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Promotion bid is pushed for time - The Twist #20 - The Wise Men Say Newsletter

The Twist - The Wise Men Say Newsletter
The Twist - The Wise Men Say Newsletter
Next up, it’s AFC Wimbledon, at Plough Lane, kick-off 3pm!

The Twist | AFC Wimbledon (A) | Issue #22
I think it only appropriate to start with an apology. If you’re opening this email then it means that you’ve now been reminded, possibly against your will, that Sunderland AFC sadly have another game tomorrow. The last edition of the Twist went out on Tuesday, and performed the same unwanted reminder before our very on-brand loss to the Mighty Cheltenham Town. I only hope this preview has the opposite effect on our trip to the Mighty AFC Wimbledon tomorrow.
Tuesday feels both like it literally could’ve been yesterday (how can we possibly be playing again already??), but also simultaneously about a hundred years ago, given that we’ve had to endure a 3-day period of very normal* behaviour from our beloved football club. 
Before we get into that, let’s get the formalities out of the way. AFC Wimbledon are currently 20th in League One, and on an absolutely terrible run of form. A run of form so terrible in fact, that it makes them the only side below US in the form table! That’s right reader, The Wombles are currently playing so badly that they are 24th and flat bottom of the last-six-game-table – if you put two and two together from the previous sentence you’ll notice that puts us 23rd. Give me strength. 
All joking aside however, we simply have to win tomorrow. Luckily for us, results went our way on Tuesday so despite us losing to Cheltenham meaning we didn’t capitalise, it also means we haven’t lost much ground either. We can jump to second if results go our way, and that combined with a certain change in the dugout (see below) might just make things seem a little bit more rosy (football-wise at least) among we faithful. 
Now, onto the elephant in the room (or the mailbox): what the hell has happened since that fateful 6-0 loss at Bolton (still less than two weeks ago by the way)? I actually don’t think a club could have handled a scenario (a very common, and plannable-for scenario by the way) any worse if they were actively trying to cock things up.
There are valid and extremely important questions around the direction we are under on the footballing side after the transfer business this January alone, and then taking this long to appoint a manager (on paper at least with potential to be a very good one by the way) on top makes the whole thing look an absolute farce. It’s surprising, actually, that Alex Neil wanted the job at all after playing second fiddle to our very public and very badly managed pursuit of Roy Keane that played out like a daytime soap opera this past week or so. 
It has quite rightly thrust the issues that never went away in the first place around the ownership of the club, its make-up and the direction it’s headed. These questions will continue to be asked regardless of on-pitch performance. Why? Take a look at the last fortnight. Things are, to put it mildly, not at all what they’ve been made out to be.
Anyway, back to the good stuff, the football. Alex Neil comes to Sunderland (assuming the club officially announce it – at the time of writing this is yet to happen) with two promotions under his belt (one to the SPL and one to the Premier League) which include playooff winning experience. He is almost universally viewed among those in the know with the EFL as an attractive proposition for most clubs in the Championship, never mind League One; and according the various fans from clubs he’s managed his style of play and management seems a good fit.
The way it has happened leaves a sour taste for sure, and hopefully has been the catalyst for meaningful change in the way the current set-up at the club is viewed and challenged by the supporter base at large. At the same time it seems Sunderland have ourselves a good manager with a good chance of turning this ship around. He will be backed, managers always are, and that starts tomorrow.
ALEX NEIL’S RED AND WHITE ARMYYY
*not in any way normal
THIS WEEK'S PODCASTS
Episode 754 - “The Best Day of Mike Dodds’ Life”
Episode 753 - Cheltenham 2-1 Sunderland REACTION
LATEST WORDS
Played For Both Sides - Which former Sunderland heroes also remember they were a Womble?
Cans & Megabus - Your indispensable guide to AFC Wimbledon (A)!
PUB QUIZ
Q. When, or if, Alex Neil takes over, he will share a surname with a member of the first team squad (Dan Neil) - when was the last time this happened at Sunderland?
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