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    The Lounge

    I’ve decided to spruce up the web-site a wee bit (even with our new logo – any comments?). Another new feature is the single thread forum, so you can jump on and have your say, ask a question or just read what is being said. As I always say the forum is only as strong as what you make of it, so I would urge you to contribute and regularly to keep it all worthwhile. BTW, if you want to check something in the old forum it is now archived and the link is below… Okay let’s hear from you …

    Looking for the old forum? You can view the read-only archived version here.

    • This topic was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by  Adam Dodds.
    • This topic was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by  Adam Dodds.
    • This topic was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by  Adam Dodds.
    • This topic was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by  Adam Dodds.
    • This topic was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by  Adam Dodds.
Viewing 6 replies - 835 through 840 (of 1,206 total)
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    Singapore Don

    I’m not sure that in my decades of watching the Dons I’ve seen a more dominant and exquisite display of football as the first 45 minutes at Peterborough. We were quite frankly brilliant. Our control of the game was supreme. It was sheer joy to watch the silky passing, the tough tackling, the killer passes, the high pressing, the outrunning, outthinking….in every single area and facet, we were simply outstanding. Of course Peterborough gave it a go in the second half, but our defence was rock solid, the team was in tune, fighting for each other, and even though a 1-0 lead always feels vulnerable, at no point did I really think we were going to give away the equaliser. The only question may be how we didn’t win this by four of five goals.

    There were six changes to our starting line-up, and when the ref blew the whistle to start the game, I really thought we’d be in for a hiding. How wrong could I have been, and how brilliant is Neal Ardley as a manager?! Darius Charles pulled up in the pre match warm up, so Will Nightingale was elevated to a starting berth next to Chris Robertson who was in for the suspended Robinson. This central defence pairing had only played together once before in the EFL Cup against Plymouth – but their 90 minute showing at Peterborough was faultless. Each of them was strong, solid, powerful, skilful and clever. It’s the first time I’ve seen Robertson play, and I was hugely impressed. So calm, mature, reassuring – in him, we have a very safe and reliable back up to Charles and Robinson. As for young Will, well Ardley’s big problem is going to be that if he doesn’t start him more often we may lose him to higher league competition (as we did with Sweeney) because he is a very rare young talent – assured, strong, commanding, and mature beyond his years. Absolutely superb performance by our young centre back. After today’s fantastic new pairing, there must be a question mark over Robinson and Charles as automatic first choice centre backs. One to ponder….

    Either side of the centre backs, Captain Fuller was as solid as ever, showing the pace of old to get back and stop winger attacks. As for Jon Meades, well he’s becoming crucial to the Dons’ overall confidence and attacking play. He looks so assured on the ball, effortlessly wins the ball, goes past players, and sets attacks in motion. He’s a class left back.

    IN midfield, Tom Beere was superb. Tirelessly energetic, tough tackling, surging runs forward, don’t worry about Dannie Bulman needing to have the odd games off. In Beere, we have a great replacement – again, a youngster playing with a maturity that is a credit to our academy system. Francomb had a very solid first game back in a while, while Jake Reeves was – to quote Ardley’s adjective of the day – “immense”. He really is the bedrock at the beating heart of our team, winning the ball back, creating chances, pressing the opposition, cajoling team mates to go the extra mile, he’s our captain in waiting as far as I’m concerned. He’s an inspiration.

    Wide of the central midfield, Andy Barcham is back to nearly his best form. He was fast, willing to take on the full backs, whipping in crosses, tracking back to help defensively, he put in a fantastic display of wing play. Very impressive. I’m afraid less impressive, and the one more downbeat reflection on today’s sublime team performance, was the contribution of Chris Whelpdale. He looks slow, unfit, out of breath, struggles to keep up with play, and I think he won’t be long with us; he is noticeably well off the pace and thinking of the rest of the team. He just doesn’t seem to have found his form since the injuries he’s suffered, and the question has to be whether he will ever find his old form again. For now, he’s the one player I would not have in the starting eleven.

    And so up front: Tom Elliott played as the lone target man in today’s 4-2-3-1 formation, and he was for much of the match unplayable. He won every header, hit the post twice – the second time after a beautiful lob of the keeper from 30 yards which looked certain to hit the back of the net, only to hit the inside of the post and back in to the keeper’s arms. He could easily have scored a hat trick, but more than than that he put in a consummate 90 minute team role, not only harrying the Peterborough defence, but coming back at set pieces and other times to do his crucial bit for the Dons’ defence. He could easily become a transfer target for rival and higher league opposition, he’s grown in to and is more than comfortable as a League One striker.

