The Not So Secret Footballer: Cliques, shakes and welcome breaks

It has been a little while since we last heard from our man on the inside of the professional game. It seems that we picked well – no player in League Two has more goals so far this season than AFC Wimbledon striker Jack Midson, who began his occasional column back in the summer when he was still looking for a club. Jack has nine league strikes this season, which is nine more than a certain Argentinian superstar has managed…

It has been in the press a lot and it is still going on – yes, it’s the Carlos Tevez saga. At first I thought what happened was a bit strange and read that after his warm up, he told staff that he didn’t feel mentally or physically ready to go onto the pitch. I could understand this to some extent but there seems to be a lot more behind the whole episode and it felt like it had been a long time coming. It seems as if he’s been a bad egg before and his attitude is probably the reason that Sir Alex Ferguson unexpectedly got rid of him at Manchester United.

There is no doubting that Tevez is a good player but it seems as though the other side of him takes over from his ability and that is what will stop him playing for Manchester City again. Let’s hope he can find another team that will put up with him and that he behaves himself. I saw that Harry Redknapp said he would take him to Tottenham Hotspur. I’m not sure if there’s any truth in this but I personally would like to see this as I am a Spurs fan.

It is hard to stop cliques developing within squads as not everyone gets on all the time. Most managers are usually good at spotting them forming and do something to break these up. Dealing with cliques can be as simple as putting players in different changing rooms before training or doing team bonding sessions Sometimes it can mean a more drastic course of action like getting rid of a player if they are a bad egg.

I recently read Phil Neville’s article in the paper about his training regime and found it very interesting, specifically the days and times he trains and what he does each day with training and weights. He also gave an insight into the protein shakes and supplements he has. This has sparked me to get some recovery shakes and protein shakes to help me.

League Two has been exciting so far. I think everyone expected Crawley to do well and they haven’t disappointed their fans with the good start they have made. Southend weren’t expected to do quite so well but they have also made a brilliant start to the season. Burton will do better than they did last year and they have a good goalscorer in Justin Richards. Cheltenham have also looked good so far and did well to beat Tranmere in the FA Cup. They had a good spell last year and looked good for the play-offs before going on a losing run towards the end of the season, but I think they will maintain their form this year.

I have been happy with my goals to date and as it stands, I am still at the top of the goalscoring chart in League Two. I haven’t scored for a few games which is always disappointing but I’ll keep working hard and get back to goalscoring ways soon. All my goals have been in open play, which is something that I can be proud of. There was already an order of penalty takers before I arrived at Wimbledon so I won’t be stepping up to take one this season. There are some good strikers in this league but it seems that most of them take penalties – meaning more goals for players like Matt Tubbs, Danny Kedwell and Izale McLeod. We have missed three penalties which hopefully I would have scored but that’s football. I can’t look into the past and will keep doing what I’m doing.

Normally I don’t mind doing interviews for the media but it does seem even at this lower league level that you still have to be careful about what you say. As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, I want to be honest when I am asked a question but this can’t always be the case as a few people take quotes the wrong way and blow them out of proportion.

Looking forward to the Christmas period, it’s always a busy part of the football calendar and could make or break a season as there are a lot of points to play for in a short space of time. Unfortunately, there are always a few games called off due to snow or frozen pitches but this might come as a blessing for some teams. It may enable a rest period or a welcome break from the league if your team is not on form. We have Oxford at home on Boxing Day and it’s live on television so I hope this game is still on for obvious reasons. Hopefully it will be a successful festive time for both me and AFC Wimbledon.

This is Jack’s 8th column for The Seventy Two. If all this is new to you, you can read the previous seven here.

The Seventy Two
The Seventy Two published an outstanding series of articles about the Football League between 2010-12 and was the brainchild of Leicester City fan, David Bevan. As well as collaborating with The Two Unfortunates on the Football League Blog Network and a mammoth 2011-12 season preview, the site featured a host of leading bloggers and David was rewarded with a nomination in the 2011 Football Supporters’ Federation awards. Latterly, he was joined as co-editor by Joe Harrison and TTU is happy to present this archive of the site’s output.

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