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Don't tell me that my ship is coming in

Last week’s blog aged like fine milk, didn’t it. “You don’t need a midfield with this set of strikers.” Fuck’s sake. What a fucking stupid thing to say.

We might as well have played without a midfield. Will Sutton is a centre half who can play at right back. We played him in central midfield at Hyde and it was a stupid idea. Playing him on the right wing at Southend was utter fucking idiocy. I don’t like slagging off individual players, so I’m not going to say anything about Shelton and Sheron. Losing Green to injury before the game and Ward 17 minutes into the first half was a big blow, but it’s not an excuse for that piss poor performance. Norwood made his debut 2 days after his unveiling, but we can’t judge whether or not he’s the marquee signing we hope he is from that game, because there was no service whatsoever to him and Nuttall.

John Ebbrell was quick to praise Southend after the game: “credit to them, they were sharp”. Why the fuck were a team who have had no preseason games, who at one point refused to train because they hadn’t been paid, sharper than us? Was our preseason a complete waste of fucking time? Predictably, Ebbrell highlighted Sutton’s red card as a “big issue” in the game: “I think we were just, at the point, sort of, on parity”. No, we weren’t. We were terrible. We were creating nothing, we were being completely overrun with 11 on the pitch.

The team selection was perplexing, to say the least. Apparently, Reid travelled with the squad, is there a reason he wasn’t on the bench? Is there a reason Willoughby isn’t playing when we were supposedly chasing him for months? Is Tollitt injured?

It was the first league game of 46, we shouldn’t be abandoning ship or panicking yet, but I wholeheartedly agree with my zen comrade Andy about that shitshow. It was insipid, languid, spiritless, pathetic, disorganised, disgusting, inadequate, utterly abysmal, reprehensible and loathsome. And there had better be a fucking colossal improvement today.

The hilarious thing is, when I passed the ticket office before 10am on Tuesday, the first day it was open after that fucking atrocity last Saturday, there were people queuing up waiting for it to open. Imagine if we were any good.

Not a good start to our voyage. By Friday, only admin could save us. And they delivered yet again. My first guess from the video was “Bruce Almighty? Have we persuaded Alex Bruce to come out of retirement?”. Which, given he was part of the team that beat Man City in the FA Cup – you may remember him in the team photo in the M.E.N. afterwards – I wouldn’t have been against, even if he is 38 and retired. I guessed the wrong way, however. I’d be useless in a penalty shootout.

Kieron Freeman got promoted twice with Sheffield United, scoring 10 goals in 2016-17, which suggests he’s not shy of getting forward. According to Wikipedia, he grew up supporting Forest and idolising Stuart Pearce, so hopefully he’s also a psycho. Welcome aboard, son. The ship needs a bit of patching up. Get stuck in.

I’m not going to say “things can only get better”, because three decades of supporting this club has taught me that things can always, ALWAYS get worse. But I sincerely hope we put on a far better performance for our first home game today. I might see you in the fans’ bar before the game. I’ll be wearing a t-shirt saying ‘zen as fook’, which will be a spectacularly inaccurate reflection of how I’m actually feeling. Especially if the England game goes to penalties or someone puts their boot on someone’s arse again. Smooth waters don’t make good sailors. KTMFF.

Written by Arlene Finnigan. Photos © Oldham Athletic.

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