Monday, 25 August 2014

Perhaps there is an "I" in "Team" after all!

Not since the heady days of middleweight fisticuffs between "The French Fists of Fury" JP Marna, and "The Glassiest Jaw of Lagos", Moses Ashikodi, had we watched goggle-eyed at Poppies players fronting up to each other.

Back then at N...N...N...Park, we were angry at each other because we were the worst team in the world, run by a useless fantasist, and playing miles out of town at a money pit we weren't even paying for. This time the argument was about who would finish off the mighty North Greenford United to give us our 4th win from 5 starts.

Ding Ding - Round One.  Penalty to Kettering.  Who's going to take it?  The appointed penalty taker, Andy Gooding, or goal-hungry Dubi Ogbonna?  Doing a very good impression of a defender trying to put off the penalty taker, Dubi is in Andy's face before grumpily, and resentfully shuffling out of the penalty box.  Andy scores, seemingly much to Dubi's annoyance.

Ding Ding - Round Two.  James Clifton tries to ease Dubi away from the penalty area with a few choice words, which may or may not have included, "Grow up" and "F*ck off!"  Dubi thanked his colleague by indulging in a bit of push and shove with Clifton.

I'm not sure I would rub Clifton up the wrong way.  No offence to James.  He has been a great signing and made excellent contributions in both boxes.  But I can never look at him without imagining a blurry photograph of his face on a Special News broadcast, glaring out from the television as the newscaster solemnly intones, ".....after the massacre he turned the gun on himself..."

Ding Ding - Round Three.  Henry Eze also tries to calm Dubi down, only to be shrugged off, which as we all know, takes some doing!

Ding Ding - Round Four.  Dubi runs the gauntlet of Poppies supporters.  If he believed they would take kindly to his childish selfishness, he has judged the situation badly.

So, what's it all about?  Why the sudden desperate need to be the man to score all of our goals?  As much as we all appreciate anyone scoring for us, this season it has been noticeable that getting on the score sheet seems to be the be all and end all of pulling on the Poppies red.  Not setting up colleagues.  Not playing for the team.  If you've got the ball you keep it and try to get a shot in yourself.  Doesn't matter if you're on the six yard line, or near the corner flag, if you can see the whites of the 'keeper's eyes, have a punt.

We've no idea as to why our players have suddenly gone all goal-greedy, but a theory did occur, which does kind-of fit the evidence.  What if, in an attempt to get the goals flying in on our promotion push, Ritchie has offered overly-attractive goal bonuses?  This would at least explain Dubi's desperate attempt to wrest the penalty taking job from Andy just as he is about to take the bloody thing.  It would explain Josh's powder-puff strikes from 40 yards when other players are better placed.

Whatever the problem is it will be an early test of our new Management Duo to sort before it poisons the dressing room. If it hasn't already.  It will be interesting to see the make-up of our starting eleven this afternoon.  Assuming we can see anything through the rain of course!

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