    Well that’s the outfield analysis. The last player who deserves credit is James Shea. We are unbeaten since he took over the number one role from the hapless Clarke, and today he showed his mettle again, commanding his box, taking crosses cleanly, punching clear when necessary, getting his body fully behind hard on target shots on a few occasions, playing sweeper keeper very comfortably – he looked completely calm and assured throughout, and is clearly a crucial factor in our recent successful form. The defence feeds off his confidence.

    Final word from me has to go to Neal Ardley. Who would have thought to make such sweeping changes to the line-up which beat Bury 2-1 in midweek? Around me in the crowd at Peterborough, there were murmurs of unease at the number of changes and a resignation that they would be our undoing. Far from it. Neal knew something we didn’t, he knew how tight a unit this squad is, how they fight for each other, believe in each other, and in any combination or permutation, they can deliver. We saw that clearly today. We really do have a squad, not just a team, that can do the business, and while we shouldn’t get carried away at finding ourselves in the play off places, I think we can believe now that we will survive in this league – and quite comfortably. One defeat in fourteen, unbeaten in nine, that is the form of a team, a squad, that has real ability and belief. Undoubtedly we’ll come a cropper sooner or later – Bradford at home next week is going to be very tough – but when that dreaded defeat comes, it won’t be the end of the world, heads won’t drop, it won’t mean relegation battles ahead. I’ve only missed a couple of matches in the past couple of months, and from what I’ve seen, we’re going to be ok. This is a great Dons team, a great Dons squad, with a great Dons manager. All is well.



    Well. Let me blink to see if this is really happening. Up to sixth and yet another away win. Who’d have thought it, and the evil ones losing again. Life is all good at the moment.

    I wonder if Neil Ardley’s comments about Mr Meades was an exercise out of the Mourinho book of mind games. There he was saying the poor left back can’t walk or train. Then he scores a dramatic winner in injury time, followed by a vital assist today. He doesn’t seem to be badly affected from whatever ailment he’s suffering from.

    23 points already towards the 50 target and it’s not even the end of October. When this run ends, probably next week against Bradford, we must look back on the last couple of months with enormous pride. Should we beat the Bantams, Neil must surely be a shoe in for League One Manager of the Month.



    After the heroics at Bury, is it too much to expect another good result at Peterborough? Ardley seems to have the team ticking over nicely and it is a good time to be a Dons fan at the moment. Robbo being suspended is a blow but like others I hope it gives young Will Nightingale a run out. However the effects of a long journey midweek may not help today. No prediction as I am always wrong. Just want the team to perform to the best as they have been doing lately. Good luck to Singapore and all travelling Dons.


    Singapore Don

    Setting off soon to get the train to Peterborough, strangely calm about the outcome. The three points at Bury settled a lot of nerves, and allow us to approach this game with a determined and reassured confidence – but if there’s an upset, it won’t be the end of the world. The key clearly is going to be tiredness after the overnight trip back from Bury. Maybe Tom Beere will come in for Bulman, young Will in beside Darius…otherwise same personnel likely. The one worry is hearing that Meades is playing with painkillers and can barely walk when not playing!! Maybe he needs a game off, though he is now a crucial part of our team’s confidence and success. Too soon to try out young Seth Owens probably, and not sure if Kelly is fit again to step in for a game.

    Anyway, what will be will be. Anything other than a defeat would be what the doctor ordered, but we will have to take a defeat sooner or later. Not today though I hope. We score 2 goals more often than not, we haven’t yet had a 2-2 draw this season (though it was at 90 minutes last time out at Peterborough!)… I’m going for a 2-2 draw while hoping for us to sneak the third this time!


    Windlesham Don

    A confident Dons’ squad head up to London road to face a talented Posh outfit this afternoon. It is staggering to think that our last away defeat came at this ground on 9th August, over 2.5 months ago!

    Robbo is missing due to a one game suspension and I hope NA is confident enough to blood young Will Nightingale alongside Darius Charles. Will is hugely promising and it is time that the manager demonstrated his faith in him.

    Apart from this enforced change I see no need to change formation (4-3-3) or personnel, unless Bully’s weary 37 year old legs need a rest.

    Posh are a dangerous team and really should be contending at the top of the table. They score freely, especially at home, and despite our fantastic recent run I feel that this may prove to be a game too far for us. I would have been happy with two points from this week’s two tough away trips and so in my book we are already ahead of the game.

    I feel that we could be on the end of a high scoring but narrow defeat. However, the boys have consistently proven me wrong this season and I will be very happy if they can do so again…



    Devon Womble

    You know…. of all things AFC Wimbledon recently, the news item that I find most heartwarming is the return of Seb Brown to the club.
    He is one of the cornerstone reasons why we are where we are today. I hope he finds a great future with the club.

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