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Why can't you see this boat is sinking?

Abandon ship. HMS Piss the League has abjectly failed in its mission. It doesn’t look like the lifeboats will make it to the playoffs. Unveiling our marquee signing with a video of him saying “let’s go win the league” feels like a lifetime ago, doesn’t it.

Congratulations to Chesterfield (there’ll probably be some Spireites reading), who genuinely have pissed the league. I honestly thought that they would be the Notts County to our Wrexham, but the squad we assembled (and continued to strengthen throughout the season), that looked so good on paper, has proved to be inconsistent and horribly underwhelming on grass and plastic.

I only managed to watch the first half of the Dagenham and Redbridge game. I lasted longer than Andy, who went for a nap 10 minutes in. Who could blame him, it was turgid. From what I’ve seen on the (LOL) highlights, and heard from those unlucky enough to have gone, the midfield was invisible again, we invited too much pressure, neither team took their chances, they hit the post late on and Fondop, bless ‘im, should have won it for us. A real “I was there” afternoon, for all the wrong reasons.

Yet again, Mellon bemoaned our failure to take our chances, described the game as ‘scrappy’, and said that we know that we can play a lot better than that. I’m sure he’s as sick of saying it as we all are of hearing it. Apparently, in mitigation, we had players missing due to flu. I’m glad that, in the heady optimistic days of last summer, when it looked like we were putting together by far the best squad in the league, I had no idea that a bout of spring flu would leave us completely incapable of mounting any kind of threat at Dagenham and Redbridge.

After the farcically bad start to the season torpedoed any realistic chance of us winning the league, it’s all the more disappointing to see our play off push fizzle out so pathetically. We haven’t won since February. The team that was capable of outplaying the runaway league champions has also put in one spirit-crushing, soul-destroying under-performance after another and pissed a promising run of form up the wall. It’s not all over yet, but with 6 games left, we’re sitting 9th in the table and not looking remotely like we’re going to win most of our remaining games. Hoist the anchor and raise the sails on HMS At Least Finish Above Rochdale For Fuck’s Sake.

All of which makes it even more hilariously impressive that there half a dozen people already queuing up when I arrived to wait for the ticket office to open at 9.50am on Tuesday morning, desperate to get a ticket for Oxford ‘Not United, There’s Another Team and They’re REALLY Tiny’ City away. Imagine if we were any good. Might check out Will and Lyra’s bench from His Dark Materials while we’re there. Might try to find a window to an alternative world where Oldham Athletic don’t fucking exist.

The club announced the early bird season ticket offer on Wednesday, and, after loads of people pointed out that the mid-April deadline didn’t give much notice, announced shortly after that the deadline would be extended to May 5th (let’s try not to read too much into the fact that’s the date of the playoff final). A club board listening to fans and acting accordingly? Ridiculous. That way madness lies.

As a Leftwing Feminist Idiot (© Kevin The Nonce), I was delighted that the graphic Wadmin used to illustrate the announcement was inspired by Soviet Constructivist artist Alexander Rodchenko’s 1924 poster featuring actress Lilya Brik shouting the word ‘Books!’. (This is the kind of high brow cultural content you come to this blog for. I may be obscene, but I’m also an intelligent little fucker.)

On a final, completely self-indulgent note: it’s my birthday next Wednesday, by which point I’ll have completed walking 100 miles in March to raise money for the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation in memory of my mum and dad. If you want to make an old woman happy and you’re able to, please chuck them a couple of quid here. It’s a great cause and it’ll be very much appreciated.

Six points up for grabs over the long weekend. Here’s hoping it really is a Good Friday and Easter Monday sees the glorious resurrection of our playoff hopes, rather than us howling “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” (Google it, heathens) at the skies at 5pm. KTMFF.

Written by Arlene Finnigan. Photos by Thomas Lee Stacey.

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