Chicksen as much as I did they certainly held their own against the table toppers .
So the month ended with us taking six points from a possible fifteen not the greatest tally but when looked at more in depth we see only one loss in six in a match we played well against one of the teams tipped by many to take an Auto spot and we did it with many enforced changes .
October will see more disappointments I'm sure but also some good football with key players returning and the squad in general looking good even the fringe players looking as though they can come in and more importantly fit in.

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