Ten things about MK Dons on Saturday!

  1.  When I first found out before the game that there were nine (yes 9!!) changes, my first words to our ever so pleasant club chaplain Chris Whiteley whom I was chatting to when confirmation of this news came through was ‘this will either be a massacre or a miracle’ at which he laughed heartily. As he went on his merry way he said to me ‘I’d better get praying for a miracle then!‘ much to the amusement of yours truly. For the first forty or so minutes I wondered if Chris had definitely managed to have that chat with our heavenly maker in order to help to achieve that miracle for us as we deservedly led through a Nathan Cameron goal after nineteen minutes, and could have easily extended our lead as James Pearson and Elliott Durrell respectively hit the bar and forced a half decent save from Dons’ keeper Stuart Moore during this period. Then one minute before half-time the referee (wrongly) gave the Dons a corner and they equalised with a very soft goal from a header after more shoddy defending at a dead ball situation and all the impetus from the first forty or so minutes was lost!
  2. The hoped for miracle then dissipated into a nightmare from hell within a second half performance from us that was shocking, disjointed and ugly throughout. The MK Dons manager Paul Tisdale is both experienced and astute, and after being initially bamboozled by the plethora of changes made by Sol Campbell; he clearly rectified this in the dressing room at half-time and the Dons were a completely different outfit, clearly demonstrating why they were a top of the table side. By the end of the game if it had been 6-1 or 7-1, you wouldn’t have complained, with young Kieran O’Hara making a string of very good saves to help to keep the scoreline respectable. To be fair we didn’t help at all during that second period with us struggling to even put three decent passes together, as we looked more like the Dog & Duck than a Professional Football League outfit managed by a Premier League and England legend!
  3. As stated earlier, I had jokingly said it would be a miracle or a massacre following the number of changes. The scoreline suggests that it was neither, although the utter dross of the performance in the second half could have easily resulted in a massacre but for the efforts of Kieran O’Hara who was yours truly Man of the Match on Saturday. Let’s face it he had little competition did he?
  4. Okay after last week changes needed to be made, but did we really need to make nine? Many of those nine players looked well short of match fitness, and whilst I could have understood three or four (I would have started with Durrell, Evans, Lloyd and Stephens in all fairness) why was Scott Wilson, our top scorer not even in the squad of eighteen (I do not believe he is injured) and the vastly improved Harry Smith on the bench for the start of the game?
  5. I am sorry Sol but the rationale for the number of changes could only be one of two things IMHO. Either you were taking the actions of an increasingly desperate man or you had effectively written this game off believing that ‘we have bigger fish to fry’ in the ten games that remain. Maybe it was bit of both and I certainly have my thoughts on this. If it was for reason number two, I would suggest that you are taking a remarkably large gamble with our Football League status because it was one of our remaining eleven cup finals and we were at home for this one as well!
  6.  Of the players brought in to allegedly ‘bolster’ the squad, I have to be honest and say that not one of them impressed me enough to say that they provided the evidence on the pitch on Saturday to say that they should replace the previous incumbents of the respective positions in which they played. I know I have alluded to this in a previous ten points but why didn’t we go for several up and coming Premier League youngsters in the recent January transfer window rather than this motley crew of mediocrity that we appear to have signed with an obvious negative impact on the budget?
  7. Please forgive my French but where the f%$k is Danny Whitaker? The guy at 38 years young is the best midfielder at the club by three country miles. Instead of showing his obvious class in the centre of the park, where he should be; he is reduced to putting out cones pre-match, not even making the squad of eighteen and playing the role of ‘piffey on a bedrock’ again at the side of Sol Campbell. It must be so heartbreaking and frustrating for him to have to watch such dross from the sidelines instead of orchestrating the team from his midfield berth on the pitch itself where he could exert far more influence.
  8. I was intrigued by the context of Sol Campbell’s interview post match on Saturday. The first intriguing aspect from him related to several comments he made about the respective budgets of MK Dons as opposed to ourselves. With the greatest of respect surely you must have known about the difference between our budget (as one of the smallest clubs in the Football League) and the likes of MK Dons when you took the job!! Despite our relative paucity of budget, you still have thirty two (yes 32!!) players at your disposal, and I would remind you that only last year a certain ‘Sir‘ John Askey achieved promotion to the English Football League on a budget that is likely to be a fraction of what you have now!!
  9. The other comment of intrigue related to Sol’s responses to the question as to why club legend Danny Whitaker (universally acclaimed by the Silkmen faithful as one of our best ever midfielders) was not even in the squad of eighteen. Sol appeared to become distinctly tongue tied when asked this question, and subsequently provided a very vague and evasive response as to why this was the case. He cited recent injuries to groin and back followed by a distinct lack of eye contact and nervy laugh which showed he was not at all comfortable with this question. I would like to advise Sol that over his career, Danny has been relatively injury free; keeps himself in fantastic physical shape and has made it abundantly clear (most recently at the hugely enjoyable race night on the 1st March) that he is fit and ready to play as and when called upon by Sol. I urge you then to get him on that pitch starting with Exeter on Tuesday because there is not one player at that club who would be more up for the fight that you craved for in your interview on Saturday than our legendary 23; MR DANNY WHITAKER!
  10. Once again there was no sign of the manager, players or senior hierarchy at the club (such as the Chairman or Chief Executive) in the McIlroy Suite after Saturday’s game although great credit must go to our Media Manager Bobby Trafford, Stadium Manager Chris Edge, Groundsman Danny Walker and Commercial Manager James Beckett for mixing with the rank and file in the McIlroy Suite at the conclusion of the game. The McIlroy Suite was all but empty by 5.30pm, and one of the regular punters in the bar after games drily observed that he had seen more of ‘Sir’ John in the McIlroy Suite this season than our current manager Sol Campbell which is absolutely true. This comment led me to reflect more widely on what is going on at Macclesfield Town Football Club and in doing such comments clearly demonstrated to me that there is a complete disconnect / lack of togetherness between players, management and fans that is so evident when we have enjoyed successful seasons; most recently last season. We are NOT a Premiership club ffs, but a small town club with a small but passionate fan-base. Please let me assure you Sol that we are not fans who will mither celebrities such as your good self incessantly or castigate players / management after poor performances but would respect the integrity of players and management for actually having the ‘bottle’ to come over even after poor performances. Ten cup finals remain and if you don’t play your best and most committed players you will invariably lose the support of a very patient Silkmen faithful (to this point) and it is very unlikely that you will achieve more high profile managerial positions if you lead us back into the non-league wilderness from where I fear we will never return. It may even help your cause to be involved in a fans forum VERY SOON but I wouldn’t advocate it to be at seventy five (75) pounds a head but more likely free of charge or even for a couple of of pounds entry fee that is subsequently donated to a good cause. I am Silkmen till I die!

Featured Image courtesy of Chelsie Wilson.

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