Saturday 16th February 2008
By Shaun Keddle
An appalling result with an equally appalling performance to match.
In football you don’t always get what you put in. However, today we did. We put nothing in and got nothing back. No complaints. Old Bexleians treated this game like a cup final and put a tremendous amount of effort in and got everything they deserved - all three points and a major scalp to boot against a side that they have not beaten for years (if at all) in our own back yard. Good luck to them they savoured the moment and deservedly so.
Everything was perfect for this match and there are absolutely no excuses for the p*ss poor way we performed. We were not short of players or quality, a lot of big names were in the starting line up that have been unavailable over recent weeks, the pitch was absolutely magnificent and our preparations (other than the non appearance of substitute Harrigan) were spot on. Anyone coming to the game in the first half would have thought it was the visitors that were top and we were the struggling side.
I am too disappointed to go into the details of the match but in short we were repeatedly outdone by the same player, did not learn from our mistakes, were arrogant and lazy in our approach and did not convert the chances we did create. The deciding goal summed up our performance when a lazy piece of play allowed the very quick Washbrook through on goal only to be stupidly and blatantly fouled in the box to leave the referee with no choice whatsoever. The spot kick was confidently dispatched by Bull giving St John no chance.
Other than St John in goal who did nothing wrong, McKeown who had a solid game at right back and Williams, J who came on as sub; the remainder of the performances were not good enough to deserve the promotion that we are seeking. We must take a good look at ourselves during this week and really question our commitment and desire. Time and time again, season after season we shoot ourselves in the foot and it’s always against the lower placed sides. We must change our arrogant attitude towards these matches and treat them all like cup finals. Where we are good is when we stick to two or three touch, short, sharp passing and play at a high tempo. Our training is always based around that so why we played at a snail''s pace, dwelled on the ball and always looked long really defeats me.
While I am at it (other than Wednesday) our attitude towards training has been shocking since Xmas, so I suppose the result was coming and deserved. Time and time again we only have 6 or 7 players attending and out of the club that boasts 6 adult teams and around 90/100 players signed on that attendance figure is nothing short of disgraceful and embarrassing. ALL 6 SIDES LOST THIS WEEK. Every team has their little inquests as to why they lost, but how can you expect to win if you do not train? Have a look at the league tables, they do not lie. The only side that does reasonably well is the first team and we train. When our attitude towards training slips (like is has done of recent times) we lose games. Look at the tail end of last season – training collapsed and so did our results. It does not take a rocket scientist to work it out. Put f*ck all into football, you get f*ck all back - simple.
We have portable floodlights at the club so any team at anytime can get together and train, there is absolutely no excuse for it. However, we are exceptionally lazy players at a great club. The club and what it provides for us deserves much more, so much more.
While I am at it our attitude after games is also shocking. We are supposed to be the first team and the most respected team at the club. Other than Judgey nobody stayed behind after the game and this has been an on-going theme throughout the season. Everyone seems to have differing agendas and its p*ssing me off. People are disappearing elsewhere or just going straight home. On the pitch on Saturday it was like we did not know each other, the changing room and the pitch were flat and the spirit was simply not there. We will not improve this if we do not pull together in the same direction. From now on I need everyone to stay behind for a drink or two and start acting like a team and then maybe we will start playing like a team.
On another note and more positive side of things I have heard a few good things from players in other teams and I would like to invite them to train with us. Nick Hardway in the seconds has had good reports as well as ‘Joby’ and around 2/3 (ex-Ex Blues) players in the thirds. I am aware of the situation with regards to your selection, but I always have an eye on the future and invite pressure onto my team’s shirts. This week we are training on a THURSDAY with a 7.15pm meet at the club. On a more regular basis we train on WEDNESDAYS at 7.15pm.
Perform like this again and we can kiss promotion goodbye.