Main Menu
What's New
00/01: Season preview:
Wimbledon: opposition opinion
by Marc Jones, of It's A Weird, Wonderful World

How will Wimbledon do next season?
Part of me thinks we are too good for the Nationwide (squad-wise) but then maybe the Blackburn/Fulham previewers think that as well. Last season was always going to be transitional - but I didn't expect the Spanish (or should that be Norse) Inquisition! Olsen suffered a fate that befell your own 'turnip' (when England manager). Hated by the press, unsupported by stroppy players and ultimately destined to fail. Many Dons fans (none more so than me) were happy to see a move away from mindless 'crazy gang' banality. That doesn't mean I am ashamed of our roots - far from it - but we needed to grow up. Sadly the likes of Cort and Euell (prompted by the interfering agent provocateur Jonathon Barnett) saw fit to sulk and not play ball (literally). To say we expected Liverpool to beat Bradford (as sad as it is to have to rely on someone else to stay up) is being a million miles away from the pain experienced on the South Coast. Not for us the vague inevitability of impending doom - although we were pants, hope sprang eternal until the maths hit home.

Hang on - you said next season! See, that wound still ain't healed up properly!

Next season - I look forward to watching a winning side. I look forward to meeting a few real fans (who can even stretch to naming a youth player/reserve!). I look forward to visiting grounds I haven't seen for a long time. But I don't look forward to being in a small huddle of loyal and spirited away fans! Season ticket sales are not far behind last season, in fact the last three games saw a galvanisation of the Dons faithful - strength and camaraderie in adversity if you wish, but soulful nonetheless.

I hope for a top three finish - but to be honest now the ghost of Sam Hammam has drifted away and the new owners are in full control, off the pitch things look better than ever before - hell, even the promised land seems reachable now (for the uninitiated, that's a home game at last!).

What do you/Wimbledon think of Watford?
Personally, and hoping to not sound patronising (again), I feared for the Hornets early on last season. Failure to bolster your squad cost you dear. That said, I know that feeling of beating the big boys (as you did a fair few times, good ain't it?!). I have bundles of respect for Taylor - always liked the man, even as England boss. He seems to be doing a great job, said all the right things about your future. Believe me, Premiership at all costs (i.e. no home ground, moves to Dublin, etc) is not fun. That's why I'm taking a spell in the Nationwide (however long) as pain in order for some gain. Not sure how equipped Watford are for a return, I'd rate our chances better, but then I would!

What is the most beautiful thing about Wimbledon?
Well, in recent terms, the togetherness of the supporters. Last season tears were shed and support was offered in a way that you only ever get with close family. I had/have a broken heart after the way we went down, but I know I'm not alone. That maan, is beautiful in itself.

What is the ugliest thing about Wimbledon?
Hmm, well, sleeping on someone else's floor for nine years is not exactly sexy. But I reckon that's about to change. Maybe the ugliest thing is the lack of support, but a homecoming might help that. Dunno, weird question, bit like picking faults in your Mum. You love her, that's it - she is beauty incarnate - can't see that big nose everyone else laughs at.

Which pundit do Wimbledon fans hate the most and please think of something creative to do to him/her?
Well, I guess that could be many. How about Alan Mullery and Mark Lawrenson getting involved in a drugs burn with a Dons supporting gangster who follows them for weeks, scaring them, keeping them up late at night? 'Ring-ring' - 'hello? who's there?' - 'click'. In the end they decide to flee the country, they flee to Dover, steal a boat but get shipwrecked. They end up both sitting waiting for the other to die so they can eat and survive. Hang on, the nurse is coming.... Hmmm, where was I... Actually can I say that I hate Gabby Yorath and think of something creative for her? Best not actually...

Can you recommend a friendly pub near Selhurst?
Yep. The Thomas Farley. It's where the Dons fans drink. And if you promise to turn up and be trainspotting HTML-obsessed friendly types you'll have a very warm welcome (Dons fans love BSaD). Leave your Herts hoolies at the door, though. Expect to wait hours for a drink - that SE25 brainpower still hasn't worked out that matchdays get very busy. Come out the station (Thornton Heath), walk down the High St, it's on the right halfway down.

Where's the best place to park near Selhurst?
Nowhere - it's a bit congested. Unless you want to get there at 11am and pretend you are going to Sainsbury's! Get the train, it's very quick and then you can try and get as pissed as I did when I did the reverse fixture last season.

What's the nearest rail station to Selhurst and how far is it ?
Selhurst and Thornton Heath are the same distance, about five or ten minutes. But as mentioned, TH walks you past the Farley for a jar, many kebab/chicken places (and a cracking bakers doing a nice line in Caribbean gear - curry goat, Jamaican pasties etc) - or, after the pub, the bizarrely titled Doneagles (think about it) chippy - last shop before the ground.