A football match on a Friday eh? I don’t think I’ll ever get used to that. To my mind there should only ever be one game of football played on a Friday, and that’s the European Super Cup at that posh stadium in Monaco. You know, the one which doubles as a car park and appears to be made from Duplo bricks.
Unfortunately we’re not playing there and neither of us is the reigning champions of Europe – both annoying in their own way.
Instead we make the trip to London to the rightful hometown of the club formerly known as Wimbledon FC, now known as AFC Wimbledon. It’s a match with some obvious connections. With both team’s single major trophy coming in the FA Cup, in consecutive years, and against mammoth opposition – our two clubs epitomise what can be achieved in this competition. We share a history – we share a common legacy.
We also share a message of defiance. We visit our friends from Wimbledon knowing that our club is perilously close to becoming what they were forced to create. And no matter what the politics, the relocation of any club by such obscene distances simply cannot be allowed. It just can’t.
Yep, a bit of politics to kick things off. I promise I’ll focus for the rest of this. I’m sitting on a raft of knowledge which I’d prepared especially for this week’s ill-fated Lamptey Show so I best make use of it.
Actually, “raft” is a little ambitious. More like an armband. Which is still better than nothing.
Let’s answer some questions!
How are they getting on?
Better than last season.
Following their rapid ascent up the footballing structure, they’ve managed to compete for the most part, but had a right old struggle in League Two last year. While that was hard work, it culminated in one of the most important results in their short existence as they avoided relegation back to the Conference on the final day of the season. Definitely something to tell the Grandkids about.
This season they might just be finding their feet again. With former player Neal Ardley calling the shots as boss, he’s overseeing a unit which is slowly but surely embedding themselves into the Football League. OK, so they might only be 15th, and their form’s a little all over the place so far – but they started the campaign on fire with 5 league wins out of 8 or something and they’ve just broken a run of no wins with a very impressive victory over table-topping Rochdale.
So in conclusion – right now, they’ll probably fancy it a little bit.
Who could cause us trouble?
On loan striker Michael Smith is top scorer with 6 goals, so he jumps out. They’ve also got Burnley winger George Porter on loan who was earning rave reviews for Leyton Orient a couple of years back and certainly has the talent to cause issues on his day.
As far as other familiar names go, they’ve got Charlie Sheringham, son of Teddy, and relation of me in an obscure and difficult to explain way. They’ve also got Luke Moore who may not be the actual Luke Moore, but his name is the same so it’s worth mentioning him if only for the clarification.
There’s also absolutely no David Bell. I checked.
Sky Blues team news
We’re very close to seeing a return of the dream team, but it won’t happen tonight with Fleck suspended. I was excited about Christie being back last game and that didn’t happen either, but it’s almost a certainty that he’ll make his way into the lineup against Wimbledon. Aaron Phillips will drop to the bench, while Jordan Willis is out for quite a few weeks so will watch from home whilst tweeting vulgarities.
A big welcome back to Adam Barton who is primed to take Fleck’s place in the middle of the park as the creative cog. He’s got the flair, and I’ve no doubt he’s got the vision. But can he be bothered? That’s always the question people ask of him because of the length of his legs. He had a bit of a nightmare when he stepped up earlier in the season, but this is his chance in his favourite position against lower league opposition – it’s the perfect opportunity for him to show what he’s made of.
As for the rest of our lineup, you can now choose your own team at www.skybluesblog.co.uk/selector
As you know by now there was no Nii Lamptey Show this week due to technical issues. Joey’s working hard investigating. I’m blaming the Millennium Bug.
The upshot of this is I haven’t had a chance to grab the predictions so you’ve just got me and my cynicism around the idea that football predictions correlate to a higher knowledge of the game.
On a completely unrelated note, I reckon we’re going to win.
Neil: AFC Wimbledon 0 – 2 Coventry