Just to get this out of the way, I don't approve of the franchise concept in English football. I didn't like Wimbledon (mainly because their achievements in the late 80s took the shine off ours) but I always believed that they had a right to be where they were. Their achievements in rising up the divisions and winning the FA Cup (back when teams, actually, wanted to win it) was magnificent and a shining example to all clubs in the lower divisions of the football league and non-league. I say all this, deliberately, ignoring how they played. I didn't like it but it was successful and this is a results business.
Having got that out of the way I don't like MK Dons either. I can't be cross at the fans for 'stealing' the 'club' from Wimbledon but I don't like them anyway. I don't like that they seem to change the colour that they play in - although I have a gripe about our kit too. I also don't like that they were able to start in the football league. I think if Wimbledon were going to leave the league they should have promoted another team that season from the Conference.
On the subject of shirts - we play in red. I know the club want to sell the team shirts but if they do they should not change them every year and then fail to put them on sale until October - meaning a life, from purchase to retirement, of seven months. Please can we play in red whenever possible. MK Dons wear white shirts for heaven's sake. Even if we wore darker shorts we could still have worn our red shirts!
So to the game. Well we are just rubbish now aren't we? I know managers always try to deflect in their post match interviews but Steve Bruce was convinced that his Hull side that lost to us with a late goal suggested that it was the worst his team has played for months. I didn't see the QPR game but they are a shambles, have a rookie manager and are mid table. They are our only two wins and with the rest of the games giving the impression that we are woefully short I think it might be time to accept that fact.
By all accounts the euphoria of only losing by only one goal is mitigated because our friend Simon Church very kindly missed two sitters. If he'd scored them they we would have 'saved' our run of 3-0s. I read somewhere that it is a record for us to fail to score for five games. I do like a record but....
So what happens next? Well we will, probably, get stuffed by Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday. They are unbeaten in eleven, including beating Newcastle and Arsenal in the League Cup. With Bristol City playing Bolton one of them must get something. Then our next three games are away to Birmingham, home to Ipswich (on TV) and Brighton away. I can see us losing those three as well making for ten points from nineteen games when we entertain Leeds on the 12th December.
My feeling, after the substitutions last night, and the two interviews with Fraeye, is that we need to get in someone that can make us tight at the back, tough to beat and able to hold our own. Frankly we need someone with the mentality of Curbishley. I'm not sure he, personally, is the answer, and I'm convinced that Katrien Meire would never appoint him, but there are other, more mature, managers out there that have the experience to sort out the mess.
At this stage we, also, need to question the quality of the players we have. Some of them were involved in the great run of results we had last season. However, there are no obvious weak links or stars in the side. This leads me to believe that, subject to having incompetent managers, very few of them have what it takes (at this stage - many of them are young and inexperienced) to grind out the results that we need. We need to recognise that as we fall further behind the pack above us we will need better results than them to finish above them.
A comprehensive defeat on Saturday and the club will have little choice than to replace Fraeye - especially with demonstrations being planned and a meeting between Meire and Richard Murray next week that looks to be a very hostile affair. Richard Murray, who I've met and respect, is probably no longer going to be immune to the anger of the fans. A customary introduction and informal Q&A, with a few secrets disclosed, is unlikely to cut it with those that are as angry about the football club as they would be if someone was setting out to destroy a loved one. It could be what Danny Dyer calls 'tasty!' A word I normally save for describing my dinner.
One thing's for sure, the next week is going to be interesting.
Up the Addicks!