What happened last season?
Kit protests, injuries, one of the worst home records in the league, the failure to score penalties, excellent results followed by dreadful results, the sale of our best players and the inability to replace them, inconsistency and more injuries.
We went through 6 (six) goalkeepers last season and had so many injuries the physio's room resembled a local hospital. We lost Cox, Nosworthy, Perpetuini, Brown, Wallace and Johnson for most of the season and sold Paul Shaw and Marlon King to teams in the same division for peanuts so were playing a virtual reserve team most of the time.
There were good results. The epic 4-3 at home to Millwall, 2-0 against West Ham, the 4-3 away at Ipswich and the 3-2 FA Cup win against Charlton, but there was some dreadful ones as well: 0-3 v Burnley, 1-2 against Franchise, and the 2-5 against Coventry and all these were at home.
We lost 12 games at home and stayed up by virtue of goal difference. And that was only 1 goal as well! Still how does the song go? Things can only get better!
What's going to happen next season?
God knows. Let us pray it isn't as gut-wrenching and nerve-jangling as last season; if it is, most Gills fans will be alcoholic. Also expect protests if Scally goes ahead with his plans of moving the Gills out of Medway!
On the football front Hess really has to sort out the Gills' home form. 10 wins, 1 draw and 12 defeats last season tells its own story, as does not having any money to go into the transfer market. The signing of the division one championship world series tournament journeyman Iwan Roberts as player-coach should help Mama Sidibe and Patrick Ageymang and our inability to score while the return of David Perpetuini, Nyron Nosworthy (isn't that a great name?) and the emergence of Danny Spiller and Matt Jarvis raises expectations we can stay out of the relegation zone. On the other side of the coin the failure of not signing any backup for our veterans could count against us.
If we finish fourth bottom again it would have been a successful season. Still, we get to welcome Millwall back to Priestfield for our regular 3 points and we don't have to go back to Milton Keynes either!
We will play well against the so called big teams and we will struggle against the smaller teams in the league as well. So all in all its going to be another roller coaster ride for the fans of GFC!
Soundbites (from assorted Census correspondents)
"42 is not the answer"
"Mamady Sidibe isn't very good at playing football"
"I was a Wigga before Eminem was!"
"I just wish to thankyou very much for Hessenthaler"
"Iwan is going to bag 15 this season and Agye will make double figures also"
"The Gills could be going down this year - which should make you lot chuckle!"
"Hope you enjoy the bogs at priestfield this season!!!!!!"
"Andy Hessenthaler has one of the worst haircuts in football"