A Bad Weekend: Peterborough United 4-0 Imps

Credit Graham Burrell

I’m not going to write much today. As many of you know, I’m at home with Covid and so only listened to the game, and whilst I have the facility to watch the game back, the honest truth is I haven’t.

Therefore, all I’d be writing about is other people’s opinions, and whilst that’s fine for a multitude of pundits across the internet, it’s not for me. I want to bring you an honest opinion that is from me, not a rehashed version of what someone else thinks or has told me. Besides, Covid has got me pretty bad, I know some people have brushed it off, but I alternate between soaking in sweat and shivering cold, which is no good for trying to sit down and do this article, or indeed the work I missed out on Friday (it’s actually taken me almost two hours to write this as I keep steping away).

There are a couple of things I wish to write about, the first being the ‘news’ about Anthony Scully an hour before the game. I just don’t quite get why that broke or quite what it actually was. As you’ll know, Radio Lincolnshire broke news that a number of Championship and League One clubs are interested in our joint-leading scorer, but oddly that was made public before the game. Knowing how the Radio Lincolnshire team work, that won’t have come from an unreliable source, and is likely to have been a club-sponsored announcement, especially as it’s not exactly new.

Credit Graham Burrell

I’m sure Michael and Rob get a lot of insight into who we might be signing and they’re always very careful not to put anything out in the public domain, which makes the timing of the news fascinating. My only thought is that there’s a hope we’ll spark an auction situation and that the timing of before the game was the only way to get it out there in a manner which might alert others and feel natural. I like Sculls, he’s a cracking lad and as far as I know, he’s never agitated for a move; he was asking me pre-season the last Lincoln striker to score 15 or more in three successive seasons, which suggested he was here to stay. However, if someone comes in with £500,000 plus add-ons, then I don’t doubt the club will listen.

On the field, I’ve little to say about the game, other than this; that’s what happens when you’re off it against the best team in the league. That’s what Peterborough are; I called it before the season started, and I’ll stand by it. They’re better than they were when they went up last time in every way; better manager, stronger squad and more experienced for their time in the Championship. I’m not a JCH fan, but him and Marriott at this level are like a cheat code, and across their entire side they’ve got absolutely quality. We went there, buoyed by the result at Oxford and perhaps the team felt they could be expressive; they couldn’t. We made basic defensive errors (which doesn’t mean we’ve got a bad defence) and they were punished. I’d say ‘its as simple as that’, but it’s probably not. At one or two down we might have been able to turn it around, but three before half time was the ultimate blow. MK tried to make us tougher in the second half and we gifted wrapped a fourth. To be honest, the referee could have blown the whistle there and then and I don’t think anyone would have minded.

Credit Graham Burrell

What the result does not mean is a relegation battle. We were beaten soundly, and there are no complaints from me about that, but we dust down and move on. The important thing is to write it off as experience, look at what went wrong and make sure we don’t so it again. There’s no tougher game than away at Peterborough this season, no doubt at all, so we have to accept this as the nadir, the low point to build upon. If you get beaten by a better team, or if you’re a boxer outfought by a better opponent, you just have to walk away and learn for the next time you’re on the pitch (not grab the mike and make it about you). I liked Mark Kennedy’s post-match comments on the game, he was absolutely respectful of what went wrong, offer no excuses and I can live with that. If we now fail to beat Barrow or Fleetwood and go on a run of losing games, then I’ll be worried, but as a one off, we just have to say ‘we were really poor, but we move on’.

I do feel there’s work to do, but we can’t measure ourselves against the best side in the division. That Posh team have been what, five or six years in the making? We’re five or six games into a new era, and just that sense of perspective is needed right now. That’s where I am on it, and that’s my summing up of the game. My apologies to my readers, I know you expect more but, just like the team, sadly this weekend I am unable to give you more.

Credit Graham Burrell

I do have something more to say, and I guess you’re going to be expecting comments. Before I do, let me tell you: I’m not a virtue signaller. I don’t write about things so people look at me or applaud me. I won’t go into details, but there’s a lot I do that I could leverage for a few likes and ‘well dones’, but I don’t -I  help people through DMs, not on the open Twitter space, because I’m really don’t want to be applauded for what I do. When I write articles about Tramadol addiction or mental health, I do so because I legitimately want to help and I like to cast the net as wide as possible to do so. If I know someone needs help or advice directly, I do that privately. I can’t stress this enough because what I’m about to say is not about me, not about you thinking ‘oh, he’s a good person’, or ‘oh, he’s making it about him’.

The misogynistic comments aimed at the referee, Rebecca Welch, are not acceptable, and the fact Lincoln City fans who have followed the club for years felt uncomfortable and even threatened is not acceptable. I get that they were in the minority, I get that only pockets of the 1600-strong crowd heard them, but that’s not the point, not at all. In fact, by playing down the fact it wasn’t widespread, we’re playing down the problem. After the summer, where the Lionesses did so well, and the women’s game was applauded, I find it desperately sad to have to even address this. It doesn’t matter if it was ten people in 1600 – it happened, it happened in our fanbase, and collectively, we have to own that. It’s no good saying we travelled brilliantly, we were great, the atmosphere was amazing, and completely ignoring what was said.

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Misogyny is as bad as racism. It’s that simple. Personally, I think if you have put something on Twitter that was misogynistic, you should be treated in the same way as if you’d put a racist tweet. If you were one of the 1600 proud of the club’s support yesterday, one of those singing loud and proud at 4-0 down, louder than the home support, you should be the angriest. Those knuckle-draggers who made fellow fans feel uncomfortable have undermined your support; they’ve made the bulk of this article about them, not you. Just because you didn’t hear it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, it did, and you are the ones that should be most pissed, not calling out people on Twitter by saying it was in a minority. They not only let themselves, the women in their lives and the club down, but they’ve also let you down.  By playing it down, brushing it aside as a minority, you’re letting yourself down. Anwer me this; did you call the Gillingham racist a minority last season, play that down in the same way? No.

Covid, ill-timed Scully news, misogyny and a 4-0 defeat. It was a bad weekend, and the worse thing is getting our asses handed to us by a much better team wasn’t even the worst of it. I’m going to be glad to move on, but the lessons we need to learn, on and off the field, should not be forgotten as quickly as next weekend.