2018 And All That

I’m not having much luck trying to watch my team play at York. Last year I was within a mile of the ground before a waterlogged pitch forced me to turn back, overshooting TAD’s Northern Away Headquarters (in Doncaster) and spending a freezing afternoon watching Gainsborough tear Redditch a new one. This time around I might not even get the chance to even use the (admittedly not that expensive) train tickets thanks to the cold snap, so no visiting the family for at least two weeks (I’m back up there at Christmas…).

What seemed like a piece of good fortune, even acknowledged by Terry Brown as such, has now become slightly more of a head scratcher. However, important players could be back from injury when we next play, and hopefully Ed Harris will get a chance to serve his suspension against Braintree now. While the scourge of fixture congestion has ruined many a promotion bid in years gone by, its my opinion its only something we will actually regret if we end up losing an FA Trophy semi final and have to play ten games in three weeks… until then, and with plenty of free midweek evenings to spare, we needn’t lose too much sleep…

Instead we’ve all had the rather surreal experience of the World Cup bid to deflect our attention. And can I be the first to say…. lets breathe a big sigh of relief. Don’t get me wrong, like everybody else I grew up dreaming of scoring the winner in the World Cup Final at Wembley (shortly after captaining the Dons to the European Cup…). Not when I was a kid, this was just a few happy months ago. And then, a certain town in the South Midlands wormed their way into the bid, and all of a sudden hosting the World Cup didn’t seem such a great idea…

I think if the worst had happened, and MK ended up hosting a World Cup game, that would have killed football for me, at least non-Dons related football. The problem was, my non-Dons supporting friends at best found MK being part of the ticket as a minor quibble, at worst they saw nothing wrong with it… If I had a penny for every time I was told not to worry, that their stadium would be dropped later in the process… the problem being FIFA themselves would have chosen the stadium – as well as pie-in-the-sky efforts like Bristol and Plymouth possibly falling off the radar, you could just see the rather bendy FIFA Executives falling for Winkie’s Special Brown Envelope And Magic Friendship Powder parties.

Fortunately, the nightmare of watching Paraguay v Togo in front of 17,000 in a huge white elephant has ended (unless you live in Qatar, of course), and we can go back to forgetting about them until they get relegated/go bust/turn into a rugby club. The problem now seems to be with no prospect of a game against them to concern us in the near future, and no MK World Cup to keep us awake, and with the Dons top of the table, playing good football with a young side that could form the foundations of a decade of success, there really isn’t anything for us Wombles to worry about. A strange and unnatural situation indeed… what was that again about fixture congestion???

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